Vintage Webbing Stretcher Upholstery Tool Restoration

Tool Restoration

Nearly a Century Old
Likely Homemade

This post should be both short and the last post of 2022, crazy that another year has hustled on by.  It should be a short post because it's about a tool made of two parts and a couple small nails - a webbing stretcher.  A what, you ask?  Well a web stretcher is a  tool used to stretch out upholstery webbing, which needs to be pulled tight to give it its elasticity.  That's it - it's that simple!


Upon close inspection of this tool, it seems it was self-made, which would be congruent with the fact that it came from a carpenter who last practiced nearly a century ago.  It came to me when my former boss gave me two toolboxes that had belonged to her grandfather.  

Here you can see the webbing stretcher in the upper right of the toolbox, placed there when I first looked through these newly-acquired haul!

First Inspection

A quick once-over revealed that this likely homemade tool, while a little dirty, was in solid condition.  

The spiked web stretcher is only suitable for strong webbing that is unlikely to become damaged by the tool. However, as the spiked web stretcher is smaller it provides less pulling leverage and is therefore suited for smaller webbing applications such as chairs, or for more infrequent use. - Wonkee Donkee Tools


While it may seem counterintuitive, I started the cleanup with the teeth.  I think I just wanted to see what they were made of and see how they would clean up.  A little picking where the teeth met the body, some sandpaper...

And a little time with the rotary tool...

Followed by some light sanding of the stretcher's body...

And (after maybe 20 minutes total, the cleanup was done.

Staining The Body 

I've really been diggin' the Bombay Mahogany stain lately, and I thought it might give this vintage tool a bit of an old-school color...

And it all turned out nice, if I do say so myself!

A Few Beauty Shots

Even though it's an uber-simple tool, I like the way it turned out, so here's a couple beauty shots!

Just one more...

Its Natural Habitat

Here's a long view of the webbing stretcher deep in the jungle of its natural habitat!

And as we sneak up on it, we begin to be able to really get a sense of it all!

And that the inherited webbing stretcher.  I don't imagine it'll get a lot of use here at 173 but, ya never know!  Back in the 1990s I took a short course in reupholstering furniture.  I learned a lot in those few sessions, even reupholstered an old chair.  Who knows what the future may bring!

Have a happy and safe New Year everyone!
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