Looking for ideas...

Bunch of us geezers (and at still <70 by a few years) meet most mornings at local donut shop (aka "The Intellectual Center" :) ) for general bs and coffee...winters are inactive enough on farm I can make it fairly regularly so have been...anyway, yestiddy one of the regulars brought in an old (he estimates >100 yr since is from old, inherited family set of his parents and he's well the far side of 80) side chair w/ turned spindles for back support.
These were turned one piece legs it appears w/ an offset lathe the upper spindles of the rear legs were turned then the rest of the leg shaped. It appears to be poplar or some other relatively soft, nondescript wood w/ almost no grain finished w/ a near solid stain and varnish.
Anyways, the back has been broken at the small diameter of the spindles which is barely 3/4" OD; quite small for the stress to start with and especially w/ the apparent material. One had obviously been cracked for quite some time and a guest in their house leaned back and that finished that side and the other too boot.
I'm thinking I could effect a repair by drilling lengthwise down the center of the spindles and inserting a dowel, retaining the outer jagged pieces to fill into each other and have at least a relatively non-obtrusive joint after refinishing touchup, etc.
OK, now finally the question -- have being trying to come up w/ a way to make a guide to center and align to drill the necessary holes along the spindle and even more difficult the bottom stub of the spindle from the base that is only about an inch long...I think I could find a piece of tubing that would fit over the spindle and fit it w/ a guide, maybe. Any other ideas???
Thanks...
Iff'en I had a lathe of course I could saw off the two ends square at an interface and turn the intervening piece and dowel it in, but I didn't bring the lathe back and really don't much want to acquire one ...I never was really into turning doing it only when it was mandatory.
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On 2/18/2013 2:20 PM, dpb wrote:

Well, I have an idea if you have a drill press. Drill a hole for the spindles bottom to fit into.
Then lower the table , use a drill rod, or some long rod. to align the hole.
Stick a piece of pvc over the spindle, wrap with tape at the widest point to center the spindle
Take the top portion and (do this before you start, make a plug the size of the pvc (inside diameter) and a whole for the spindle , make another plug to center the drill bit, use a sleave of brass or othermetal to hold the bit centered. put the spindle in the bottom hole (table) lower the drill to the sleaved hole and drill.
Repeate for the other end...
--
Jeff

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On 2/18/2013 2:36 PM, woodchucker wrote:

I guess I need to use the spell checker.. damn fat fingers.
--
Jeff

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On 2/18/2013 1:36 PM, woodchucker wrote:

...

...

...[plan elided for brevity]...
Yeah, that's a variation of what was envisioning could do....I do have a press. Thanks...
--


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A dowel fix is not very strong, as you would imagine.... your dowel would n eed to be 2" down each piece.
I have repaired many broken chair spindles and stretchers. I have found ha rdwood splines work much better, than dowels.
Mate the broken parts in their proper place, firmly. Mark a line down the center of the spindle/mates, lengthwise, and on both sides of the spindle. Make a jig to cut a generous kerf along the marked lines, similarly as you would make tenon cuts on a tables saw, with the stock in an upright/vertic al position. Cut the kerf so that the width of the spline will be against/ aligned with the force being placed on the spindle (aligned with the force of the person sitting in the chair). Make an appropriate hardwood spline.
Another option, that I have used to repair arms of chairs and some spindles , is to drill a perfect hole lengthwise and insert a metal rod. Any broken part that will need to support some force needs something like a metal rod . Shear breaks, if that is what it is, don't repair well, at all, with a d owel only. You say the wood is soft, poplar? I highly suspect a dowel wil l only be a temporary fix.
Could you possibly get us some pics of the breaks?
Sonny
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On 2/18/2013 7:42 PM, Sonny wrote:

That's what I was planning on, at least. Length/depth isn't a problem once have alignment/angle taken care of...

found hardwood splines work much better, than dowels.

That's not a bad idea that I hadn't actually thought of, thanks...

I had considered metal, yes, as well for the strength--it would allow for a smaller diameter hole leaving more material around the break for better hiding of the break.
It's a pretty nondescript whitish hardwood; definitely not a pine. I've not investigated thoroughly enough to be able to have a better guess as yet...

Perhaps, we'll see--I don't have a direct way to upload, though so it's somewhat of a pita to deal with...pretty typical brittle fracture across grain--no long lengthwise splits.
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Sonny wrote:

"dpb" wrote:

------------------------------------------------ If you use the rod approach, consider a fiberglass rod in your evaluation.
Can be bonded to the wood with epoxy providing a much stronger repair than a metal rod/wood bond.
Lew
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On 2/18/2013 11:46 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Where's one going to get such and are they that rigid? Can't say as I can think of where I've ever seen fiberglass rods (other than fishing or pole-vaulting poles and the ilk--maybe I'm just drawing a blank at the moment, though).
My thinking on that score (metal rod, that is) is that the rod doesn't need to do anything except supply the lateral support and if it's sized properly it will be pretty tough to pull apart anyway as I figure it should take mallet or clamping force to drive the two together.
There should be plenty of remaining glue surface area to provide axial strength on the broken pieces remaining around the rod--a 3/8" steel rod will be far stronger than the original wood was...and while I've not calculated it out, I expect a 5/16" would be as well.
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"dpb" wrote:

--------------------------------- Do a Google for "fiberglass rods", and get out of the way.
Lots of suppliers.
Rigidity not a problem.
Specs will be on supplier's web site.
A strong bond between rod and surrounding wood will go a long way toward addressing rigidity.
My guess you would end up with a 96" long rod that you have them cut into 32" pieces to make UPS.
Lew
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Here is one source.
http://tinyurl.com/bz36lxw
Lew
---------------------------------------------------

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"Lew Hodgett" wrote:
This one looks like a winner.
3/8" or 1/2" x 2 ft long carbon fiber rods.
http://tinyurl.com/azqsnzw
Lew
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<<...snipped...>>
Word to the wise, wear gloves when you handle that fiberglass rod. It can leave tiny splinters in the skin, too small to see but quite irritating or even painful.
--
There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat,
plausible, and wrong." (H L Mencken)
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"Larry W" wrote:

---------------------------------------------------------- Just another good reason to keep a box of non sterile surgical gloves in the shop.
Also necessary when working with epoxy.
Best $5/box you will spend at HF when they are on sale.
Lew
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One solution, if you want to go with a "dowel", would be a carbon fiber arrow shaft (or fiberglass). Should be available from big sporting goods stores, or on line.
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On 2/18/2013 10:54 PM, dpb wrote:

orange bicycle safety flags are usually on a fiberglass rod, and are pretty cheap.
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On 2/18/2013 11:12 PM, dpb wrote:

...

...
I cut 1/4" kerfs w/ the dado head as suggested using a simple support to align the two pieces of the chair horizontally parallel to the saw table. Fortunately, this is a small mostly straight-line dining side chair so was pretty easy to handle...used some maple on hand for the splines and it went together quite nicely.
Finished shaping the splines to shape and touched up coloring over the weekend while it mini-blizzard-ed (nothing like Amarillo area here; "only" 35-40 mph sustained/roughly 50 mph gusts instead of 50/75) and while it drifted some, not enough snow (maybe 5" but hard to tell since there's bare ground next to drifting) to be anything but a relatively short-term nuisance. Snow ended here about 2 yesterday afternoon. I got tractor started and drug what blew around the areas needed access to today and shoveled the walks...
Anyway, am quite pleased w/ the result--thanks for the idea; I _might_ have ended up doing it anyway don't know--I did get frustrated working up the jigging to get the drilling accurate for the dowel idea pretty quickly...
I'll have to take it out to the shed and run the heater a while this afternoon and spray a little finish and it'll be done...
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