Could someone take a look at this site:
and tell me what would cause the railing to break and what would cause
the chair to break?
I've been accused of breaking these (I didn't) and I'd like to know
what happened to them. The railing is broke at the top of the stairs.
When people go down the stairs they tend to lean or put their wait on
the top part of the railing.
The chair is rarely used anymore. It's picked up at the top every week
on cleaning day and moved to another room. The cats also like to climb
and stand on the very top part of the chair. They've also knocked it
over once or twice.
Weight. Lots of it. Those brackets will last forever under normal use.
Someone put a lot of weight on the railing, rather than holding themselves
with their legs. Railing generally just steady a person. Looks like
somebody was hanging on it. or really leaning hard. I'd put it in the
abuse category, or someone tripped and grabbed to keep from falling.
Same with the chair. Cheap or old chairs will do that, especially if
someone leans back on two feet and stresses the joints more. The bigger the
person, the more likely it to occur. If you have a constant leaner in the
house, I'd say it was 99% their fault.
Bingo on the braket- as soon as I saw the picture, I thought the rail needed
a top and bottom bracket. Close to 1/3 the length looks to be cantilevered,
with 'lever' being the key part of the word. Somebody grabs the end of that
long lever, it puts a hell of a lot of stress on those puny brackets. The
different color in the breaks screams 'pot metal' Replace ALL the brackets
with steel or brass, and probably go up a size- that is a pretty hefty
As to the chair- cheap chair, looks like it broke at the kerf for the dowel
end part. Leaning back probably did it.
Who is having the hissy fit? The busted rail is trivial- 10 bucks for new
brackets (at least 3, preferably 4) and half an hour, will fix that. The
chair may or may not be fixable, depending on available tools and skill. If
it is an heirloom, any furniture refinisher can probably either replace the
spindle, or put a pin in there and fix it. I'd glue it, and run a long
skinny stainless screw up from the bottom of the seat, through the center of
the dowel. It would take some serious freehand aiming to pull off.
All in all, not a big deal, and tell whoever is upset about it to chill
My father is the one having the hissy fit (or temper tantrum as I
prefer to call it). It is his house and he does have a right to be
upset when things break. However, there's no reason to have a cow when
something breaks by accident. He thinks I grabbed the handrail and
pulled on it with force until it broke. He wouldn't listen when I said
that it most likely broke from some of us putting our weight on it when
we go downstairs. The funny thing is that no one knew the handrail and
chair were broke until he mentioned it. Hmm... Maybe he was the one to
break them and is blaming me to cover his own behind.
I'll see about getting those brackets replaced and adding another at
the top. Thanks to everyone who offered opinions and advice.
Bracket - as others said - because it is pot metal (often zinc). Pot
metal is weak and brittle...next time use steel or even brass.
For the chair, I vote for the cats as culprits...looks like it got a
good hard whack when knocked over. Either that or someone leaning on
All glue will fail eventually and all chairs will eventually need
repair. It doesn't help if you abuse the chair. I've repaired a few
chairs and glue joints can fail in as little as a few years or as long
as 50 years. It partly depends on the design of the chair and partly
on how it is (ab)used.
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