Greetings, amigos y amigas
Well, we had a lively dinner party last week!
One of the chairs collapsed under a BIG guy.
Fortunately nobody hurt, and chair seems to be
Now I need to know how to extract the broken-off
pieces of dowel from their holes, so I can repair
chair with new dowels.
Also, is "ordinary" wood glue sufficient to glue
in the replacement dowels, or do I need to
get something special.
Thanks for your help!
Recommend rec.woodworking for actual answers, but in the interim- (and IMHO,
of course), if this is a nice or heirloom chair, I'd take it to a furniture
repair place for an estimate, if your town has one. If I wasn't an expert
woodworker (and I'm not), I'd only try DIY on a chair that I could live
without, or live with it turning out ugly. Busted-off dowel stubs usually
have to be drilled out. The dowels usually aren't separate, they are usually
the actual ends of the legs, spindles, cross pieces, etc. Only usual
exception is if all those items are square-section. Second problem- the
holes in seat board, legs, etc, are often not 90-degree angles. Almost
impossible to free-hand drill out successfully, leaving a nice tight hole
for the new dowel. If the dowel is actually the end of the leg or spindle,
grafting a new dowel in there is often impossible. Sometimes it can be faked
by gluing the broken ends, and adding a countersunk and puttied screw
through the center, from the far end. Often, you have to actually recreate
the broken part. This is artisan-level work to make it come out strong and
pretty, and expect to pay accordingly. If you can match the chair style at a
new or used furniture place, that will probably be cheaper.
So, unless you already have a tilt-table drill press, strap clamps,
mortising bits, etc, and a lot of patience, the odds of a successful DIY
repair are less than encouraging. As to glue, I'd recommend Gorilla Glue.
One exception to the above - if the dowel is not blind, that is, if the
end of the dowel shows through the piece that it is inserted into when
the chair is assembled, you have a pretty good shot at making it work.
Just cut it off flush, and knock out the broken stub, and you'll be good
Second possibility - the dowels *are* separate and not part of one of
the pieces being joined. I'd suggest getting a slide hammer and driving
a small wood screw into the broken dowel(s) and trying to extract them
that way, possibly requiring some hand work with a drill bit to clean up
the holes afterwards.
Otherwise, I concur with the above summary. It's possible to DIY but
(and I really hate when people do this to me, but it's true) if you are
asking for advice, you're probably better off taking it somewhere.
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
If what you are calling "dowels" are the cylindrical sections at the
ends of legs or crosspieces and they are at least 5/8" in diameter you
might consider doing this:
Drill centered 5/16" diameter holes in the mating broken ends and splint
them together by epoxying suitable lengths of 5/16x18 threaded steel rod
into those holes. Put some epoxy on the broken wood ends too.
Draw the broken ends tightly together with clamps or a tourniquet while
the epoxy cures.
It's worked for me more than once.
Beware that the three foot dowels sold at HD and Lowes are cut
on a shaper with a half-round cutter and will, without exception,
be undersized and elliptical in section and will not glue reliably.
Dowels made 20, 30 years ago would have been cut with a
rotary mill similar in function to a pencil sharpener, and would
have been dead round and within a few thou of specified diameter.
The bagged, 2" dowels with the spiral glue channels will be okay.
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