It's pretty dry down here in Arizona.
Ever since we've moved here,
rungs have been popping out of the sockets
in my kitchen chairs.
I use ELMERS woodworking glue,
and clamp the pieces when done....
Still... another one pops out every month.
Is there a better glue I should be using ?
I've always had good luck using Gorrilla Glue on those joints.
Just keep wiping off any excess that oozes out while it's curing. Easier
to do that when it's wet than having to carve it off when dry.
If the ones you are reapiring are the ones that are popping out, then
you may not be getting glue to wood contact. This can occur for 2
1 - Either there is a lot of glue left on the rung and/or in the hole
(wood glue won't adhere very well to old glue) or
2 - The rung has shrunk so much that it isn't making good contact with
the other surface. Elmer's woodworker is not made to fill gaps.
1 - Sand both the dowel end of the rung and the inside of the hole
down to bare wood.
2 - Use a thin kerf saw and cut a groove in the dowel end of the rung.
3 - Insert a shim in the groove to expand the dowel end enough to get
a snug fit.
4 - Apply glue, reassemble and clamp lightly.
Or, you could use a gap filling glue or epoxy.
Or if you'll like to get fancy, try this variation:
Make the shim wedge-shaped, so that if you were to fully drive it into
the groove, the dowel end would be a little bigger than a snug fit.
Then put the wedge in the mortise (hole) and start inserting the tenon
(dowel), with the groove in the tenon lined up with the wedge. As you
get close to bottoming out the tenon in the mortise, the wedge will
expand the tenon to fit tightly against the mortise.
You'll have to use a mallet or clamp to get the tenon to fully seat.
Just be sure not to make the wedge so big that you split the piece of
wood with the mortise. Also, you should arrange the wedge so that it
is perpendicular to the grain of the mortised piece, to reduce
I believe this technique is called "fox wedging".
re: Make the shim wedge-shaped
I guess I should have been more specific... when I think shim, I think
wedge shaped. I'm not sure how you could expand a a dowel end without
damaging it with flat piece of stock.
If the joints you're gluing are what's coming apart, it's
probably because you didn't clean the rungs or holes well
enough. Glue-to-glue adhesion may not work very well - you
want bare wood.
Lee Valley sells a glue called "chair doctor". While I've not
used it, it should work fairly well because it's designed
specifically for this. It's a somewhat thinned wood glue
with a syringe cap. You don't have to take the joint
apart... Stick the needle in the gap, and squirt.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
Titebond and Elmer's woodworking glues are the standard glues for wood
and very good brands. The wood must be clean and free from finish
and old glue for the joint to bond well. Use a web clamp and allow
the glue to fully cure, undisturbed, for 2 days before use. You
might consider a "fox joint" on the end of a rung which swells and the
rung is driven into the mortise. More often, chairs are mass-produced
and not made properly. Very dry weather can make dowels shrink; high
humidity is equally bad.
It has been about 12 years ago, but when I moved into my current home I
had several chairs (purchased in the 1920's, that were a little loose. I
bought a product at my local hardware store intended for that use. I
followed the instructions totally and I have not had one of the loosen up
yet. The key I believe is in the prep work. Remove all the existing glue
(without removing any wood, and use a product designed for the job. Not
just any great wood glue will work on this job, you need the proper one. It
is not just strength that is needed.
My answer on my chairs. Pop the rung out. From the inside of the hole, drill
through with a 1/8 inch bit. Glue, and put back together. Drill in through
the hole you made, drill into the end of the rung. Thread in a drywall
screw. That assists the glue to help keep things together.
Gross, yeah. But the only people who notice are obsessive compulsive
carpenters, and drunks laying on the floor.
Christopher A. Young
"<RJ>" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
After reading many of the replies, I would like to suggest that this is
a special problem. Using the "strongest" glues is not a fix all solution.
The grain direction, shrinking and swelling etc of the joint calls for a
flexible glue and that is often not the "strongest" glue. That is why I
suggest looking for a product designed for this type of joint and not just
choosing an otherwise great glue for this job.
Dia 's Muire duit
re: Discussion subject changed to "GLUEING CHAIR RUNGS Special note"
by Joseph Meehan
Just curious as to why you feel this response is "special" enough to
warrant a change in the subject line. While there is certainly nothing
wrong with it, it doesn't appear any more special than the other
responses in this thread.
I changed the heading because I believe my response was a response to
many of the responses and not a response to the original question. Also I
did not want to respond to all those responses specifying one or another
kind of adhesives.
I would like to that this opportunity to say that most of those
responses I replied to offered suggestions that should work and should last
for a long time. I would still suggest that while their suggested materials
may be sufficient much of the time, the use of the "right" material should
work longer and under more conditions.
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