Wood Rocking Chair-Broken Seat - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-25-2018, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Wood Rocking Chair-Broken Seat

Hello All,

New here and pretty much new to woodworking. A friend of mine broke the seat of his wife's family heirloom rocking chair. My father-in-law, who does cabinetry, self-taught, said that a biscuit joiner would be the best solution. The seat is just under 1 3/4" thick. I'm not sure about biscuits vs. doing maybe cleats on the under side spanning both breaks? Any suggestions? Lost cause?
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-25-2018, 10:01 PM
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jon...gluing is a given. But why don't you try dowels, they are proven stronger than biskets and then add cleats if you're nervous.

Biz

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-25-2018, 10:34 PM
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That is a terrible break and really needs a new seat. Since that probably isn't an option you might drill it out for 1/2" x 4" dowels and glue it back together. As bad as the break is you might take it a step further and screw some metal mending plates to the underside.

You can't expect the seat to go back together exactly smooth. After you get it glued better plan on taking the finish off and refinishing the seat. It appears there might be spots where there is wood missing. If you apply wood putty in layers you can fill the voids with common wood putty. If you just glob on putty it won't dry in the center. Once you get everything filled and sanded you can stain and finish the seat before you put the rocker back together. Go ahead and take as many of the joints in the rest of the rocker apart that will come apart. If you have a stubborn joint leave it. Forcing it will more than likely cause another break. When you have all the parts put the rocker back together with some slow set two part epoxy. Never reglue an old joint with wood glue. Wood glue works only on porous materials and an old joint is sealed with the old glue.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-25-2018, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Glue for sure. I considered dowels as my father-in-law didn't really convince me using biscuits, but I have never attempted them before. It is something I will research. Thank you @BIZNAWICH.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-25-2018, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, it's bad. When he brought it over, it def is worse than the pics. Wood putty was brought up in conversation to fill some of the smaller voids. I mentioned sanding and refinishing, but his wife wants to keep it original. I think at this point it's more of a heirloom conversation piece than something to actually sit in, which is fine I suppose if that's what makes them happy. Two part epoxy eh, I'll take a look. Thank you Steve.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-25-2018, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon147 View Post
Yes, it's bad. When he brought it over, it def is worse than the pics. Wood putty was brought up in conversation to fill some of the smaller voids. I mentioned sanding and refinishing, but his wife wants to keep it original. I think at this point it's more of a heirloom conversation piece than something to actually sit in, which is fine I suppose if that's what makes them happy. Two part epoxy eh, I'll take a look. Thank you Steve.
The break in the seat should be glued with wood glue though. Epoxy is what I recommended to re-assemble the rocker.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-25-2018, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Oh ok, good to know.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-26-2018, 02:29 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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doweling probably won't work

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Originally Posted by jon147 View Post
Glue for sure. I considered dowels as my father-in-law didn't really convince me using biscuits, but I have never attempted them before. It is something I will research. Thank you @BIZNAWICH.
To drill for dowels properly, the surfaces should be flat and smooth so your drill won't wander. Those ragged surfaces will make the drill skip around on the first surface, then it will be difficult to drill the opposite side hole in the corresponding location. I couldn't do it. Dowels are mainly for alignment and not needed for strength. So if they aren't aligned just right it won't work.

If you can get the pieces to mate together properly without glue, then when you brush the glue on it will be easy. You might have to pick off some of the splinters to get them to mate up. Do not try to do the 3 pieces all at once. But do get them to mate properly before going any further, then start your glue up. If the pieces mate and don't slip around under clamping pressure, then you could possibly glue up all the pieces at the same time.... I donno?

Clamping those rounded pieces will require at least 2 high quality clamps that won't slip off, like Bessy's with rubber pads. Make sure you visualize where the clamps go in the dry fit before putting the glue on. A ratchet strap may also work. Glue will be fine if there are no cracks down previously glues lines. If so, then epoxy will be needed. New glue doesn't stick to old glue. Glue is also as strong as the original wood if properly applied and clamped.

This would be a challenge for even a seasoned woodworker, so if you get stuck as for help OR send it out to someone in the furniture repair business.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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