I have an old chair, one of a set of four, which used to have a woven
seagrass base. I have stripped and re-woven the other three with some
success. However when I stripped this one I found that one of the rails
previously covered by the seagrass was broken - see this image:
You can probably see that it looks like the wood itself was previously weak
here - it looks like there was a sort of knot there.
I am looking for ideas how to re-join the two parts of the rail together.
You can see in the photo the glue remains of my original attempt to repair;
I tried to get (aliphatic) glue into the crack, used a strip of webbing
around the chair to pull the two sides together, and then cramped a small
piece of thin oak underneath. This didn't hold, altough it may be because my
Aliphatic resin has been overwintered in the garage and has gone off.
The chair is not a fine one and there is no great need for this to be more
than a functional repair. I have access to a fair number of hand tools (but
few power tools) and am pretty 'handy'. It's probably not feasible for me to
remake the rail, sadly.
My next ideas for fixing include using a metal plate of some form to
reinforce the rail once re-glued; I suppose ideally the plate should somehow
be situated in a slot cut in the middle of the rail, but I'm not sure if I
am able to cut such a slot.
Anyone got any better ideas?
Thanks a lot from the UK
1/4"/6mm drill bit; 2 clamps; 1/4"/6mm hardwood dowel.
Re-glue and clamp parts together, in both planes (side to side and top
While still tightly clamped, drill 2 holes (high and low) angled from
one _side_ to the other at the steepest angle possible. The idea is to
drill these holes through as much good wood as possible.
Glue-up the holes and dowels and drive dowel through the previously holes.
Let glue dry, then flush cut excess dowel off on both sides.
Thanks for this (and for the drawing!). I can see where you are coming from.
Not quite sure how I am going to be able to do this while everything is
cramped on both sides and top, bust I can probably work round that. As I
said, I was able to pull the two pieces together using a webbing strap round
the whole of the chair. I could probably keep that and one 'dimension' of
cramping whilst doing the drilling...
You say 'the steepest angle possible - surely you mean the *shallowest*
angle possible, in order to get as much good wood (ie. longest length of
dowel) as possible?
BTW, Aliphatic Resin is what I understand to be the proper generic name for
the yellow 'fast grab' type of PVA - Titebond Original, for instance.
Yes ... Travel through as much good wood as possible.
That will work.
There are other ways, but you more or less indicated a quick hand tool
The preferred fix is completely replacing the damaged rail with a new, two
piece rail, cut, then glued back together along a long scarf joint. But
that takes a bit more skill and tools ( you would have to be proficient
with mortise and tenon joinery to do it properly).
Try the easy fix first ...
This repair is "a piece of cake" if you are willing to take a page
out of the fiberglass boat builder's handbook.
The fact that you can pull the parts together with the webbing also
means that it won't be difficult to open the joint to about 10 mm to
get a putty knife inside the joint.
Mix up some epoxy, the Systems Three Sonoma suggests is great
stuff for this application, then thicken it with micro-balloons to the
consistency of mayonnaise.
Open the joint and butter both sides of the joint with thickened
Use the web strapping to snug up the joint by using the web strapping
as if it were a Spanish Windlass.
Allow the joint to cure for 48 hours, then release the Spanish
and trim away the excess epoxy.
Sand all 4 sides of the wood back about 3" ea from the joint.
Mix up some more epoxy, and cut strips of 4" wide fiberglass tape
about 5"-6" long.
BTW, fiberglass tape is about 6 OZ material, IOW, very
fine tight weave material.
Using a 2" wide chip brush, coat the bare wood with epoxy then
lay glass tape on wetted wood and wet out glass.
Do the above for the top half, allow a couple of hours to allow epoxy
to "kick", then flip over and do the bottom.
Allow over night to "kick and cure".
Next day, rotate chair 90 degrees and repeat previous day's lay-up
You now have 2 layers of glass covering joint.
I would add a 3rd and 4th layer just to be safe, but then I'm a belt
and braces kind of guy.
When finished, the wood in this chair will return to compost and
the fiberglass repair will still be there.
When the chair seat is replaced, the repair won't be visible unless
you flip the chair upside down.
Not sure what the heck alphetic resin is, some Brit goo I suppose.
Failing the ability to separate the parts and add a dowel, I would use epox
y glue. Here in the former colony I would suggest T88 glue http://www.wood
I would slather it inside the joint and add thin wood splints also glued on
all four sides of the rail spanning the crack by a few inches each side.
I suppose they can be hidden under the wrap. The nice thing about epoxy glu
e is you don't need clamping force for it to be effective. It may drip out
so maybe wrap the whole thing temp or perm with tape while it cures.
Since this will be hidden by the seat material I'd be inclined to cut a
mortise across the joint from the top and use a loose tenon. To create the
mortise clamp boards along both sides of the rail to not only hold the
pieces in alignment but to also give a wider surface along which a router
can be run. The two boards need to be even in height and a fence on a router
can be run along one of them. I'd think a tenon 4-5" long would be more
On Thursday, April 4, 2013 4:41:41 PM UTC-6, John Grossbohlin wrote:
ortise across the joint from the top and use a loose tenon.
I vote the tenon fix, but the mortise doesn't need to be down the middle of
the rail. Cut half the rail off on one side (not the top or bottom sides)
, the easiest side for you to make the cut, and cut 4" beyond each side of
the break. Sister the tenon along the rail length 4" each side the break.
Make each 1" end of the tenon scarf jointed to the scarf cut of the rail.
Once glued together, insert two 1/4" or 5/16" dowels each side the break,
through the tenon and rail.... one of these dowels, each, through the scarf
After all is done, lightly test the sag/flex of the repair. Screw sheet me
tal opposite side the tenon if you're not comfortable with any amount of fl
ex, but I don't think you'd have much flex.
That square rail should be easy to replace, rather than repair, for max fix
. If it broke during heavy use, the end dowels may be loose, maybe broken
. Lap jointing 2 rail halves, for a whole new rail, would be easy. Dry fi
t/clamp the halves together, drill end dowel holes and you're ready to asse
mble/install/clamp with glue.
No reason to have the plate in the middle. If the rail is wide enough, a
plate on both the inside and outside would be best; if not wide enough, put
it on the outside (the side opposite the long angle in the break).
You would need to recess the plate on the side where the seagrass will
overlap it. Easily done with a chisel and hammer.
No way to tell the sizes of the rail but I'd want 1/8" thick mild steel as
close to the width of the rail as possible. Overlap the break on both sides
by at least three inches and screw the plate(s) to the rail with at least
two screws per side.
If you can't use two plates, try to use a piece of oak to reinforce either
top or bottom. The steel will resist vertical forces well, horizontal ones
(with one plate) less well and the oak would do that.
If you make the repair using the fiberglass techniques outlined
in my post, the existing wood serves to establish form and size.
The fiberglass carries the load, not the wood.
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