Fixing Wooden Chairs

by Bill Tackle
(Arizona )


Fixing wooden chairs tips and information that handymen and women can follow. Besides scratches, stains, and the like, wooden furniture is subject to a variety of maladies that have to do with the structure of the particular piece. Following are some of the things that can go wrong and how to cure them. Loose Chair Rung All parts of chairs are susceptible to loosening, but it seems especially true of rungs.


The problem usually occurs in the winter. The low humidity (little moisture in the air), combined with house heat, evaporates the moisture in wood fibers, and the wood shrinks. In the case of rungs, which are usually secured in their sockets with glue, the ends shrink and vibrations from using the chair ultimately breaks the glue seal.

Hence, a loose rung. It's always easier to fix the rung if you can remove its end from the socket. Sometimes there's enough "play" —looseness—to do this. But don't try and remove it if it's in pretty tight.

In the process you could loosen other parts. If you can get the rung out, follow this procedure. Using a small knife, scrape away all old glue—from the rung and inside the socket—down to clean, bare wood. Apply a coat of white glue to the rung and the socket; a cotton swab is handy here. White glue is available at hardware stores. Two brands are Elmer's and U.S. Ply-wood's White Glue. Immediately after applying the glue, stick the rung back into its socket. Make a cord tourniquet, as shown in the photo.

Wrap a length of clothes line around the chair. Tie a knot, then slip a stick under the cord and turn the stick so the cord winds up and acts like a tourniquet, pulling the rung and the part it fits into tightly together. Then tie or position the stick on the chair so the cord doesn't unwind. Check around the socket for forced-out glue and wipe it off with a rag. Let the glue dry overnight, then take the cord off. That's it when fixing wooden chairs

If there was a real gap around the rung—say an eighth of an inch—glue alone probably won't work. So do this. Clean off all old glue as before. Apply fresh white glue to the rung end, then tightly wind string around it. Coat the socket with glue, then force the end into place. Make a cord tourniquet as before and then, with a single-edge razor blade, trim off any string sticking out of the socket. Let dry. Of course, it is highly likely that you won't be able to get the rung out without making other chair parts loose. If you can't, then you'll have to try to make the repair.

with the rung in place. Position the chair so the socket is down, then use a product like Grip-Wood (at hard-ware stores for around $1.70 for 2-ounce size) to do the job. Stick the nozzle into the socket and extrude the product. It should seep down and get into the socket as deeply as possible. The best way to make the repair is to wait until the parts come apart naturally, then glue them back together again. When this occurs you have the opportunity to clean the parts thoroughly to give the adhesive a real chance of working.Thanks for reading this page on
fixing wooden chairs.

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