Gluing cross-braces of a Windsor chair back into the legs

I have a wooden chair with four legs that fit into the seat, with front and
back legs on each side held from splaying out by a fore-and-aft cross-brace;
those two braces are themselves joined by a side-to-side brace. On one side,
the braces have come loose from the holes in the legs, making the chair
rickety. I tried gluing them with PVA glue but the glue joint broke almost
immediately (after letting it set for several hours).
I don't want to have to unglue and re-glue any of the other joints (in case
I make things worse). What is the best glue to use for sticking a joint
where one wooden piece fits into a hole in the side of another? I can
extract the cross-brace by about 10 mm, but there isn't enough play to
remove the brace totally to line the hole with glue, so I have to rely on
straining the joints to expose as much of the ends of the brace, smearing
glue around the exposed part of the brace (at both ends) and then pushing it
back together.
Reply to
NY
You won't get a secure joint unless you remove all traces of the original glue. Even if it means completely dismantling the chair. You need some means of clamping the parts together until the glue sets. If the joints have a lot of play, you need a gap filling glue (not PVA) eg resin
Reply to
harry
GIYF
This one is OK
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Drill access holes as required with a small drill (less than 2 mm). A dremel type drill is useful for this.
Reply to
newshound
Araldite is what I have used in the past. It didn't last, I've found that o nce chairs start to get rickety there is no saving them with glue, even scr ews do not give it much more life. I haven't tried completely dismantling o ne and regluing but I suspect that that is what you need to do.
Reply to
Rednadnerb
I did this with four dining room chairs about ten years ago. I used Cascamite.
They have been rock solid ever since.
Reply to
Bob Eager
The only glue that will cope with joints that are not snug fitting is epoxy. PVA has not gap filling capacity.
Disassembly, clean-up and re-gluing is probably the best approach.
For really good pull out resistance on a mortice and tenon joint, you would need a wedged or "foxed" tenon. With chair leg joints you normally have blind mortices, and so need hidden wedges.
Kind of like a round version of :
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(typically the mortice in the leg is widened toward its base, and then the tenon on the stretcher, has a saw kerf cut down it across its diameter. The wedge is then placed into the kerf once everything is glued up, and the joint assembled and driven home)
Reply to
John Rumm

I would get it all steam-damp with hot water and pull apart all the leg joi nts, then reassemble using traditional glue (which is plant based now not a nimal based). I'd use spanish windlasses to bind it together while the glu e sets. Using old fashioned glue like this means that there is no need to get every last smidgeon of original glue out because it will be bound in wh en the new hot glue goes in.
But whatever glue you use, remember to have the chair standing on a good fl at floor (or use a flat board if the chair is upside down) as you glue it s o the four legs will touch the floor properly.
Robert
Reply to
rmlaws54
Interesting. That's never been obvious to me in any of the chairs that I have had come loose, but then I guess they don't come loose!
What do you think of these things like Chair Doctor that are supposed to make stuff swell up and then set? They have worked OK for me in a few things, but I do normally try to clean out the old glue fairly well, and I am pretty good at strapping things up tight either with tourniquets or with multiple luggage elastics while they set.
Reply to
newshound

In some chairs, where the holes in the elm seat go righ through, you can se e that kind of wedge. But in others I think the motice in the seat don't go all through. Did they sometimes hide a wedge inside the mortice before d riving the leg in? That would be neat. I'm talking here about those typic al bentwood chairs I suppose.
Reply to
rmlaws54
Well possibly - I don't know how commonly its done on modern chairs. I would expect allot of modern stuff might just have a pin nail fired through the side of the mortice and into the tenon.
If it makes the tenon swell, then its kind of doing a similar thing (although without the undercut in the mortice, you don't get quite the same mechanical lock).
Reply to
John Rumm
Yup, exactly (pretty much what is shown in the last photo on the wiki page). The wedge bottoms out in the mortice, and then as you drive the tenon home, it spreads itself on the wedge. So once in, its locked in place.
Reply to
John Rumm
I'm interested in your remarks about traditional glue. I've been using hot hide glue for decades now and - probably because I still have a mountain of pearls in stock and haven't needed to buy any for ages - I hadn't noticed that it's plant-based now.
What's it like to use? Does it have the same/similar properties as hide glue eg, self-clamping and adhesive properties that vary according to dilution? Does it keep as well or better? I know when not to reheat a pot "one more time" and wondered if the vegetable glue gives off the same sorts of clues about its condition.
Thanks,
Nick
Reply to
Nick Odell
Good advice, as is the epoxy. If you can, drill a small cross hole and add a small pin/nail to hold while the epoxy sets. Drill from the underside and it doesn't show. A couple of belts or rope will act as clamps, if you don't have a proper clamp.
Reply to
Brian Reay
Pearls! Wow that takes me back. My grandfather who died in the 1950's had some in his workshop. My father was less of a carpenter, but I remember him using it a few times in the 1960s. I can still recall the smell!
I still have a large wooden plane that my grandfather was supposed to have made, but I havn't used it for 30 years.
Reply to
newshound

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