Antique Mortise & Tenon Joint Question

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I am in the process of refinishing a small mahogany dropleaf table that has been in my wife's family since before the Civil War. My father-in-law had it refinished in 1929 and it has seen some very heavy duty since then.
My question concerns the mortise and tenon joints. The legs came off of the skirts relatively easily. I was able to remove the old hide glue from the tenons with a little judicious use of several scrapers.
The inside of the mortises are a different story. I have scraped the walls as well as I could within the limitations of the small size of the holes.
What would be the best glue to use to reassemble the legs and the skirts. I do not want to use hide. :-)
Pinning is also not really a good option.
I usually assemble with Titebond II but was wondering if something like Gorilla would be better in that it would expand and fill any voids left from the scraping and maybe it would adhere better to the insides of the mortises.
Thanks for any light shed on my query.
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IMO, it would be a mistake not to use hide glue. You never want to do something to an antique that is not reversible.
Titebond and Gorilla Glue are both poor choices for this application.
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"Bill Waller" wrote in message

has
it
... and the reason why you are able to "refinish" at this point can be directly attritubted to the glue that was used heretofore.

the
as
I do

It's a shame, because that is exactly what you should use if you value the piece. "Titebond" has a liquid hide glue that would not be my first choice for a hide glue, but much better than anything you've mentioned.
Give it (hide glue), some serious reconsideration ... sounds as if the piece deserves it.
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Bill Waller wrote:
> What would be the best glue to use to reassemble the legs and the skirts. I do > not want to use hide. :-) > > Pinning is also not really a good option. > > I usually assemble with Titebond II but was wondering if something like Gorilla > would be better in that it would expand and fill any voids left from the > scraping and maybe it would adhere better to the insides of the mortises.
If you want an adhesive that fills gaps, then it's epoxy and micro-balloons, period, end of report.
Forget garbage glue, AKA: Gorilla glue.
Having said that, don't think I would use epoxy or even TiteBond for this piece of furniture.
I suspect you want to stay with hide glue if you want to maintain the value of the piece.
I'd check with an antique restorer before I did anything.
Lew
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If he's refinishing a refinished piece, he's not concerned about value as an antique, but as a piece of furniture. If that's what the restorer/dealer has to say, all options apply. Me for veneer shims and soluble glue for the tenons, though it's hard to believe that they were not pinned in the past. If so, bore out the pins, fill the holes in the tenons with wood and glue, and draw bore the reconstruction to help things along.
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I agree, twice-refininshed and the collector-value is likely in the toilet.
Hide glue was used back in the day largely because it's what they had. Modern adhesives are in may cases superior.
If this were a chair, because of the frequence of chair joinery failure and the fact that you (often) have to disassenble the entire thing to fix a single joint, I could see using hide glue. Reversability is important in that case.
By contrast, a leg/apron M&T joint is not likely to ever fail using a modern glue. In fact, it is likely that the original joint failed *because* it was hide glue.
-Steve
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"Stephen M" wrote in message

toilet.
Maybe not in 100 years.

LOL ... not exactly profound, but hard to argue with. :)

We'll only know for sure in a few hundred years.

and
Good point.

modern
That's one "ever" that likely can't ever be proved. :)

It could just as easily have been caused by sloppy joinery, improper application of the original glue, bad batch/mix/temp of glue, or a combination of the above.
There are a number of 300+ year old furniture pieces, and musical instruments, still going strong on hide glue.
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Snip.
Or was it the expertly rendered joinery which held together in spite of failing glue?
In any case it's a really good question to which I have yet to get a definitive answer.
Please don't make me cite, because I can't, but....
Aliphatic resin glue has been around for over 50 years. I believe that hide glue has been shown to degrade within that time frame.
It is theoretically possible to simulate age with temperature and humidity cycling and exposure to additional oxygen. Have the Franklin (Titebond) or Elmers guys done this in the lab? My guess is that they have, but gaining access to that data might be tough.
I'll e-mail the Franklin guys and just for grins. I'll probably get nothing but it's easy to try.
-Steve
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Well that was quick, but sadly, uninformative.
Thank you for your inquiry. Our experience with Titebond Original Wood Glue shows that a properly assembled bond will last indefinitely. As you have seen, Titebond Original Wood Glue has been out on the market for over 50 years and we have never seen any bond failures due to the age of the dry glue. I do not have or am aware of any long term studies regarding bonds created with aliphatic resin glues. Creating a strong bond with Titebond Original Wood Glue requires clean gluing surfaces and tight fitting joints. It is also important that clamp pressure is applied along the entire glue line while the glue is still wet and will flow easily. I hope this information is helpful to you.
Sincerely,
Marc Bergdahl Technical Specialist Franklin International

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Always thought the word "indefinatly" must have been invented by a politician. It is, in fact, no answer at all.

Glue
joints.
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Are you advocating term limits?
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CW wrote:

On old work, you don't have clean gluing surfaces. The gluing surface is covered with the old glue and it has soaked into the wood. Short of recutting the mortises larger (and cutting down the tenons too) there is no way to get the old glue off of (and out of) the old wood. I read this as "Modern carpenter's glue like Titebond are not suitable for regluing old joints". I have no personal experience with hide glue. I have heard it said that new hide glue with bond to the old hide glue on the wood surfaces, but I don't know this for a fact. Two part epoxy will bond to just about anything, including wood impregnated with old glue. Epoxy bonds well without clamping and is pretty good for gap filling. I don't know of anyway to get an epoxy joint apart again, short of breaking it.
David Starr
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"Stephen M" wrote in message

Pretty much what I sus/expected ... marketing must office next to legal, or these responses are vetted/canned in advance.
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Swingman wrote:

Your guitar, even today, is put together with hide glue because it has no elasticity and hence won't creep, helping the instrument maintain intonation. Leave it in a hot trunk for several hours, however, and when you open the case, you'll find a pile of very expensive spruce and rosewood veneers.
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"Father Haskell" wrote in message

_My_ current guitar is a fretless bass, the only thing glued on is the fingerboard and the nut, with hide glue of course, and the "intonation" is maintained more by where I place my fingers ... often good, sometimes not. ;)

... and often quite easily resurrected from that situation *because* of the hide glue.
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George wrote:

Why? A good restoration with traditional materials and a moderate amount of care doesn't depreciate the value of the piece other than once losing the "original" cachet. If you do it right you can repeat this process as often as you like.
I don't have any furniture more than 200 years old but I can walk into town and see several housefuls of pieces that are pushing 400 years. These have repairs on repairs on repairs, all done with hide glue (A couple are my work). Their "value" depends on their state, not on a simple count of fixes "One's OK but two's only fit for eBay".

Pinned tenons aren't common in chairs and smaller leg timbers. You find them in tables, but a lot of casework won't have them. I'd be reluctant to add draw-bored pins too, because in this width of timber there's a real risk of splitting the hole out sideways.
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Haven't you ever watched the Antiques Roadshow on PBS? If you haven't, go see it a few times. The appraisers will have you singing a different tune. "Losing the 'original' cachet" has a MAJOR impact on an antique's extrinsic value.
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"Just Wondering" wrote in message

Where did he say that it didn't?
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Swingman wrote:

When he implied that doing work he called "good restoration," but which lost the "original" cachet in the process, doesn't depreciate the value of the piece.
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"Just Wondering" wrote in message

What was actually implied: As with virginity, once plucked and thereby "losing the value of its "original" cachet", repeating the plucking process correctly will cause no further loss of either.
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