Restoring old barber chairs is a huge undertaking, but it also has great payoffs. To the right collector, a restored antique barber chair can sell for many thousands of dollars. There is usually no owner’s manual for these kinds of things, so most of the work is DIY. To someone who’s new to the task, figuring out how and where the parts should go is both risky and time consuming. It’s risky because many pieces of the chair are sophisticated, and getting a single part wrong may drastically bring down its value. It’s time consuming since there is essentially no instructional materials to begin with.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys watching television shows like Pawn Stars, American Restoration, The Pickers, Salvage Hunters and other similar programs, you probably know how much investment in time and resources a restoration project can take. Take American Restoration as an example. Manpower hours is always a big concern. Each member of the team has his own specialty – from carpentry to metalworking to artwork and anything in between. When you look at the restored item, you’d see the passion and the craftsmanship that these guys put into the project. Doing it by yourself isn’t exactly impossible, but your old barber chairs might not see the light of day anytime soon.
Prior to committing yourself to the undertaking, there are things you can do to make sure that you’re on the correct path. In some instances, you may find that the restoration may simply be a matter of wiping the surfaces with a rag. Though in most cases, old barber chairs require taking each piece apart and repainting. Antique items that haven’t been maintained for a long time almost always have paint that deteriorated. Once the surface has been identified, sanding it can completely remove its paint. There are specific sanding methods, depending on the type of paint and the surface. Pay attention to this crucial step, as the wrong type of material can damage the surface as well. Consult an experienced restorer if needed.
The barber chair’s hydraulic system may have also deteriorated over time. Old barber chairs often use hydraulic cylinders like the machinery used in heavy equipment. In some instances, the fix can be as simple as putting fresh hydraulic fluid. In most cases, the chair has to be taken apart, cleaned and re-oiled.
As has been mentioned, this type of restoration requires commitment, and lots of it. It’s best to consult a professional and discuss with other enthusiasts in online forums to find out how to proceed accordingly.
hello, I am a hairdresser in turin, italy I’d be interested to fulfill purchase of one chair to theo. Kochs seek it in Europe if possible, can you help me thanks best regards infinitely
My husband has an old (antique)barber chair that needs restoring. Also, am interested in purchasing another old (antique) barber chair. We live near the Houston, Texas area and would like to know if there is a dealer or someone who would be able to restore the chair. Let me know if you have any contact person. Thank you
Are you still interested in buying an old barber chair. I have a 1910 koken in decent shape. It even has the head rest. it has been stored in my shed for many years. Email me if you want pics.
Do you still have the chair and pictures
I live in Houston and restored my chairs, let me know if you need any help.
We recently purchased a 1920’s Koken barber chair in need of adding hydraulic fluid, do you know of an easy tutorial or guide we can consult? Thank you very much.
Beth, I have the same issue as far as finding information or guide as to adding fluid to my Koch 1920s barber chair. Did you ever find any info. I can’t seem to find any. Thanks
I have a Koch porcelain barber chair for which the backrest needs replacing. The original frame of the backrest itself was wood covered with horsehair and then come kind of cloth or covering. I am trying to determine if the wooden frame was a solid piece (made from several pieces of wood to make a solid frame and backing) that attached to the chair once covered, or if the wood insert was just a frame outline? I believe it is the former, not the latter. Can you advise? thanks
Chris, I am in the process of restoring a few chairs. Would it be smart to chrome the metal pieces or should they be nickel plated ?
Hello, I have an antique Theo A Kochs red upholstery/ white porcerlan chair. I really would like to restore it. My email is [email protected] if you know someone who can repair it for me. Hydro works fine, I think i have all the parts. It’s pretty old, I do no know what year it was built. thanks
I have recently come in contact with a 1910 Koken barber chair. it is in great condition I just want to wipe it down and clean it up. How do i clean it with out damaging the patina. What kind of solvents, mineral oil, cleaners. Please help
I have a 1964 paidar chair. I put fluid in it to be able to pump the chair up and down. I can’t not figure out why the chair does not want to recline. How can I fix the problem?
I have the same chair. Mine did that and I just unlocked it the pushed the handle away from the chair while leaning back
I just purchased a chair and need a couple parts… the head rest and the ankle rest… help
i have a 1910 koch barber chair. the chair reclines when just leaning back a little. is there a manual to be had with some sort of diagrams? please respond my hair is getting long. so-long tommy
I love woman who can restore shit
I have a antique barber chair from the mid 1800’s that I would like to sell. It has been stripped down to the wood for refinishing. Hydraulics work just fine.
Hi is the chair still available. Whats the price
I just bought a wooden Koken chair. I need to get some insturctions, or diagram to help with some of the pieces I have, especially the hydraulic operation and parts. I live near Olympia Washington, anyone out there who can help
I have two antique wooden barber chairs for sale. Both are over 100 years old. One is a Koch 1901-1910 (one of the first hydraulics) and the other is an extremely rare 1887 Berninghaus. I will be happy to provide photos of both chairs to interested parties.
Luv to look at them [817-210-2456
I have a Theo Kochs barber chair all original parts and all together. Scuffed a little on foot rest, head rest needs upholstery, or maybe that is where a towel goes. Nickel plate, ceramic, hydraulic, leather and in great condition. Rounded back and seat, balls in front, manual hydraulic pump on side. Yr ? 1900 ? for sale. 9-18-14
What to sale call 8172102456
How did you put the hydraulic fluid in?
I NEED IMAGES OF 1920 KOCHS BARBER CHAIR ? MANUAL PLEASE !
My barber has a chair that goes up and down fine, but he can’t get it to lock in place so customers can get into and out of the chiar safely. Does the hydraulic cylinder control the chair locking mechanism, too (keep it from rotating)? What can I do to repair it for him?
I have a Koken President Barber Chair (I believe manufactured in 1951) that the Chair Recline Mechanism is not allowing the chair to recline. The Pump/Recline handle of the chair does not seem to be engaging the Recline mechanism. I need instructions on the procedure to correct this problem. Can you help?
I am currently restoring a reliance barber chair, but I came across a problem reassembling the hydraulic pump. I got the chair to pump up but can’t get it to release pressure and lower, any tips on trouble shooting? Or references on someone who can help ? I am located in low Angeles
I have a Koken chair and need the right side backrest bracket I’m having a hard time finding one any suggestions I’ve looked on eBay but they only have part # 503 but that’s not the one I need
I just purchased a restored theo a kochs barber chair. Would like to know more info on it, if I send pics, would you be able to give me any info, or direct me to where I might find out its origin?
I have a old barber chair manufactured here in Toronto – not a Kochs or a Koken, but a locally made chair, nonetheless. I can not figure out where/how to add the oil – I suspect it is like most other chairs, can someone help?
I have a 1961 Theo-A-Kochs Barber Chair in need of restoration. We are in Corpus Christi and would like to know if there is someone in my area has parts or can restore?
I have a koken barber chair and when you sit in it it keeps reclining??
I have a antique Eugene Berninghaus “Hercules” barber chair. serial number 29005. I am trying to find out around how old it is and how to find parts if needed. My hydraulics lock and turn but pump not working yet.0
I have a antique Eugene Berninghaus “Hercules” barber chair. serial number 29005. I am trying to find out around how old it is and how to find parts if needed. My hydraulics lock and turn but pump not working yet.
Please let me know where you found the serial number. I am trying to date the one I have. Still working on how to figure that out even with serial number. Thank You.
Wouldn’t restoring old Barber’s chair lose value if your intent is to sell?