Approach to dissassemble/re-glue loose chairs? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 31 Old 01-01-2008, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question Approach to dissassemble/re-glue loose chairs?

Hi All,

I have a dining room set we purchased second hand a couple years back. The chairs are very loose and creak a lot. Concerned they're going to break and hurt/embarrass someone (probably me!).

So I'd like to re-glue them, probably one at a time. Question is, do I try to disassemble them completely or just clearly loose joints? How to get apart the joints that aren't loose, especially if they're locking in the lose ones?

Once apart I think I"m try to remove dried glue with rasps, sanding to clean wood. Then re-glue and clamp up.

Searched forums but haven't found anything on this...figure one of you handymen have tackled it before.

Thanks,
Chuck
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-01-2008, 02:45 PM
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I do some furniture repair. Disassemble them as far as possible. If you simply cannot get a piece apart...well I guess it is still a good joint . Yea, you want to remove the old glue, just be careful not to sand off too much wood. It will make the joints loose, glue will fill them, but just go bad again eventually like you have now. The tighter the wood fit the better.

You asked about good joints locking in bad ones. I bet you will find once you start taking them apart, they may not be as good as you thought ?
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-01-2008, 02:55 PM
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My farther has an old rocker that his farther had for a long time. It is made out of oak and it was coming apart. It is about 80 years old and was outside for many years. Therefore, I took it apart all the way and it had about 10 coats of paint. I remove the paint and then started taking it apart, take your time taking it apart. I will take a pic of it the next time go there and post it. Just take your time, the rockers where worn out so I made new ones out of Cypress. Now it is back on the front porch.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-01-2008, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thanks guys. So mostly take it apart with a reasonable amount of force then? I'm thinking of using some blocking and maybe cardboard or cloth to protect the surfaces and then a rubber mallet to tap things loose.

After cleaning up the mating surfaces, I'm thinking of using Titebond II. I've had good luck with it in other projects with new wood. Anything special required in the glue since this is old mahogoney?

Thanks,
Chuck
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post #5 of 31 Old 01-01-2008, 07:30 PM
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B4 you start taking your chairs apart

check out a product that Rockler sells called "wonder-lok-em" (spelling?). I keep this on hand in my shop to hand out to people looking to have chairs fixed. It eliminates the nuisance jobs that consume a lot of time with very little in the way of cash return. I have to say that in the 3 years I have been using/dispensing it, it has never let me down. No dissassembly required. Just apply it at the joint and the magic happens. In no time at all, you have a tight joint that will not loosen. No, I don't know how it works, I just know that it does. I just sell it at my cost and benefit by the return visits that frequently result in actual profitable work.

Ed
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-02-2008, 08:52 PM
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You can use a rubber mallet to loosen most joints. Use good solid blows. If a joint is not loose leave it alone, Virgin wood glues up best. When cleaning off the old glue don't use and abrasives like sand paper. Use a stiff knife to scrape off the glue. Do not remove any wood or your joint will be too loose to glue properly as Daren said. You can use TBII if you need the water resistance but standard TB (white) will dry clearer and is plenty strong.
Clamp the joints over night and a strap clamp may make life easier. Make sure when you do re-assemble the chair that it is sitting on a flat table or floor so all 4 legs are evenly touching the floor. It is hard to tell when on its back or side. You want it straight while the glue dries.
If you have loose joints, take some very thin fabric, and cut strips the size of the dowel, apply glue to the dowel, place the fabric over the dowel and apply glue on the fabric also. The amount of fabric being equal to the amount needed to take up the space. And make sure it is absorb-able fabric. I use to use what is called cambric. but it isn't made with fabric anymore. Very thin. Like a cheesecloth will do. If you need more than one strip cross them over the dowel.

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post #7 of 31 Old 01-03-2008, 04:00 AM
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Or you could just use a pocket screw.
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-03-2008, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by johnep View Post
Or you could just use a pocket screw.
johnep
Yes if you want to permanently ruin the joint.

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post #9 of 31 Old 01-03-2008, 12:52 PM
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c1856,

I think you're smart, sticking with Titebond II. Years ago I attempted to re-glue the legs of my wife's, grandmother's rocking chair with Gorilla glue. The glue expanded so much that it broke through the top of the seat. It ripped open a huge sliver about 2" wide and 6" long just above the left, rear leg. The gap between the two pieces was now filled with dried glue foam so I knew there was no fixing it. The chair had to be scrapped. I felt really bad.

Ken

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post #10 of 31 Old 01-04-2008, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Johnson View Post
c1856,

I think you're smart, sticking with Titebond II. Years ago I attempted to re-glue the legs of my wife's, grandmother's rocking chair with Gorilla glue. The glue expanded so much that it broke through the top of the seat. It ripped open a huge sliver about 2" wide and 6" long just above the left, rear leg. The gap between the two pieces was now filled with dried glue foam so I knew there was no fixing it. The chair had to be scrapped. I felt really bad.
Ken, did you attribute that glue expansion to a difference between Titebond and titebond II? I have TBII on hand and have had good results with it. My limited knowledge is that the glues present a risk just as much for pulling the wood in (creating craters/dimples" as they do for pushing it out (splitting).

I'm probably going to grab some regular TB and then try TB and TBII on different joints in the first chair I do and see how they fare. And if I get too medievel with my clamps....well, there's also pocket screws! Any port in a storm right?

Chuck

Last edited by c1856; 01-04-2008 at 09:44 AM. Reason: typo
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post #11 of 31 Old 01-05-2008, 05:14 PM
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I guess you

can only offer help in the hope that someone will benefit from putting it to use.

Ed
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-06-2008, 02:06 PM
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reglue chairs

you can use denatured alcohol injected with a syringe and needle into the joint. give it time to work, will usually work. you may want to mark each joint with masking tape and number them so you can arange the pieces back to their original places. alcohol can cause spots on finish so wipe any that bleeds off. be sure to assemble on a flat surface so your chair won't wobble. I would glue every joint if you can get it apart. Good luck
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post #13 of 31 Old 01-08-2008, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edp View Post
can only offer help in the hope that someone will benefit from putting it to use.

Ed

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post #14 of 31 Old 01-09-2008, 11:10 AM
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original glue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiet. View Post
you can use denatured alcohol injected with a syringe and needle into the joint. give it time to work, will usually work. you may want to mark each joint with masking tape and number them so you can arange the pieces back to their original places. alcohol can cause spots on finish so wipe any that bleeds off. be sure to assemble on a flat surface so your chair won't wobble. I would glue every joint if you can get it apart. Good luck
This is a good suggestion, especially if the original glue was hide glue. It is soluble by alcohol or hot water. A good deal of furniture used to be made with hide glue, so if they're old, you've got an even chance that they were. Even better, when you get the joints apart, the hide glue can be cleaned off instead of sanded or rasped off, resulting in better integrity of the wood.

By the way, many musical instruments are still made with hide glue. I know a violin maker who uses it religiously, after being a violin repair woman for ages. She taught me how to disassemble a violin for major repairs (I repaired and rebuilt an antique which had gotten sat on) and then reassemble it. If not for the hide glue's solubility, it would not have been possible.
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-17-2008, 05:56 PM
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In desolving glue.. I`ve had good results using citric acid in powder form mixed with water... about one teaspoon per two oz. of water. I got this tip from a Bow Maker. Rick
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post #16 of 31 Old 01-20-2008, 06:25 PM
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I just finished a project like that for a friend. Some joints were so worn
They were a very loose fit. I found an epoxy putty that worked wonders, just mix it up and fill the mortise insert the tenon and clamp.
Also gorilla glue will fill a loose fit.
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post #17 of 31 Old 01-20-2008, 08:32 PM
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loose jionts

you can take a maple board and a hand plane set for a fine cut and plane the edge , then glue the shaving around the tendon or on one side of a flat tendon. works very well to tighten up a loose joint. maple shavings stay together better than most other woods. I have a board thats 1x4x24 inchs that I keep just for this reason.

Last edited by jimmiet.; 01-20-2008 at 08:37 PM.
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post #18 of 31 Old 01-20-2008, 08:34 PM
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new word jiont

new word jiont
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post #19 of 31 Old 01-21-2008, 01:47 AM
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re:jimmiet

I agree with jimmiet on that suggestion of his about wrapping loose tenons with a thin shaving of wood. I've done it a few times and it works very well.
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post #20 of 31 Old 09-12-2011, 10:40 AM
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I am also in the process of cleaning up old dining room chairs and appreciate all the advice for gluing them. I almost used Gorilla Glue and am glad I did not. It does expand alot. Also for the wood planing/advice. My mom used to use toothpicks. However, I am more perplexed about how to get a good "clamp" in such awkward places. Can anyone help me with this? I want as tight a joint as possible since I have some squirmy kids.
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