Eames, tandem bench

So i was able to pick up a Eames tandem bench this weekend. It is in need of restoration, but i think it is original or in the least the logo matches the time period. This will be my project in between projects, the biggest question i will have is if i match the original color or if i go with another combo that Eames did.

It looks like that is the leather option? (or leatherette?)… I never understood why the leather ones had the binding but the fabric ones didn’t. They must not have been able to do a turned edge on that form with the leather. If they split the pattern differently they probably could have done it.

the one i bought is actually vinyl - some quick research show that they used a heated former to apply the material to the fiberglass structure.

makes sense for a public bench.

You could always strip the Naugahyde, peel/scrape off the foam, sand, and refinish with Penetrol. I have done this a few times, its not hard but pretty time consuming!

AVClub, that would give me the base fiberglass look - correct? which i might like.

Yeah it would be fiberglass but they more than likely have holes in the seat pan which you can try to fill with epoxy and fiberglass and match the color or do a completely different color all together, or just use metal caps. You can get some replacement parts from Modern Conscience as well as epoxy, etc. etc… From talking to upholstery people as well as folks at Herman Miller those chairs are extremely difficult to re-cover.

Removing the vinyl would give you the fiberglass look, but the vinyl chairs used rivnuts that show through the top side of the shell once you’ve removed the vinyl and foam. The fiberglass chairs have rubber “shockmounts” bonded with adhesive to the underside of the shell.


Yeah difficult is right, i found some information online as to the method for doing the seamless covering. I have had several companies tell me that they cant/wont do it. One company had done it in the past and quoted 300 per seat, I am still considering the suggestions of stripping it bare and seeing what the fiberglass would look like base color, or going with a different color altogether. I may also look to see what it would cost to have it covered but to have a custom “stitching” done, this is right in aliment with automotive upholsterers i think. I think i will have a better POV once i strip down a single seat and see where i stand then.

Lowe9 - sounds like you know the Eames tandem seats pretty well. have you worked with them before?

I’m working on a shell right now intended for a cats cradle base. My intent is to fill the holes with epoxy and fiberglass shavings OR get a seat pad like some of the shells are coming with now but still deciding if I like that look (If I finish before you I will keep you updated). I will then attach the shock mounts with epoxy, I’ve gotten my shock mounts from modern conscience in the past but I might try a more economical route this time.

The shell I am working on is grey so im hoping matching wont be terribly hard.