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where's my table saw?
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The right way to fix that is remove the tenon. Use a heat gun to loosen up the glue. Careful not to hold it too close or too long or it will damage the finish. If it’s over 75 years old good chance it’s hide glue.

If the tenon is stuck that’s a good indicator it’s well built.

Orient the grain in the stretcher vertically for maximum strength against a foot..
The part that broke is called a spindle, or stretcher. The end may be called a tenon.
This is the right way to do it. Use a heat gun to soften the hide glue. Wrap the short piece with several layers of blue tape and use a channel lock pliers to rotate it slightly when the glue is soft. Then it will pull right out, some wiggling required!
That break is clean enough to glue back together. The issue will be how to clamp it because it's round.
Take a 1 /12" square block 3" long or so, and drill a 1/2" hole down the center. Then saw it down the length and through the hole. Now you have a flat surface to clamp against. OR you can wrap it with electrical tape, because it will stretch as you tighten it around the break.
Sprinkle a small amount of salt in with the glue to keep the joint from sliding around when you apply clamping pressure.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Apply the heat gradually and start trying to wiggle the piece at the same time. You will tell when it becomes loose. Keep it about 5" away as it can get very hot. I would try the lower heat setting at first. There are "burn in" wax colors that you can use to fill the divot. stain won't work with most wood putties.

Use some 0000 steel wool to remove any loose finish and it will blend what's there.
 

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where's my table saw?
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29,970 Posts
This video will help in taking the chair stretcher apart:
 

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where's my table saw?
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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.
Agreed!
The video I posted show how difficult it is to remove a nail. Don't do it unless you will never see the chair again or need to repair it. He had to destroy the stretchers to get the nails out. Then he had to turn new ones, PITA!
They will NOT add any strength, just make it impossible to take apart with some destruction.
A small dowel glued into the hole, and sanded flush before you assemble the tenon would be my suggestion.
 
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