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Furniture repair - Loose chair joints

Repair it with Mr. Grip Furniture Repair KitRepair it with Mr. Grip Furniture Repair Kit
Repair loose rungs on chairs or restore worn screw holes, etc ...

Repair it with Mr. Grip Furniture Repair Kit

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Loose chair rung joints

It's always a bit disconcerting to sit on a chair that does a hootchy kootchy underneath you due to loose chair rung joints. It does bad things to your nervous system if you start hearing cracking sounds when you push the chair away from the table. That's a good signal that it's time to start repairing some chair joints.

Repair loose chair joints

Furniture repair is pretty easy to do once you've done a little bit of it and what better place to start than loose chair repair?

By the time you've accomplished repair of loose rungs in a dining room chair four, six or eight times depending on how many dining room chairs you have with loose joints you'll be a pretty well seasoned chair repair person.

Elmers Carpenters Wood Glue

We always used Elmers Carpenters Wood Glue. The yellow glue will generally make a stronger bond than the wood around it.

Titebond Glue

Titebond glue is another brand of yellow carpenters wood glue that works real well.

Several more types of glue

Then to make sure you have a freedom of choice you can find several more types of glue, some will work well and others can make matters worse.

The joint should be as solid and as much wood to wood as possible, with a light coating of glue, so you shouldn't use a glue that's flexible or that is gap filling.

Don't use a glue gun

Don't use glue gun glue, it's flexible and fills gaps, so if you get some at the end of the rung or tenon it won't permit the joint to go completely together and the joint will never be solid, because of the flexibility of the glue.

Clean old glue out of joints

When you separate the joints, clean as much old glue out as you can, being very careful not to remove any wood. Many glues will crystalize as it gets older, but will soften with hot water as described in a couple of paragraphs farther down. If wood is removed from the hole it will become larger, or if wood is removed from the rung or tenon it will make it smaller and cause the joint to be more loose.

Scooting chairs makes joints loose

Scooting chairs make the joints loosen, especially on carpeting. Each time a chair is scooted the cells of the wood in the joint are compressed a little and it doesn't take long for the wood cells to be quite compressed. If the end of a rung is shiny, it's generally due to compression.

Looking at the cells of wood from the end looks like a honey comb or a cross section of corrugated cardboard from a cardboard box, except they aren't as neatly consistent as bees or a cardboard making machine will make the cells.

Use boiling water to swell the cells

One nice thing about wood is that even if cells have been compressed for a hundred years they can be expanded to nearly their normal state.

Use boiling water to swell the cells. When you open the joints up pour boiling water in the hole and put the rung ends or tenons on end in a pan of boiling hot water, just enough to cover the raw wood ends, but not on the finished portion of the wood.

You may have to make several applications of boiling water, but the cells of the wood which haven't been broken open should pop back out to their normal position.

Let the wood dry completely and it should have swelled enough for a tight fit and with new glue should last quite a while before you have to repair again.

Assemble a chair

See assemble a chair for some valuable information about re-assembling your chair with freshly prepared joints and you'll have a completed chair repair.
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