Old aching joints, wood that is. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-19-2019, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Old aching joints, wood that is.

In another thread concerning finishes it came up to remove old glue from joints during repair. This brought me to the question is there a good method to remove old glue? Dremel, chisel, chemicals? I have an old hall tree that needs some work. I have not torn it down but suspect mortise and tenon or dowels.

Hope this is the correct forum. Please move if not!

Sam
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-19-2019, 10:14 PM
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For many years, my home was furnished in Dead Grandmother.


The dining room chairs had to be slapped together every time before you sat down.
I found bags of dowel pegs (birch? beech?) and a drill bit to match.

Many of the original dowel pegs pulled out with some persuasion.
Drilled out all the old glue in slightly oversize holes.
One chair at a time (clamp-challenged), I put all 6 of them back together.


I don't know for certain what else you could do.
Maybe clean the bulk of the old glue off the joints with skew chisels.
Hand twist a drill bit to clean the holes?


New glue against old glue is a recipe for failure.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-19-2019, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samandothers View Post
In another thread concerning finishes it came up to remove old glue from joints during repair. This brought me to the question is there a good method to remove old glue? Dremel, chisel, chemicals? I have an old hall tree that needs some work. I have not torn it down but suspect mortise and tenon or dowels.

Hope this is the correct forum. Please move if not!
Once you get the joint apart just use a sharp chisel and scrape off as much of the old glue as you can. All that is important is the parts slide together easily. Wood glue will not work on a reglue. Wood glue works by soaking into the pores of the wood and turn to plastic. Since the wood is sealed with the old glue it can't. You need to use a two part epoxy for a reglue. If there is a lot of parts that need to go together at the same time better locate some slow set epoxy. Most epoxy made today sets up in about five minutes. That is usually too fast to put something together and put clamps on it and wipe off the excess glue.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-20-2019, 10:33 AM
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I have done literally hundreds and possibly thousands of chair repairs. The best and fastest clamps I have ever used is surgical tubing. You can usually get it at a medical supply house. Normally, you wont even have to tie knots, just run it under itself is all you need. It comes in various sizes on a roll. Usually 3/8" and 1/2" diameter will work for most if not all jobs. The down side is the price. Usually I cut the tubing to the size I need at the time. Only use one knot at the starting end and finish that 'clamp' by running through knot and then wrap around it self to hold in place. Keep in mind that surgical tubing, once knotted, is very difficult if not impossible to undo. Each piece will probably last a few dozen times. What kills the lifespan of surgical tubing is getting glue on it. The glue dries hard and if not wiped off with a lot of water immediately, the hard spots will cut into the soft tubing.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-21-2019, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.

I have not used an epoxy other than the type you mix to coat a top with. I assume there is a different epoxy for gluing.

I like the idea of the rubber tubing.

Was looking for the silver bullet. Seems it is disassemble. Clean the joints via drilling, chisel, rasp etc and use a good epoxy glue. Then strap/clamp.

Sam
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-21-2019, 12:52 AM
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Just a repair...or do you want an actual restoration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samandothers View Post
...Was looking for the silver bullet. Seems it is disassemble. Clean the joints via drilling, chisel, rasp etc and use a good epoxy glue. Then strap/clamp.
Hello Sam,

To validate, a "proper" epoxy (they are far from all being the same!), will hold furniture together like few other glues. If the correct type and form of epoxy is selected, it is actually considered a true structural adhesive...but not all epoxies are thus, especially over old glues that have saturated the wood...

If...only repairing the furniture...is the goal (and not actual restoration) than select a good epoxy that can work over old adhesives and also fill voids to a certain degree. This will give the furniture its final joint repair (most likely) as the wood will fail before the glue joint will ever again...

The last part of that is why it is utterly out of context for Historic Restoration practitioners to use modern adhesives on vintage furniture of any kind. I can expand on this...(if interested)...and your goal is more than just making the furniture functional again. If so, what is the circa date of the piece, and what kind of glue do you believe it is? Can you post pictures of the damaged joint?

Good Luck...

Tosa Tomo Designs
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-21-2019, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Jay
Thanks for the info. I will need to do some investigation of epoxy glues. I am just after the repair of this piece. The piece is in good shape with the exception of loose joints. It is tall and slender. With people hanging coats on it or hats it can be top heavy and thus over time the joints have loosened.

Sam
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-21-2019, 04:02 PM
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For typical wood furniture repairs, normally the epoxy is simply labeled as a 2 part adhesive epoxy. There is a Part A and a Part B.
They should be mixed as closely as possible to the directions. Most of the typical epoxies are a 50/50 mix. They also come in a liquid or paste. I use the paste almost exclusively in repair work. Mix it in small amounts or actually in the amount that you will be using within the next few minutes or so. Once it starts to thicken, throw that mixture away.
I believe that either home depot or lowes sells that paste type. Comes usually in 2 small tubs.
I use pop sticks to mix and usually mix on a scrap piece of plastic laminate. If no laminate, you can mix it on paper. cardboard is too absorbent. I usually apply with those cheap metal acid brushes ( buy them by the dozen or the 100 in Harbor freight. When done throw away the pop stick and the brush. Each batch needs to start with new mixer and brush. If you use the laminate for mixing, Just scrape the stuff of and quicky wipe with alcohol - either methanol or rubbing alcohol.
Epoxy will not take stain so you will just mix a little sawdust in it _ after the A & B are mixed. That will make it anywhere from a medium brown to a dark brown. Will look like the natural shadow you see in any joint.
Clean up is with alcohol. Once you use epoxy once, you will find many more uses for it.

If you get some just let me know and I will step you through it. Easy to work with.

Tony B



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post #9 of 9 Old 01-21-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Tony B

Thanks for your detailed explanation of 'user' practices, this is great. Seems fairly straight forward to procure and use. I will use this when I get into the project.

As I read this I remembered I have some 2 part epoxy adhesive in a caulking gun tub. I purchased it to adhere a vessel sink to an old washstand. I am using a two part epoxy to level the top of the vanity as it has a cup to it. The adhesive will then be applied to the bottom of the sink to adhere it to the top. If I have some of it left over I could use it. The tube came with two screw on mixing tube/applicators.

Sam
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