Will a Pioneer Chair hold me? What’s the weight capacity?
As no one has ever broken a Pioneer Chair (and, we’ve had people who weigh 300 lbs. sit in our chairs), we don’t know! We estimate a weight capacity of 400 lbs. for Pine chairs (500 lbs. for Ash/African Mahogany). If you have a problem, we’d be happy to repair the chair for you, free of cost.
How easy is it to get in and out of a Pioneer Chair?
Very easy! We receive excellent feedback from elderly people, and those with back and hip pain. The chair is designed so that you sit comfortably, cradled by the wood. When standing, a slight rock out of it will do the trick. For people who have problems with their back or knees, the best way to get out of the chair is to swing both legs to the side, place a hand on the back of the chair and another on the seat of the chair, and you will be able to push yourself up with ease.
Can I leave my chair outdoors?
Like all natural wood chairs, Pioneer Chairs naturally weather with time, changing color and fading with exposure to direct sunlight. The chairs on our back porch have been exposed to all weather conditions for over six years, and apart from natural weathering, they hold up great! It is completely up to you whether you’d like to preserve the finished look of the hardwood or allow them to weather naturally. We do recommend bringing the chairs in during the winter season.
What will my chairs look like if I allow them to weather naturally?
As Ash chairs weather, they become a beautiful golden color. As Mahogany weathers, it turns to a beautiful silvery-grey. Keep in mind that even as these chairs weather, they will remain structurally sound. The rope is UV- and mold-resistant. To slow the natural weathering process, bring your chairs indoors during heavy rain or snow.
Are the chairs finished? I’d like mine stained.
The reason we do not stain our chairs is that our hardwoods (African Mahogany and Ash) are naturally weather-resistant due to the oily property of the wood itself. They will stand up for years outdoors, but they do weather over time, changing color and fading with exposure to direct sunlight. If you choose to finish a chair, we have found that Teak Oil works well or you can ask your local hardware store for advice; recommendations may depend on the environmental conditions of your local area. Keep in mind that it is imperative to use a translucent stain or preservative, and not a latex-based paint product. The easiest way to apply the finish is to use a foam brush and cut it to fit within the cracks. Follow the directions for the stain you choose and be sure to wipe off the excess (as directed).
How do I best care for my chair?
As a preventative measure, we recommend bringing the chair indoors during the winter. Occasional rainfall will not harm the chair but, if you do notice discoloration, the best way to clean this is by diluting white vinegar with water, applying to the discolored areas, and removing with a gentle brush. A light sanding with fine sandpaper may also help. Many of our customers leave their chairs out year long, allowing them to weather naturally. The chairs will remain structurally sound regardless of rain or snow exposure. The rope is UV- and mold-resistant.
What’s the difference between Pine, Ash and Mahogany
Our Southern Yellow Pine chair is about 1” wider than Ash and Mahogany chairs. Pine is a soft wood, while Mahogany and Ash are hardwoods; hardwood contains naturally occurring oil, so these chairs are more weather-resistant and better suited for outdoor use. Ash and Pine are lighter in color than Mahogany. Ash is our most dense and durable wood, historically used in baseball bats and billy clubs. Mahogany comes in rich and subtle hues and is another beautiful wood which has historically been the trusted material for boat-building and fine furniture for many years.
What is the best way to carry my chair?
With the chair folded and the seat facing away from you, take hold of the base of one or a couple of the shorter seat pieces. Now, it will snuggle into your side and travel with you effortlessly.
What’s the trick to opening my chair quickly and effortlessly?
Pull upward on the back seat panels by holding the top two rope knots. This will drop the seat down so that you can place the legs on the floor. Then, if necessary, just give the chair a slight shake. Your Pioneer Chair will get easier to open and close, as it breaks in.
Are these chairs therapeutic and/or ergonomic?
Many of our customers report relief from low back pain while sitting in a Pioneer Chair. The design of the chair allows the knees to be positioned above the hips, which relieves tension from the low back. When the muscles can relax, circulation improves so the body can circulate naturally-made anti-inflammatory enzymes and pain relieving endorphins. We have not been through the certification process to say we are an ergonomic product.
If I do not like the chair, can I return it?
Of course! However, we charge a 20% restocking fee in addition to return shipping costs. The most common reason for returns is that the chair doesn’t fit into the space needed. Please measure dimensions accordingly.