My daughter and I were playing in the living room when she lost her balance and fell onto our Ekornes Vegas Stressless Recliner. Her arm snapped, not my daughter's but the chair's. The child was fine, a little sore in the middle, but otherwise fine. The chair not so good, it had a longitudinal crack from the front middle to the back outside. Stressless chairs have a 10 year warranty, but I was honest and told my story to which they said, no claim. I took it up a level with the same results.
I mention a 100 pound 12 year old girl falling onto a few thousand dollar chair, resulting in no injuries to the human but the chair suffers a broken arm seems odd. Soft spots of the child hit the arm. The physics of that tells me something is up with the chair. The impact wasn't that impressive. The arm is easy enough to replace, being held in with 2 - Torx 30 head screws, replacement cost was right around $600.00. That mind you is for a 20" piece of wood covered in foam and leather.
This chair squeaked when it was brand spanking new, Ekornes covered a new base under warranty. The local furniture repair team hadn't worked with Stressless products at that point, I was invited to watch and assist the replacement. The chair is an engineering marvel, the precision and ease of assembly to the base when properly aligned is astounding. But I get off track, here we have a broken arm.
The leather comes off the part rather easily by removing the staples from the channel and pealing it off starting at the pointy end. The crack, held open in the picture, is quite visibly going right up the center of the grain, with a small knot near one end. The wood isn't nearly the same quality of the visible wood, this is a soft, pine like wood. The machining is excellent, nicely contoured and finished. The wood seems to be a cheaper softwood rather than furniture grade hardwood. The physical softness of the wood can be seen in the staple marks. The weakness of this wood is a part of the reason this chair experienced a failure.
The threaded insert without a screw is not used on this chair, if it were, the failure would not have happened. The impact was near the front on the outside, which is the left bottom in the picture above. The mount for the arm is a steel bar that rides in the channel between the screws. The impact was about as far away from the mount as possible.
The break was clean with little to no splintering making the repair easier. I chose Gorilla Glue for the adhesive, and countersunk 3 deck screws to tie the pieces together. Gorilla glue uses moisture to set, it also expands a crazy amount. The foam is glued to the wood so minimizing squeeze out is critical. One side of the crack gets water, the other a thin bead of Gorilla Glue. That gets spread out to cover the area, without adding more. Then it was drive the screws into predrilled holes, clamp and wait.
Ready to clamp it’s back in one piece.
Here's one of the deck screws installed and glued
Another clamping screw is part way down the crack from the other side.
Other than my pilot hole on the back side being off by a sixteenth or so, it all glued up well. After setting the glue was visible on the edge with little to no squeeze out. Hopefully the hidden side looked the same.
I'm not a leather worker, nor do I have the correct staple gun. The assembly process was pretty easy, slide the insides into the leather, easy does it, then massage it into place. Staple the middle of the long side first, then the 2 new middles, holding the outside line correct along the way. Lighting makes it look more bent in the picture than it is. The other side is wrinkled by design and simply needs stapled in place.
The repair went well, I'm excited to do what could be a $600 repair in a couple hours. I'm a bit annoyed at Ekornes for not covering this material or design defect under warranty, thus I took the time to post and link this. In my opinion, it was a pretty good hit, the chair should not have broke. Either better material or a 3 point mount would have saved this chair.
In this style of chair Stressless clearly sits at the top.I didn't want to spend the money on one of these, but loved the feel. At 6'1 and over 240 lbs, I need a stable chair. I examined every similar design I could find. The competition was weak, in some cases the foot stools on thousand dollar chairs were held together with one undersized screw on each side. I couldn't find any chair that looked like it would last for the long term. Either the base was weak, the mechanism tight in it's travel, or sometimes fit and finish was just subpar. So I bit the bullet and went Stressless, I’ve have had 2 repairs in 2 years, stress less not really. That being said, it's a great chair. Crazy comfortable. If you’re looking for this type of a recliner, be sure to look at Stressless.
In my opinion, considering what I’ve been through with them, Stressless Recliners are still the way to go for a comfortable long lasting recliner.