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I have 4 chairs, as pictured in the attached photo, which need new rush seats. I bought the fiber rush, and I've watched videos on Youtube & elsewhere on the seat weaving process, so I think I'm ready to go. Sort of maybe.

EVERY joint in these chairs is loose; I believe that the only thing holding them together is their existing seats. I expect that they will easily come apart (fall apart?) after I cut off the existing rush seats.

Any suggestions of what to use to get rid of any factory glue residue in the joints? I expect that the tenons that go into the vertical legs have been somewhat squeezed down in size from 30+ years of leaning back & forth on them, etc. I read somewhere that dipping the tenons into hot/boiling water for a few seconds will cause the wood fibers to decompress & swell up to something close to their original size. If I in fact do this, I'm wondering if scrubbing the ends with a stiff nylon brush after dipping them will get rid of any glue residue.

Following the above, any thoughts on an appropriate glue to use when reassembling them? I've mostly used Titebond I for my various woodworking projects, but I'm wondering if there may be something newer/better for this application.

The Gorilla glue that sort of foams up seems to be pretty strong, but I'd rather not have to clean up the foamed-up squeeze out, as I'm not planning to refinish the chairs unless absolutely necessary.

I'd appreciate hearing suggestions from anyone with related experience.

Thanks!
 

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I have used gorilla glue before but truthfully I don't thing it's as strong as titebond. I would think the titebond would be a better choice. I hope you have someone to help you when you go to weave the seat. My father and I have done it and its very helpful to have an extra hand. Just plan your knots on the bottom in such a way to best hide them. Good luck, it's fun once you get rolling on it.
 

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I would cut the rush off and reglue the chairs. You might unweave one of the chairs to see how it was done before. After you take the chairs apart the old glue has sealed the wood so I wouldn't be to concerned with it. Just scrape enough off that the parts easily re-assemble. Sometimes I drill the holes out again especially if the chair has been re-glued before and there is an excessive amount of glue there. Then re-assemble them with a slow drying two part epoxy. It gets time consuming assembling a chair and if you use a 5 minute epoxy the glue starts setting up before you get the clamps on. I wouldn't soak the tenons with water. It may make a tighter fit innitially but the wood will shrink and then you have a gap. It's better to fill the void with the glue. I wouldn't use titebond glue. If it was new wood that would be great but the wood needs to be porous for that type glue to be effective.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I can't help with the seats

But I do have some advice on the reglue. Steve suggested 2 part epoxy which is good. My suggestion is to make 2 separate frames, the front and the back and let them set up. Then assemble the side rails and bring them together with strap clamps or padded squeeze clamps. A helper would be great if they follow directions exactly and you work well together. Some *&^*%$ is allowed. :laughing:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f9/what-chairs-these-39917/

Here's a project that I did where the each piece of the chair was sanded and cleaned off. I used the non-foaming Gorilla glue and it stains easily, so wipe it off immediately. Epoxy will work better when you can't get it back to bare wood and there are exceptionally large gaps and loose joints.
 

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Going along with what Bill suggested.

When you re-glue the chair, clamp the chair to a flat surface. Something as simple as a bag of play sand on the seat for an hour or two will be enough with the chair sitting on a flat surface.

When I repaired a chair for a neighbor, I used TB-III. Woodcraft sells a glue applicator that looks like a small concertina with a needle. The needle is an exact imperial drill bit size. (5/64 I think) I just drilled a small access hole into the joint and filled the spaces with TB-III using the concertina. The neighbor put a bunch of books on the seat and let the glue cure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll see what the joints are like when I disassemble them & then decide on Titebond vs. epoxy.

I like woodnthings' idea of just gluing the fronts & backs together first, then adding the side rails/rungs later. I probably would have dived right in & had glue all over everything, trying to hold everything together & get clamps in place. I'm thinking I'll glue the fronts & backs, with the side rails in place dry to hold everything in alignment, with a weight on a flat surface as rrich suggested.

BTW, I love those oak chairs in the link you referenced, woodnthings. Beautiful job! :thumbsup:
 

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You will have to assess each chair individually once you remove the seats. Some may have every joint loose, others only a few. Any loose joint will require the parts being completely free, this can mean disassembling good joints just to get something apart. Taking your time with a heat gun, so you don't burn or bubble the existing finish can help. Heat can also be used to make old glue left in the mortices soft. Some left won't bother.

I'm using two part epoxy these days. It's one of the only choices with gap filling properties. It shouldn't be used alone like a glue. You need to mix some fiber in it to give it body. Very fine sawdust seems to work and there are also micro beads. Mix it into a paste.

With chairs, you want all four feet to touch down, the back straight with the front legs and the back at the proper back tilt. If you glue it up in sections, you have to be careful that they are square, in line and not twisted. There will likely be enough give in the joints that slight twists may be possible. it's usually better to do a dry run, have your clamps set up and then do all the lower parts at one time. You can do the backs before as a separate unit but keep it square.

Standard wood glues, like Titebond, require a good fit and clamp pressure. You can't get that with those chairs. Water based glues can also cause slight swelling. That can make the joint more difficult to assemble and can shrink later. The epoxy will give you plenty of assembly time. The existing finish on the chairs will be slippery and help to wipe up squeeze out. do that immediately and keep going back to check. You want the joints filled completely, plunge in, twist, pull out, repeat and make sure there is full coverage.

It helps to have a large enough, solid, flat surface to assemble the chairs on while gluing up, four feet in contact and the ability to clamp down to it. Make sure the seat area is square by taking diagonal measurements. You can use a rope tourniquet from corner to corner to pull into square. Nylon strap clamps can pull around all the legs at once, worth buying a couple with the plastic corners. Leave the clamps on for 24 hrs. It can take any type of clamp you can get in place if things are very tight but after, the strap clamps will hold well enough.
 

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+1 with gluing the chair together in one shot. I even set the chair on the cast iron top of my table saw to check it for level while the chair is clamped. Occasionally I will have to set a piece of plywood on the seat and put a cinder block on it to make it dry level.

I don't believe in using wood glues for a reglue. At one time I did it and had customers bringing chairs back in six months coming apart again. Since I started using the epoxy the returns quit.
 
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