Loose chair legs

Loose chair legs.
Just a post noting my experiences figuring it may help some other lost soul out there searching Google Groups...
Problem: Loose chair legs. Mortise and tenon joints. You know the routine... chair legs loosen, so you scrape out the crusty glue, re-glue and the chair is fine... for a couple months. Soon the legs are all loose again and the chair feels like it's going to implode any day into a pile of kindling.
Solution: POLYURETHANE GLUE. A common brand is Gorilla Glue. The stuff is manna from heaven. Elixir of the gods. Wood glue extraordinaire. It's kinda expensive. Buy it anyway.
For those that have never experienced polyurethane glue, it looks like thick maple syrup and as it cures, it foams a little, filling any gaps and spreading through the joint. I'd say it triples its volume. Just buy some and try it out... it's cool.
In addition to gap filling, the cured glue is VERY tough and I think even a tiny bit flexible. At the very least it's not brittle like some glues.
Anyhow, I glue up the legs, the excess oozes out and once dry, can be scraped off pretty easily. For me, where the legs mortise into the underside of the seat, I just leave the extra glue for a little added strength. No one will see it unless they are slithering around your kitchen floor on their back, in which case, you may have bigger problems than a little visible glue.
I have a few formerly troublesome chairs repaired with polyurethane glue that are still rock solid over two years later. And keep in mind one of those chairs is being used by a teenager that leans back in the chair, leans forward, leans sideways, and oddly finds it comfortable leaning back on ONE rear chair leg. Two plus years and it's still as solid as the day I glued it up.
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Also, let me note I tried the silcone route on a chair which didn't
work so well. The theory sounded pretty good... use silicone caulk
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from smearing over the leg?
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wrote:

Treat that part of leg first with something the glue won't stick to when it hardens [wax? vaseline?], or I've used a wide elastic band that snapped tightly around the part before applying. Cut carefully around the joint with a utility knife before removing the waste.
If using masking tape, try the [green] painter's tape. It's easy to remove.
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Here's quick and dirty solution that works quite well.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page0261&category=1%2C110&SID=&ccurrency=2
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I agree, this is the way to do it. One economical alternative is PL Premium polyurethane construction adhesive. It comes in a cylinder for a caulk gun. It's less expensive than most poly glues, and it works wonderfully. It comes out about the consistency of peanut butter (same color too). Like the other polys, it foams while curing and expands.
The only problem is that if you don't use it all in one application (I never do), it cures inside the tip and seals shut. This is easily fixed by drilling out the cured stuff when you need to use it.
This is VERY strong glue. I originally started using it to splice together 2-liter bottles to make water rockets. A 4-inch diameter seam could take 100 psi with no problem. That comes to 1256 lbs. of force held together by a 12.5 inch-long smear of the stuff. And it was getting that kind of adhesion on plastic!
Yeah, it'll hold a chair together.
Don't use water to clean it up. Just dry shop towels. If you get it on your hands (don't), use dry rags to get it off. If you use water, it will cure really fast and set up. You may even want to wet surfaces before application, but I have no evidence that this helps. I've never had a PL Premium joint fail at the glue, applied wet or dry.
-Mike
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OK, Mike. You can't get away with that kind of a tease. I know it's off topic, but you have to tell us how you make water rockets from soda bottles.
The problem with factory made chairs is that the stretchers attempt to hold the legs together. If the chair is made correctly, the stretchers are a tad long, and actually hold the legs *apart* pushing against each other, and wedging them against the holes in the seat. A properly made chair is an engineering wonder. But Gorilla Glue works pretty well. I've also fixed them with a fox wedge.
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Happens every year for Science Olympiad.

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If you Google for "water rockets" you'll find more information than you want. Essentially, a 2-liter bottle makes a rocket on it's own. Put 1 liter of water in it, then pressurize the air to ~100psi, turn it upside down, release the pressure, and it's gone. They hit 100mph in about 6 feet, then become tumbling projectiles, good for around 100 feet of altitude.
So then you start modifying them. Nose ballast, fins, timed parachute releases, then, of course, splicing. You cut the bottom off of one bottle (leaving some of the inward curvature) and the top off of another. Spread some PL premium around the bottomless bottle, and insert it into the topless one, with about 1" of overlap. You now have a much larger rocket. Repeat as necessary.
I once made a 4-bottle rocket (3 feet long) that went about 500 feet without fins, and just a weight on the nose.
You can also make 2-stage rockets (booster and sustainer). These are really fun. One guy in Dallas hit 1000 feet with a big booster topped with a sustainer made from a flourescent light cover (clear, plastic, $2 at the Borg).
Lots of fun. It's been a while though. As my son gets older (he's 2 now) I imagine he and I together can convince SWMBO that this is a good way to spend some time...
-Mike
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I agree, this is the way to do it. One economical alternative is PL Premium polyurethane construction adhesive. It comes in a cylinder for a caulk gun. It's less expensive than most poly glues, and it works wonderfully. It comes out about the consistency of peanut butter (same color too). Like the other polys, it foams while curing and expands.
The only problem is that if you don't use it all in one application (I never do), it cures inside the tip and seals shut. This is easily fixed by drilling out the cured stuff when you need to use it.
This is VERY strong glue. I originally started using it to splice together 2-liter bottles to make water rockets. A 4-inch diameter seam could take 100 psi with no problem. That comes to 1256 lbs. of force held together by a 12.5 inch-long smear of the stuff. And it was getting that kind of adhesion on plastic!
Yeah, it'll hold a chair together.
Don't use water to clean it up. Just dry shop towels. If you get it on your hands (don't), use dry rags to get it off. If you use water, it will cure really fast and set up. You may even want to wet surfaces before application, but I have no evidence that this helps. I've never had a PL Premium joint fail at the glue, applied wet or dry.
-Mike
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<snip>

Joe's got the fix. I've repaired most of my kitchen and dining room chairs with Gorilla Glue and none of them have separated again. I have yet to have a joint that I used Gorilla Glue on fail.
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Yes, poly glue is very strong.
However, it is very inflexible, a sharp strike can cause it to separate. I know someone who used it to glue up a mallet and it separated when he was (enthusiastically) banging on it.
Best way I've found to get it off your hands is to plunge them into my dust collector pre-separater can and rub. Driest environment I can think of.
Yes, it does expand to fill gaps, however, the expanded foam doesn't have any structural strength. Use it on well-fit joints.
M2CW FWIW YMMV,
Joe

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Thus the article in FWW an number of years back which concluded that silicone glue was the optimum, possibly with a pin?

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I didn't see that article, do you have an issue #?
Joe C.

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Gotta be forever ago. Believe it was by Hoadley himself. Excuse my not going down to the six plus feet of issues downstairs. Perhaps a member of the website could help.

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