I have been asked to re-glue a dowel pin (~3/4" diameter) on an old
(~100 year) oak chair (part of a dining room table set). The dowel pin
extends out of the lower support arm which connects a back leg to a
front leg (both on the same side).
When I say "less than snug", I mean that the dowel comes in and out of
the hole with no resistance. It doesn't really "wiggle" in the hole,
but it is certainly not a snug fit.
I was originally considering a regular wood glue, but given the lack of
a snug fit, I an reconsidering that.
What adhesive would you recommend?
Rather than suggesting a particular adhesive, I'd recommend an alternative:
Glue a layer of Kraft (shopping bag) paper around the dowel. First saturate
the paper with glue, wrap it around the dowel and let it dry. If it fits w
ell, glue the dowel into the hole. If it's too large, lightly sand the pin
until it fits, and then glue it. Use the same glue. Titebond III would be a
On 4/5/16 9:43 AM, email@example.com wrote:
If you saturate the paper, that means you end up with dried glue on the
outer surface of the dowel. I've never been able to glue cured glued to
anything. The dowel may stay in the hole better than it does, now, but
I doubt it will be glued in there.
I think that is a valid technique only if the glue *doesn't* saturate
the paper in the first step of the process.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
I'd first as the other respondent says, work to fixup the fit; but
before specific repair I'd ask if these have any value as "real"
antiques or are they "simply furniture"?
If the former it's important as to potential value to not do anything
Can you tell what might have been the glue type used from remnants?
Also is the leg into which the dowel fits also oak and what shape is the
wood in--that is, is it clean-enough that it will take glue or is there
old glue or previous "repair" damage as well?
First carefully remove ALL the old glue from both the dowel and the
hole. then see if you can wiggle the dowel. If you can, glue thin veneer
around it, and if necessary sand for a snug fit, then use wood glue
(titebond, etc) to secure it in the hole. If it still doesn't wiggle,
try wrapping the dowel with paper (from your printer) until it is snug.
Then glue paper to dowel then glue dowel into hole
It was a fairly common practice back in the day to expand a peg or dowel
by inserting a nail or wedge into the end of the peg/dowel. Think of
an older hammer.
Google "dowel wedge" and look at the images.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
A slightly different approach
Could you use one of the expanding glues like Gorilla glue?
I like Gorilla Glue but do not use it as most of my gluing is in
biscuits in picture frames. Maybe an irrational fear but I am concern
that it would spit the when it expanded in the slot.
Would your dowel be a candidate for something like Gorilla Glue?
On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 11:54:54 AM UTC-4, keith firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
There is no strength in the foam that Gorilla glue produces. It's almost
like a Styrofoam peanut. You can easily squeeze it with your fingers.
It will fill a gap, but it's purely cosmetic, if it can even be called that.
On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 12:57:46 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:
I remember when Gorilla Glue debuted, and it was huge. I was told by their
rep I would never need another general adhesive, and I could get rid of my
PL400, my carpenter's glue, and even some of my masonry glue that I use. M
an was I excited.
Then reports came back from guys I trust that the glue simply didn't hold.
Sometimes not at all. Guys in the woodturning club told me about failures
. The reps came back down and told us we needed to "wet" the surfaces with
water before applying the glue.
I never used it because I can't warrant a repair that is going to fall apar
t, and I gave away all but one of my sample bottles to others. They didn't
get satisfactory bonding, either.
My tool supplier and hardware guy at the time described it best: "It doesn'
t hold when it is supposed to, and does when you want it to."
They reduced their shelf space to one row of no more than six small bottles
for the weekend warriors, and put the rest of the stuff we all used back o
ut for sale.
FWIW, when I have extensive wood repair of badly damaged parts and pieces,
I almost always use a good one hour epoxy that I buy at a local hobby store
. At the hobby store, it is inexpensive and haven't had a failure yet. If
you have a day or two to let it set while you do other things, you can sand
it smooth and do some light shaping as well.
That last is good advice for most polyurethanes. The one-part
polyurethanes are generally moisture-cure and if the surfaces are too
dry it won't cure, at least not quickly. You don't have to soak the
surface, but dampen it a little.
On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 3:32:28 AM UTC-7, J. Clarke wrote:
...we needed to "wet" the surfaces with water before applying the glue.
It's not strictly water, it's anything hydroxyl (so, alcohol or ammonia would
do the same thing). I generally spread the glue on both surfaces,
to be sure it wets the wood, then spritz with a plant mister before assembly.
With large enough glue area, it's a good bond; use it when large surfaces
are available, but not completely smooth and flat. The void-filling
feature isn't going to save an undersize tenon, try one of the 'liquid nails'
adhesives if you want strength and fill.
to get things completely straight and flat, than
On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 2:16:27 AM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
r rep I would never need another general adhesive, and I could get rid of m
y PL400, my carpenter's glue, and even some of my masonry glue that I use.
Man was I excited.
. Sometimes not at all. Guys in the woodturning club told me about failur
es. The reps came back down and told us we needed to "wet" the surfaces wi
th water before applying the glue.
I don't know what instructions were on the bottles back then, but the wetti
ng of the surfaces
is clearly mentioned on the bottles these days.
"Lightly dampen bonding surfaces with water."
I'm not propping the stuff up, just saying that maybe the guys didn't RTFM.
art, and I gave away all but one of my sample bottles to others. They didn
't get satisfactory bonding, either.
n't hold when it is supposed to, and does when you want it to."
es for the weekend warriors, and put the rest of the stuff we all used back
out for sale.
, I almost always use a good one hour epoxy that I buy at a local hobby sto
re. At the hobby store, it is inexpensive and haven't had a failure yet. I
f you have a day or two to let it set while you do other things, you can sa
nd it smooth and do some light shaping as well.
I'd be inclined to use a blind wedge... i.e., cut a slit in the end of the
tenon, insert a thin wedge of a length appropriate to fully seat when the
tenon is driven into the mortise... See the Blind Mortise section of
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Wedged_joint for a visual of how
this would work. Note that it is important to orient the slit/wedge so as to
not split the mortise, e.g., orient across the grain of the mortise not with
it. Remove all the old glue possible from the tenon and mortise before
starting so you can judge how much of a wedge is needed and yield a good
glue joint... Keep in mind that it would not take much of a wedge to tighten
up the tenon... standard wood glue would suffice. Note too that this is a
one shot deal so maybe practice on some scrap first!
The blind wedge with yellow glue or epoxy would work well; trouble is, it
can be tricky to get the slot in the dowel and the wedge "just right" so
that the dowel can be inserted fully but expanded by the wedge. As someone
said, you want the slot cross grain. It also helps to drill a small (1/8")
hole through the dowel at the end of the kerf, keeps the dowel from
splitting. Life is easier if you can taper the perimeter of the hole; wide
at the bottom, tapering up as far as the slit in the dowel is long. Might
be able to do that with a dovetail bit.
If that is too much trouble, use epoxy. As the fit is now, plain epoxy
would work well. If, after cleaning both dowel and hole, the dowel is
"wiggle loose", thicken the epoxy with saw dust, micro baloons, or Cabosil.
Best to use epoxy in the hole rather on the dowel, minimizes squeeze out.
Any that does squeeze out can be wiped off, then cleaned more thoroughly
with a cloth dampened with vinegar. Note that it takes regular epoxy
several hours to harden, several days to fully cure.
Chances are that the dowel still has old glue on it and or the hole
does. Typically that needs to be removed for new "regular" wood glue to
stick. If there is not glue at all the new regular wood glue will cause
some swelling and you may be just fine with using that.
To insure a tight fit regardless I would advise using Epoxy but keep in
mind that will pretty much be a permanent bond, one that you will have
great difficulty in removing should it need to come apart in the future.
And or several tips from Woodcraft.
Paper included in joinery does not work as a fix. Old wood turners used to
use the trick of gluing a sheet of paper between a finished piece and a tu
rning plate and then split the piece cleanly off after turning on the paper
line. I immediately thought of that when paper filler was suggested.
I would go with the good advice you have so far, and that is clean both hol
e and dowel as well as possible, then use a thick gel type glue like epoxy
or even PL400 for a fix. If it isn't a priceless piece, then pop an 18 ga
brad in the end of dowel from the outside of the hole (chair leg?) and it w
ill never break again.
So first, you probably have hide glue in the socket.
you need to clean that out.
Epoxy is an excellent filling glue. No other glue is as strong for
filling in my opinion.
But you need a clean hole that does not have a lot remnants of the old
hide glue. This is so the epoxy can bite into the wood, not the glue.
First thing is, as someone else said, does this furniture have
any value as an antique? If so, you are probably going to want
to glue it in the same fashion as originally, which likely means
using hide glue and some mechanical means to tighten the fit of
the dowel in the hole (wrap with veneer, fox-wedge, or whatever).
Otherwise, if there's a gap, epoxy is your best bet. Note that
epoxy is different than "regular wood glue", it does not bond
well to a tight fit, you actually need a little bit of a gap.
OTOH, if you have a big enough gap that the epoxy will run out,
you can use sawdust or sanding dust (wood flour) (*) to make a
paste with the epoxy. This is just as strong as plain epoxy,
and will stay where you put it.
(* wonder what happened to Lew Hodgett? He'd always take
exception to the idea of thickening epoxy with sawdust)
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