I have two wooden chairs that are coming apart and I want to glue them back
together. The rungs/cross-pieces that connect the chair legs together keep
coming out, which makes the chairs unstable.
In the past, I have used wood glue (carpenter's glue) to fix other wooden
chairs, but that never seems to work very well.
I was just wondering if Liquid Nails, or Contact Cement, or some other type
of glue might work better. My reason for wondering about Liquid Nails or
Contact Cement is that I think they both remain slightly flexible/elastic
while wood glue becomes brittle and seems to crack easily.
Anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what might work best?
Wood glue does not fill gaps, so if you don't have a tight fit, wood glue is
Liquid nail does sorta fill gaps, so it might be a better choice; though I
have never found it to be very strong unless you have a great deal of
An epoxy would probably be best.
Sounds like a job for Gorilla Glue. It's an incredibly strong
polyurethane adhesive. It's great for furniture repairs like this
because it expands as it dries, filling voids made from earlier
Tips: dampen one surface with water -- this helps the foaming. Use
less glue than you'd think you'd need. Keep an eye on the repair as
it dries and clean away any over-foam from the joint. I think you use
alcohol for this but I'd have to check the bottle.
And, by all means, wear latex or nitrile gloves with this stuff. It
will stain bare skin for days.
The gaps are the problem. I've had good luck with wood glue, but I had
to put masking tape on to keep it from running out.
In the end, the spot has tape perminantly glued in the joing. You may
also want to try fill in the any gaps with tooth picks, popicle sticks
or sawdust/glue mix.
Have you ever tried to chip away that "worthless" filler after it's
cured? It will take the wood with it. The bonus is that it keeps
enough flexibility that the wood can still expand/contract without
breaking the joint, which is important with chair stringer repairs.
I learned about Gorilla Glue from a professional stair builder. He
uses it for stair repairs. I used it to repair a dozen old chairs a
couple of years ago and those repairs are rock solid.
Wood glue SHOULD work fine.
Clean the post and socket(s) thoroughly. Cut a vertical slot in the
tennon and stick a glue-coated wedge part-way in, so that when you
shove the crossbar home, it will expand the tennon. With that
clamped together, drill a small pilot hole, and pin the entire
assembly together with a short wire-nail, or if the leg is
thick enough, a countersunk screw. Don't go nuts with the wedge,
if it's too big, you risk splitting the leg. Stop tilting back in
your wooden chairs.
Wood glue needs wood pores that haven't been sealed by stain with
binder or glue, AKA fresh clean wood. Agree with wedged tenon concept
though downside is you get ONE chance only. Boat builders suggest
epoxy with microbaloons although they're not reversible. Second don't
tilt back in chairs.
I used some stuff many years ago that I believe was called "chair-lok".
It came in a little squeeze bottle. They claimed that it would swell
the wood to make a tight joint. I seem to also remember using some
little corrugated metal strips that you put in the hole before you jam
in the "plug". The hardest part was doing a good clamping job, since
none of the legs on these Windsor style chairs were parallel, nor did
the struts meet the legs at right angles.
Now if I could only remember if all that worked worth a damn I'd have
some good advice to give you. :) It was a long time ago and those
chairs are long gone.
At least one review/evaluation I've seen indicate initial success but
the wood dried out again and shrunk back to original size w/
time--leaving the same problem but w/ a lot more of a mess to try to
clean up after...wish I could remember where that was, but FWW and FHB
are about the only two publications I've read regularly for 20 years or
more, so I'd guess it was one or the other...
It's not the glue, but the joint. Try installing a wedge into the
tenon. If the end tenon it is not accessible (through the wood), then
try a fox wedge. This joint will lock it in place. A properly made
chair should not come apart under normal use. There is a product
called "chair lock" that you may want to try, although I have not
tested this product.
Thanks to everyone for your responses! I never expected to get this many
different ideas, and I guess I'll need to decide which ones to try first.
I've never seen or used Gorilla Glue, but I think I might try that first and
see what happens. If that doesn't seem to work out, I'll probably try the
wedge idea or something similar to make sure the mechanical connection
really solid with no gaps first before re-gluing.
I had a lot of fun out of fixing a couple of wooden child rocking chair
(originally gifted to my two grandchildren about a year before they came
apart). I used carpenter's glue, but to strengthen the joint I also added
screws (countersunk and shiny) I made a holes opposite where the crosspieces
connect and inserted screws through the wood and into the incoming
crosspieces. I did this at each place where the chair was weak or had come
apart. It took me awhile, but as a layman, I feel great that those chairs
have been solid ever since. Today, both children outgrew the chairs, but the
chairs are still there and looking good. ;)
I hope this idea helps.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.