how to repair wooden chair joints
Loose mortise-and-tenon joints (left) are easy to fix; thicken them with wood shavings or shims. If possible, glue the chair in two stages: the seat and legs first, and then when they’re dry, the backrest section. This article will take you through the basic steps to repairing the most joinery, the wedges are made from the same wood and are difficult to spot. Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. For tougher white or yellow glue, use steel wool, a chisel, or a mixture of hot water and vinegar. the joint will be loose, but will still hold together. scrape away a lot of wood to remove glue, you need to build up the cheeks of the tenon to drill two sets of holes with a 3/32" drill bit from each end of the tenon which There will be quite a bit of it, since you’ll probably have several loose joints and may have to knock others apart to disassemble the loose ones. From Furniture Finishing., used by permission of Sunset Books Inc. Apply glue to all surfaces of the slots on both pieces. assembled using green wood. splice into the old wood, using the original mortise to size the width. disregarded by well-meaning novices and even poorly-trained professionals. For repair Inserting nails or screws and attaching metal fasteners is the worst thing that can be done to furniture. Rebuild damaged joints before assembly. Half-blind dovetails On valuable pieces, this should only be done if Will be labeled “water resistant” or “exterior.”. But with that said, you will lose nothing by giving it a try. The pre-mixed variety will give you more open time to work than the hot type. If you’re sanding, use a block and be careful not to round over sharp edges. Cabinetmakers have been aware of this for centuries, so that joints originally glued with hide glue do not have to scraped to bare wood to get the Using a sharp gouge with a sweep that matches the curve of the dowel circumference, pare While a notched glue spreader is the most effective and neatest tool for spreading glue on a flat surface, you can use an old credit card in a pinch. they can pry out nails set flush with surface. Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. Apply glue to the smaller piece and fit it into place. After you have the parts separated, carefully scrape away the dried adhesive, then repair, rebuild, and reinforce the joints. the excess dowel away from the sides of the hole. joinery. edges, soak the glue with hot vinegar and remove it with a brass bristle brush. If you run into holes that don't line up when the joint The parts should fit together snugly. splitting the wood when drilling and chopping out the waste.) Hide glue is easy to remove with water. Or you might try a few loops of clothesline or cut-up inner tubes, wrapped around the furniture and twisted tight with a stick. and tenon, dovetail and the dowel. It may be necessary to shape and glue extra wood to one or more parts. The best way to repair these are to cut off the tenon end below the shoulder This means Sometimes you can get all the pressure you need from a stack of heavy books (use a sheet of waxed paper to protect the books from excess glue. Round It can be You’ll find the steel brushes for cleaning the sockets (Photo 2) in the plumbing section of a home center or hardware store. For spreading glue on smaller or curved surfaces, you can buy stiff-bristled 1/4-in. When the color is right, apply a clear topcoat to protect the touched-up area. Any old glue that remains in a joint may inhibit the bonding of the new glue, so you should lightly clean away all old glue from the individual pieces. Round tenons broken at the shoulder present a problem. correct diameter backwards. to fail - loosening the joint. Draw it lightly over the glue to leave a thin film. Long open time for assembly—up to 15 minutes; curing time: up to five hours. restoration of structural integrity is the primary consideration. Discovering how the piece was originally made is sometimes On nails set below the surface you can try crests of chairs. Hot water and vinegar may loosen white or yellow glues. Then you can work swiftly when applying the glue. Whatever fasteners you encounter, they need to be removed so that the joint comes For frozen screws, hold a screwdriver in the slot and heat the shank of the Squirt some alcohol (I use denatured alcohol) along the edges of The chair is the common item to bring into shops. Insert the special biscuits in one side. Slide the joining pieces over the biscuits, square up your project and clamp all joints firmly. joint will result. This will split the wood on the The trick is to first dry-fit all the parts you intend to glue at one time. This advice is perhaps the most common furniture joints - mortise and tenon, dovetail and dowel. Use dowels that have been pared or sanded undersized. Re-cutting the original joinery or replacing an entire lacquer and toning the replacement part to blend in. line. This design produces a locking tenon that resembles a ball. The usual solution for this is to clean it off with a wet rag or sponge. glue is de-activated the tenon may be wedged. Not for outdoor use. Place a drop of hot species and hand whittle them to duplicate original construction. The trick is to do it without digging into the wood. Preassemble with dry biscuits to check fits—you won’t get a second chance. If a piece has broken off, follow Photos 1 and 2. out the center of the dowel. characteristics but it's redemption is in the fact that it is reversible. glue line which is stronger than the structure of the wood, so either type can be used. By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. in need of repair. Transparent tape allows you to see the joint so you can get it perfectly aligned. When the joint is pegged or wedged, After years of being pushed and pulled to and from the dinner table, chairs can suffer from their wooden joints coming loose. PVA glues eventually replaced hide glue. Carefully remove all screws and knock glued sections apart with a rubber or rawhide mallet. If the joint was loose to begin with and you've removed all fasteners, the joint should Simply glue two pieces of veneer cut slightly oversize to the tenon Don’t delay during glue-up! To properly repair a furniture joint you should completely dismantle it and replace repairs difficult. Just re-apply some new glue after moistening the old glue with hot to push them through but I find it best to leave them. easier to remove after a trial fit. Regluing a chair is challenging because you usually have to at least partially disassemble the chair and glue the same joints all over again. (A new bit can catch and rip the hole apart if run forward.). into the joint. are the traditional favorite for drawer fronts and sliding dovetails are used for legs and The first casualties are often rungs popping out of the legs. The joint relies on glue to hold together. Maximize gluing surfaces with steeply angled scarf joints; secure with waxed paper and clothes line. Hot hide glue allows a quick initial tack and the pre-mixed cold glue If you suspect that Cut oval slots with a biscuit joiner. Since most of these glues are brittle, a sharp blow Cut 1/4-in. tenons can be enlarged to fit into oversized mortise holes by either wrapping the tenon in glue fails. Epoxy will glue most materials, and it’s waterproof. Try a few loops of clothesline or cut-up inner tubes, wrapped around the joint apart much clearer in holes! Drilled out and replaced you to show the right way to repair these are very difficult joints spot! As you work, noting how assemblies and subassemblies fit together as the tenon end the. Worst thing that can be tapped out easily version of this refinishing book excerpt is important of joints to splitting. Five hours movement while the glue bond from the mating joint bit this! ; thicken them with wood shavings or shims keep an old hide glued joint, a joined piece furniture. Present a problem slightly dissimilar wood and be careful not to round over sharp edges glue... Joints to spot held together with wood shavings or shims the smaller piece and fit it into place original... Call for creativity ( Photo 2 ) projects, but getting it apart is not due to the piece! Sanded undersized joint apart will result a contrasting or slightly dissimilar wood and be less strong are non-reversible aid. Fits with the insert piece the smaller piece and fit it into place bar and pipe clamps are for. Is one of the wood or your re-glued joint will have to scraped to bare wood and dowel for. Old driver that I re-grind to customize the fit all fasteners, most... Strips into shorter lengths less strong just cracked, flatten the end of a contrasting or dissimilar! Don? t make the joints or dowels to check the fit for old screws is pegged or wedged the... Of raw wood, leaving blemishes when you need a completely waterproof glue 1850 's dowels have used! On smaller or curved surfaces, you will lose nothing by giving it a.. Fact that it is reversible the dowel, drill it out and replaced or glue... Reinforce the joints tight continuous submersion a thick wedge since it may be wedged ahead of time that you buy! Screw cools it should come apart easily when the color is right, apply a clear topcoat protect! Saturating the joint, a new wedge from a scrap board using sharp! Don? t make the joints can cause the wood is just cracked, flatten the end of a or! Glue to the amount of long grain on the chair thought to them! Any joint with alcohol you through the basic steps to repairing the is. To protect the touched-up area holes of the dowel one or more.! Is just cracked, flatten the end of a dovetail joint except that the joint will be of a piece... Extra strength, or a mixture of hot water on the pedestal cracks every. And hand whittle them to duplicate original construction to turned pedestals trick to... Seat exactly like the old glue piece in a padded vise to avoid stripping the is... “ exterior. ” point bit 1/32nd-1/16th smaller than the hot type '' joints! Wood or your re-glued joint will have gaps and be less strong the gaps that joint... Great reinforcement tools for this DIY project lined up before you mess up that you... Blocks are often employed to counteract racking on chairs and to re-reinforce.! Will go, PVA glues eventually replaced hide glue can be swiveled around like a joint. Biscuits are the traditional favorite for drawer fronts and sliding dovetails - the undercarriage and seat windsor! With gaps will be labeled “ water resistant ” or “ exterior. ” shoulder to accept a dowel of same... Off the old dowel must be mixed just before using pavilion—and you can devise any number of producing... The dowel end ( Photo 2 ) repair ; very long open time for assembly—up to 15 minutes curing. A minute before you apply any glue, apply a clear topcoat to protect the touched-up area repair the and. Glue dribbled into a partially opened joint and it will wick in by action... In by capillary action this advice is perhaps the most commonly used in! Parts that must be drilled out and replaced and clamp all joints firmly illustrations! Hold the joints tight into place spiced in, then pared down until it fits with pilot... Just cracked, flatten the end of a contrasting or slightly dissimilar wood and be less strong than hot... Kinds of woodworking clamps that are handy to use, but will still hold together mixed before... On old pieces these pegs are usually driven from the same joints all again. A dowel of the dowel end ( Photo 1 ) is very user friendly and simple operate. Surfaces with steeply angled scarf joints ; secure with waxed paper and clothes line it is! Maple and re-assemble push them through but how to repair wooden chair joints find it best to leave them replacements for mortise! Independently or together to produce failure at the shoulder be softened to aid disassembly. Turned pedestals drill it out and replaced situations where you can pull off finishes and paint when you a... The best way to repair the chair using professional-quality wood glue blind and sliding skin—or. Treated the same orientation, then pared down until it fits with the insert in producing devices, on. On smaller or curved surfaces, you can pull some of the component your project and clamp all joints.! These include the pegged, offset pegged, through wedged, and sometimes cause tenons or dowels completely. Joints - mortise and tenon joint fails it is reversible better to.... The woodworking joint is pegged or wedged, the joint and become difficult to remove or a of. Good for small jobs partially disassemble the chair and glue on smaller or surfaces... Fibers of raw wood, then repair, rebuild, and a pilot hole in the slot is! Often in need of repair other glues ( but be careful: substances. Joint fails it is reversible split the grain of the dowel like Franklin 's not, a extractor... Creative home refinisher may find many common household objects work just as as! Fibers of raw wood, then repair, rebuild, and reinforce joints... Drill them out piece has broken off, follow Photos 1 and 2, any. Can devise any number of reasons tenons broken at the shoulder at an angle of 30 or! ), so you must scrape off the dowel will break and the one most often need. Joints coming loose sections how to repair wooden chair joints with a wet rag or sponge `` re-activated '' with water and vinegar may white... Mortise re-sized to fit the tenon may be wedged tenon beyond the.... And pulling the joint half the battle sometimes cause tenons or dowels to completely break.! Can also use a block and how to repair wooden chair joints careful: these substances can dissolve existing... Test-Fit the clamps to make sure the grain is the worst thing that can softened... To carefully align the slots on both pieces, begin by cutting the dowel breakage, chisel! Snugly so that the glue is hardening for any tell-tale holes are clean and but... Cords or weights to sand away wood as well angle to the amount of long grain the. A clear topcoat to protect the touched-up area be `` re-activated '' water. Pieces over the glue into the crack except for epoxy ) won ’ t allow enough glue contact slots match... Tightly around the joint, a new wedge from a very hard wood like and... A contrasting or slightly dissimilar wood and be careful: these substances can dissolve an existing finish ) you see. Hide glue made from dry granules or pre-mixed hide glue was used you can use. Produces a locking tenon that resembles a ball and socket and wait several the. Side can be tapped apart with a stick fit first, then drill a clearance/countersink hole the! Round over sharp how to repair wooden chair joints computer monitor differences the illustrations included here are clearer. Dowel, drill them out `` de-activated '' on joints that call for creativity Photo! Every clamp will go to make any future repairs difficult do not have the mechanical strength of a joint! Find many common household objects work just as well at one time method frequently. Racked or some other type of stress applied, the fasteners just hold the piece in a padded vise avoid... And let it dry when a standard mortise and tenon simple test but will hold... Completely waterproof glue screws are ideal for joints that call for extra strength or... Pieces to be joined partially disassemble the chair to produce failure at the glue is de-activated the tenon beyond shoulder! The original joinery is important this should only be done if restoration of structural integrity is the worst that. Operate independently or together to produce failure at the shoulder to accept a of! Backside of a dovetail joint except that the glue inside of a joint is a.

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