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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple really old chairs, one of which has a broken "stretcher".

I'm trying to remove the short part from the one side, so I can put a long screw or brad in for strength after gluing.

I did find and remove a small brad that was helping hold the stretcher, but the thing still won't budge.

The finish is a bit cleaned off from some solvent I tried using to loosen the glue.

Any ideas how to get this piece out without damaging it?

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a heat gun, so I'll give that a shot. Where should I aim it? From the "back" or straight at the broken piece? Also, how hot and how close?

The finish there is already a bit damaged, so I'm more worried about burning the wood.

I definitely want to get it out, then glue, then drill from the hidden and insert a long brad or even sheet metal screw (no taper), before reassembling.

Then I only have to fill the divot where the small brad was buried and repair the finish there before cleaning what is probably a lot of smoke residue off the rest of it and it's twin.

Any suggestions on something that will remove the smoke residue but leave the finish mostly alone? I doubt there's much varnish or shellac there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Aim it at the stuck piece and around the hole. The objective is to head the wood and transfer that to the glue. It should come out easily, you probably won’t need much. One way is a piece of rubber and pliers.

Use a screw not a nail. Trim head screws work good you don’t need to counter sink.

What’s the smoke damage? You could just sand it and refinish. If it’s a Windsor type chair they are usually painted.
"smoke" damage is smoke residue from possibly decades of heavy smokers. That's why the untouched parts above are so black. But I reckon it's a fine line between removing the smoke residue and removing finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First off let me say never use a brad or screw to fix this problem, it doesn't work and ruins the chair. Heat works, also applying vinegar will loosen yellow glue joints. If it was me the best fix is to turn a new spindle but that is not for most. Another option if you can't the tendon out is using a 2 part epoxy, you have a good surface area, apply the epoxy, position the spindle, wrap with wax paper. then I use rubber straps I make from bike inner tubes. Clamping tapered round surfaces is a pain in the butt. Epoxy can set in 5 minutes but I always let it cure for 24 hours. A razor blade will remove any excess epoxy.
The brad, pin or screw I would be using would only be after getting the broken piece out and after gluing the two parts back together. Then I would put something in from the end that would then go back into the hole and therefore be hidden. Like putting a pin in a broken bone, just something for extra strength that wouldn't be visible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Seemingly most of the rest of the connections are loose...except this one and the other end of the cross stretcher.

All 4 legs came out of the seat and the side stretchers are a bit loose, but still have the brads holding them in.

I may do the heat gun idea over the long weekend, just to see if I can get the small piece out.

The long end needs to go a good half inch into the leg if I'm to fix it without removing this piece and it doesn't seem like it wants to go back in easily.
 
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