Oat & Cedar joining to repair chair joint - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-08-2017, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Question Oat & Cedar joining to repair chair joint

Iím totally new to woodworking and my first project is to fix a 2 month old ďsolid woodĒ chair that broke into 3 pieces. It literally split in the leg joint. Iíve chiseled out the broken wood and am planning to use a piece of cedar shingle to fill the hole, add wood glue and use metal bolts to hold the entire thing together. Can I put cedar in the middle of oat this way? Will I cause more instability by using connecting bolts to hold the legs together?
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-08-2017, 05:28 PM
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You would be better off using oak
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-08-2017, 09:39 PM
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Cedar is a very soft wood and I would not recommend using it for this repair.
It took some major abuse to break the original tenon. Since the chair is only two weeks old it must have been dropped or damaged during delivery
A proper repair might be making a double tenon out of Oak. One end of this new tenon would go into the mortise youíve cleaned out and the other end would go into the other piece in a new mortise you cut to accept it. The new double tenon will be made twice as long as the old tenon and secure bot pieces back.
This will be a significant repair and if you donít have the tools you may want to take this to a professional.
I donít like your idea of using hardware to make the repair.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-09-2017, 07:16 AM
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If, during normal use, I had a chair only 2 months old that broke like that, my first concern would be why??? I would be suspicious that if one joint broke then other joints may also be suspect. I would also be looking into what warranties are available.

On the other hand, if the damage was not during normal use then I would go ahead with a repair.

Since you are totally new to woodworking, Do you have any tools. Would you be able to make a floating tenon and the associated mortise?

George
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-09-2017, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
If, during normal use, I had a chair only 2 months old that broke like that, my first concern would be why??? I would be suspicious that if one joint broke then other joints may also be suspect. I would also be looking into what warranties are available.

On the other hand, if the damage was not during normal use then I would go ahead with a repair.

Since you are totally new to woodworking, Do you have any tools. Would you be able to make a floating tenon and the associated mortise?

George
Floating tenon is probably the correct term rather than ďdouble tenonĒ which I used above. But I meant the same thing. Probably the best way to make this repair.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #6 of 22 Old 12-09-2017, 06:46 PM
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I have a funny feeling it was put together with dominoes. In any case cedar shouldn't be used for anything structural. Since the broken wood has been chiseled out you might buy some dominoes and glue them in with two part epoxy. If the joint is around the seat where it doesn't show from the back side it would be helpful to glue some corner blocks to re-enforce the joint.
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-10-2017, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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You would be better off using oak
Thank you
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-10-2017, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Cedar is a very soft wood and I would not recommend using it for this repair.
It took some major abuse to break the original tenon. Since the chair is only two weeks old it must have been dropped or damaged during delivery
A proper repair might be making a double tenon out of Oak. One end of this new tenon would go into the mortise youíve cleaned out and the other end would go into the other piece in a new mortise you cut to accept it. The new double tenon will be made twice as long as the old tenon and secure bot pieces back.
This will be a significant repair and if you donít have the tools you may want to take this to a professional.
I donít like your idea of using hardware to make the repair.
I thought the metal connecting bolts would prevent a thing like this for happening again. I used a hammer and a chisel to get the broken pieces out but I donít have any significant woodworking tools but I figured my amateur repair couldnít really be worse than the current 3 broken pieces 😞
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-10-2017, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
If, during normal use, I had a chair only 2 months old that broke like that, my first concern would be why??? I would be suspicious that if one joint broke then other joints may also be suspect. I would also be looking into what warranties are available.

On the other hand, if the damage was not during normal use then I would go ahead with a repair.

Since you are totally new to woodworking, Do you have any tools. Would you be able to make a floating tenon and the associated mortise?

George
I absolutely asked why when I contacted the seller but only got apologies since I got dumped on the floor when it collapsed (I was kind of perched on the side that didnít collapse). Thatís why I wanted to use the metal brackets and connecting bolts on all the other legs too to prevent a reoccurrence. I purchased it because it was solid wood with no assembly required and it was probably used a total of 5 times before it broke. The UPS delivery person did say that furniture takes a lot of abuse because their sorters werenít really made for them. I think it could drill out the hole to make it deeper on both sides - I bought a bunch of long drill bits for metal, wood and concrete since using the chisel was difficult since the wood was so hard. I will visit a lumberyard this week to see if I can find a piece of scrap oak since I would only need a small piece but what to do about the other legs? Will the metal bracing destabilize them?
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-10-2017, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Floating tenon is probably the correct term rather than ďdouble tenonĒ which I used above. But I meant the same thing. Probably the best way to make this repair.
No idea what a floating tenon is but Iím more than happy to look it up 😊. Iím assuming you mean something like a long dowel that would plug both holes? I think the extra long drill bits I purchased for wood, metal and concrete will be able to do it but the drill is the extent of my power tools.
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-10-2017, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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I have a funny feeling it was put together with dominoes. In any case cedar shouldn't be used for anything structural. Since the broken wood has been chiseled out you might buy some dominoes and glue them in with two part epoxy. If the joint is around the seat where it doesn't show from the back side it would be helpful to glue some corner blocks to re-enforce the joint.
Iím not sure if youíre serious about the dominos but if you are, whoa 😲 🤯 that would be a lot easier than sanding a piece of oat to tightly fit the holes I chiseled out but would they go deep enough to give structural support? The break is right in the leg joint actually so it would definitely show but Iíve spray painted the metal braces so it would look so out of place if I screwed them in. Not far from where it broke they actually have a connecting bolt that runs through the entire 4 inch length of wood that why I was thinking add more connecting bolts like the ones on the non-broken side.
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-10-2017, 06:42 AM
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I’m not sure if you’re serious about the dominos but if you are, whoa �� �� that would be a lot easier than sanding a piece of oat to tightly fit the holes I chiseled out but would they go deep enough to give structural support? The break is right in the leg joint actually so it would definitely show but I’ve spray painted the metal braces so it would look so out of place if I screwed them in. Not far from where it broke they actually have a connecting bolt that runs through the entire 4 inch length of wood that why I was thinking add more connecting bolts like the ones on the non-broken side.
From the pictures it appear the mortise where the domino was is wallowed out quite a bit. Because of this it will be a weaker joint than it was originally. There is a type of epoxy that is a thick paste which would help some with this joint.

If you had the equipment it would be better if the mortise was routed out bigger and a larger domino was used. Personally I think it would be better to cut your losses and get some better made chairs. It's going to be a reoccurring problem and possibly get someone hurt. If you are going to put metal brackets on the chair it would probably be good to put brackets on all of those chairs. It may not help much but might prevent a sudden collapse.
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post #13 of 22 Old 12-10-2017, 01:45 PM
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Iím not sure if youíre serious about the dominos but if you are, whoa 😲 🤯 that would be a lot easier than sanding a piece of oat to tightly fit the holes I chiseled out but would they go deep enough to give structural support? The break is right in the leg joint actually so it would definitely show but Iíve spray painted the metal braces so it would look so out of place if I screwed them in. Not far from where it broke they actually have a connecting bolt that runs through the entire 4 inch length of wood that why I was thinking add more connecting bolts like the ones on the non-broken side.
By this rely I'm not sure you realize what dominos are.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #14 of 22 Old 12-11-2017, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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By this rely I'm not sure you realize what dominos are.
https://youtu.be/m2SLOLpTZJk
Ha hahahahahah. Totally not the kind of dominos I had in mind, but I can see the resemblance. Still, it falls in line with what I was thinking of originally- sanding a piece of wood and plugging the hole. Now it seems I have to drill the holes deeper to support the new dowel/domino (gosh I wish I could just epoxy an actual game domino in there. It feels like to would be so much easier and more stable). Thanks again for letting me know what you guys means by ‘dominos.’

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post #15 of 22 Old 12-11-2017, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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From the pictures it appear the mortise where the domino was is wallowed out quite a bit. Because of this it will be a weaker joint than it was originally. There is a type of epoxy that is a thick paste which would help some with this joint.

If you had the equipment it would be better if the mortise was routed out bigger and a larger domino was used. Personally I think it would be better to cut your losses and get some better made chairs. It's going to be a reoccurring problem and possibly get someone hurt. If you are going to put metal brackets on the chair it would probably be good to put brackets on all of those chairs. It may not help much but might prevent a sudden collapse.
Sigh, yeah Iím afraid I may have discard the chair, but Iíd at least like to try before giving up. I will drill a deeper hole and now that I know the woodworking community calls these types of dowels Ďdominosí (hahaha, still cracks me up), Iíll sand another piece of oak and glue/epoxy that inside, and use the metal braces on the outside. It doesnít sound like you guys recommend using the connecting bolts and I was a bit concerned about the stability o them going through the chair, but I wanted some sort of warning before another collapse even if Iím trying to prevent that collapse altogether and I figured these 4Ē metal connecting bolts would definitely be stronger than the short domino (still thinking game night whenever I say this) that was in there previously.
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-11-2017, 07:30 AM
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Sigh, yeah Iím afraid I may have discard the chair, but Iíd at least like to try before giving up. I will drill a deeper hole and now that I know the woodworking community calls these types of dowels Ďdominosí (hahaha, still cracks me up), Iíll sand another piece of oak and glue/epoxy that inside, and use the metal braces on the outside. It doesnít sound like you guys recommend using the connecting bolts and I was a bit concerned about the stability o them going through the chair, but I wanted some sort of warning before another collapse even if Iím trying to prevent that collapse altogether and I figured these 4Ē metal connecting bolts would definitely be stronger than the short domino (still thinking game night whenever I say this) that was in there previously.
The bolts will weaken the chair but would likely give you warning if the joint was going to come apart again. Anytime you put a hole in wood it's going to weaken it and putting a hole in it for the bolt will do just that. If you could post a picture of chair showing exactly where the joint failure is we may be able to give you some other options.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-12-2017, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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The bolts will weaken the chair but would likely give you warning if the joint was going to come apart again. Anytime you put a hole in wood it's going to weaken it and putting a hole in it for the bolt will do just that. If you could post a picture of chair showing exactly where the joint failure is we may be able to give you some other options.
Now that I've seen that awesome domino maker, I absolutely agree that it would make this a lot easier. I'll look to see if there is a shop nearby that will let me cut some since I can't really purchase a domino maker just for this. If not, it's back to my drill and metal/concrete/wood extra-long drill bits and chisel/hammer combo.

I've posted some new pictures with close-up of the failure point (it's the one that looks really wallowed out - where the back chair leg meets the middle cross bar). When I was drilling out the broken pieces of wood, the other side where the middle connecting bar joints the front chair leg broke (sign) so I had to drill that side out too (that's the part that looks neatly done). The domino impression that's left is really shallow - like 1/4 inch deep and as you can see, not very straight. Also, there is a connecting bolt that runs right beside it so it won't be possible to really go any deeper on the actual chair legs at all. The middle connecting bar (smaller bar in the picture) doesn't have anything else in it so I'll be able to drill deeper through there but now I'm concerned since you reminded me that holes will cause weakness in the chair.

I've never really looked to see how furniture was put together before but the joints holding it together seem really shallow to me. Is there a standard depth for furniture? I'm incredibly interested in fixing this properly.
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-12-2017, 02:13 PM
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Now that I've seen that awesome domino maker, I absolutely agree that it would make this a lot easier. I'll look to see if there is a shop nearby that will let me cut some since I can't really purchase a domino maker just for this. If not, it's back to my drill and metal/concrete/wood extra-long drill bits and chisel/hammer combo.

I've posted some new pictures with close-up of the failure point (it's the one that looks really wallowed out - where the back chair leg meets the middle cross bar). When I was drilling out the broken pieces of wood, the other side where the middle connecting bar joints the front chair leg broke (sign) so I had to drill that side out too (that's the part that looks neatly done). The domino impression that's left is really shallow - like 1/4 inch deep and as you can see, not very straight. Also, there is a connecting bolt that runs right beside it so it won't be possible to really go any deeper on the actual chair legs at all. The middle connecting bar (smaller bar in the picture) doesn't have anything else in it so I'll be able to drill deeper through there but now I'm concerned since you reminded me that holes will cause weakness in the chair.

I've never really looked to see how furniture was put together before but the joints holding it together seem really shallow to me. Is there a standard depth for furniture? I'm incredibly interested in fixing this properly.

This will do about the same thing as a Domino machine, for a lot less, but it is slower, but for one or two repairs you would be in pretty good shape incase it ever happens again


http://www.beadlock.com/
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-12-2017, 02:23 PM
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That isn't the way furniture is normally made. What you have is some of the worst made furniture I've ever seen. It's unimaginable a factory would turn out work like that.

I can't imagine a shop re-mortising those parts for you. Not only would it be more trouble than they could charge you for it they would feel liable for the joint. You could take a hand held electric drill with a brad point drill bit and go deeper with the mortise and then chisel it out square. Then make a homemade domino to fit the mortise. You just have to be careful to keep the hole with square sides.
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-12-2017, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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This will do about the same thing as a Domino machine, for a lot less, but it is slower, but for one or two repairs you would be in pretty good shape incase it ever happens again


http://www.beadlock.com/
Thanks, Iíll look into it :)
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