Wood glue, Liquid Nails, or ?

I have two wooden chairs that are coming apart and I want to glue them back together. The rungs/cross-pieces that connect the chair legs together keep coming out, which makes the chairs unstable.
In the past, I have used wood glue (carpenter's glue) to fix other wooden chairs, but that never seems to work very well.
I was just wondering if Liquid Nails, or Contact Cement, or some other type of glue might work better. My reason for wondering about Liquid Nails or Contact Cement is that I think they both remain slightly flexible/elastic while wood glue becomes brittle and seems to crack easily.
Anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what might work best?
Thanks.
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V-Jay wrote:

Lee Valley has something called Chair Doctor Glue that is supposed to be just the ticket:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p0261&cat=1,110
I've not tried it, but my experience with the funny little products that no one but Lee Valley seems to carry has been universally positive.
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Wood glue does not fill gaps, so if you don't have a tight fit, wood glue is pretty useless. Liquid nail does sorta fill gaps, so it might be a better choice; though I have never found it to be very strong unless you have a great deal of surface area.
An epoxy would probably be best.
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Sounds like a job for Gorilla Glue. It's an incredibly strong polyurethane adhesive. It's great for furniture repairs like this because it expands as it dries, filling voids made from earlier repairs.
Tips: dampen one surface with water -- this helps the foaming. Use less glue than you'd think you'd need. Keep an eye on the repair as it dries and clean away any over-foam from the joint. I think you use alcohol for this but I'd have to check the bottle.
And, by all means, wear latex or nitrile gloves with this stuff. It will stain bare skin for days.
Steve Manes Brooklyn, NY http://www.magpie.com/house/bbs
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Steve Manes wrote:

It's absolutely worthless as a filler...the expansion is simply air foam.
If the joint isn't tight, it isn't going to hold.
Need to fix the looseness of the joint first, then reglue.
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The gaps are the problem. I've had good luck with wood glue, but I had to put masking tape on to keep it from running out.
In the end, the spot has tape perminantly glued in the joing. You may also want to try fill in the any gaps with tooth picks, popicle sticks or sawdust/glue mix.
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On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 10:15:10 -0600, Duane Bozarth

Have you ever tried to chip away that "worthless" filler after it's cured? It will take the wood with it. The bonus is that it keeps enough flexibility that the wood can still expand/contract without breaking the joint, which is important with chair stringer repairs.
I learned about Gorilla Glue from a professional stair builder. He uses it for stair repairs. I used it to repair a dozen old chairs a couple of years ago and those repairs are rock solid.
Steve Manes Brooklyn, NY http://www.magpie.com/house/bbs
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Steve Manes wrote:

But it is just that--foam. I predict they won't last indefinitely.
(And, yes, I did try to use it for the purpose of filling the first time I tried it--not satisfactory). IMO, YMMV, $0.02, etc., ...
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Wood glue SHOULD work fine. Clean the post and socket(s) thoroughly. Cut a vertical slot in the tennon and stick a glue-coated wedge part-way in, so that when you shove the crossbar home, it will expand the tennon. With that clamped together, drill a small pilot hole, and pin the entire assembly together with a short wire-nail, or if the leg is thick enough, a countersunk screw. Don't go nuts with the wedge, if it's too big, you risk splitting the leg. Stop tilting back in your wooden chairs.
--Goedjn
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Wood glue needs wood pores that haven't been sealed by stain with binder or glue, AKA fresh clean wood. Agree with wedged tenon concept though downside is you get ONE chance only. Boat builders suggest epoxy with microbaloons although they're not reversible. Second don't tilt back in chairs.

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I used some stuff many years ago that I believe was called "chair-lok". It came in a little squeeze bottle. They claimed that it would swell the wood to make a tight joint. I seem to also remember using some little corrugated metal strips that you put in the hole before you jam in the "plug". The hardest part was doing a good clamping job, since none of the legs on these Windsor style chairs were parallel, nor did the struts meet the legs at right angles.
Now if I could only remember if all that worked worth a damn I'd have some good advice to give you. :) It was a long time ago and those chairs are long gone.
Greg Guarino
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snipped-for-privacy@risky-biz.com wrote:

At least one review/evaluation I've seen indicate initial success but the wood dried out again and shrunk back to original size w/ time--leaving the same problem but w/ a lot more of a mess to try to clean up after...wish I could remember where that was, but FWW and FHB are about the only two publications I've read regularly for 20 years or more, so I'd guess it was one or the other...
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V-Jay wrote:

It's the flexing that's the problem. We're not talking shock-absorbers here, the whole construction must be rigid.
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It's not the glue, but the joint. Try installing a wedge into the tenon. If the end tenon it is not accessible (through the wood), then try a fox wedge. This joint will lock it in place. A properly made chair should not come apart under normal use. There is a product called "chair lock" that you may want to try, although I have not tested this product.
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My understanding is it needs fresh wood not glued before.

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Thanks to everyone for your responses! I never expected to get this many different ideas, and I guess I'll need to decide which ones to try first.
I've never seen or used Gorilla Glue, but I think I might try that first and see what happens. If that doesn't seem to work out, I'll probably try the wedge idea or something similar to make sure the mechanical connection really solid with no gaps first before re-gluing.
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V-Jay wrote:

Wrong choice, imo...biggest problem being if it doesn't work, you've done really screwed up the opportunity to fix it at all easily...
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I had a lot of fun out of fixing a couple of wooden child rocking chair (originally gifted to my two grandchildren about a year before they came apart). I used carpenter's glue, but to strengthen the joint I also added screws (countersunk and shiny) I made a holes opposite where the crosspieces connect and inserted screws through the wood and into the incoming crosspieces. I did this at each place where the chair was weak or had come apart. It took me awhile, but as a layman, I feel great that those chairs have been solid ever since. Today, both children outgrew the chairs, but the chairs are still there and looking good. ;)
I hope this idea helps.
--
Best regards.

PabloSr.
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