Sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees. Having two mid-century two person sized lawn gliders made by the same manufacturer, I was comparing them yesterday. One is my very first glider. It was free. It was at the “solid waste disposal site” we use, and the worker helped me load it into my station wagon (at another time, there was a fine one already up in the metal container and the workers said they were not allowed to pluck anything out that was already in; what a disappointment!).
After its rescue, I took the glider straight to a welding place down the road from here as it was wonky and would not glide. See the dark elements under the closer armrest? Those were fabricated for me at the welding shop (no welding was actually done, they probably simply did the job with pity for my ignorance).
These elements are rusty now and this glider has always been on a covered porch. The elements are still strong however, and are attached to the frame with screws and nuts.
What occurred to me last night was the fact that there were two original gliding elements on this glider. Above is what the original elements look like. They are not a solid piece of steel as the replacements are, they are like a constructed tube, which has been flattened.
Compared to my first glider acquisition, this lawn glider was more expensive, but still a great deal. The elements facilitating the gliding have all been replaced, and all are aluminum. A more expensive fix.