Newbie question: re-gluing antique chair
Hello, I am new on this forum. I have very little experience with woodworking, but I've always been tinkering with different projects. The most advanced thing I ever built was a finger-jointed paintbox, - so, pretty much a total newbie.
I wonder if I could get some advice from the pros. I am restoring what appears to be an early 20th century Johnson Co. chair that I found in the trash. I thought I would just refinish it and tighten a couple of screws and it would be all great again, but as I was stripping and sending it, I discovered that a lot of the glue joints were loose. I knocked off some parts of the chair, but now I realize that I probably should disassemble it almost completely and re-glue the whole thing. My question is - should I glue the rails to the seat, or just attach it with the screws? The seat is a solid oak board, and the rails are attached with 8 screws and wooden corner brackets. I am not sure if the rails were originally glued to the seat. Would the chair just fall apart because of dimensional/seasonal changes if I glue the front and rear rails to the seat (across the grain)? Please see the pic below - It shows the detached front rail and leg. Would it be better to glue down just the side rails, which go along the grain of the seat, and leave the front and back rails attached only with the screws? Also, should I use animal hide glue to match the original, or clean up all the dowels and use yellow wood glue? I'd greatly appreciate any advice. Thank you so much, mike