SWMBO has a favorite rocking chair. I have recently replaced the
rockers for her and I am still her favorite woodworker. We have now
noticed that the seat is starting to split. It looks like it along a
glue joint going from front to back. The splitting is wider at the
rear of the seat and narrower towards the front. At present it is only
about 6" long. The split is similar on the top and bottom of the seat.
At its widest is about 1/8". I believe the seat is pine.
What are your suggestions as to how I can stop the split from
continuing and rejoin it where is already apart?
Thanks for all your help.
I had a similar problem with an antique table top. Opened the crack up
as much as I could with wedges. Works a SMALL amount of Gorilla Glue
into the crack with a paper clip. Then used "pipe" clamps to hold it
together while glue set up. Be careful, as Gorilla Glue "foams" and
you can have quite a mess. As on poster suggested, maybe a "mending
plate" or two underneath to strengthen it would be a good idea as
well. Set them when you have it clamped together. Make sure the drill
holes aren't too deep.
However regular wood glue creeps, which when you are trying to close up
a check is no help at all. So does Gorilla Glue according to their Web
Then there is the issue that if it is in fact in a glue line then the
glue has to stick to whatever is already in there.
Epoxy would be your best bet--sticks to just about anything, fills gaps,
and doesn't creep.
If you can separate the pieces completely and joint them, then Weldwood
Plastic Resin Glue would be another good option.
Sometimes you can pour epoxy resin into the crack. You can seal the
underside with parcel tape to stop it all running out onto the floor, and a
bit of wax on the surface you don't want it to stick to can be useful. Cut
away what you can when the epoxy turns to cheese before it hardens. That
will give you the strongest repair and without building in any stresses from
I would add one more thing to that.
LIGHTLY clamp it shut.
Because that will induce less stress in the wood structure that caused it to
split in the first place, and that epoxy has the characteristic that it
requires less clamping force for a good bond. Clamping too tightly is a
fairly common mistake for people who usually work with yellow glues that use
epoxy for the first times. If you clamp epoxy too hard, you actually starve
the joint of the epoxy needed to bond the two pieces.
When using low viscosity epoxy such as Git Rot, you can use an
alternate approach to that described above.
Tape both bottom and top of crack after clamping crack closed with
just enough pressure to close crack.
Position chair so that crack is vertical, then pour Git Rot into
Allow at least 48 hours cure time before removing clamp.
Tape can be pulled after 24 hours at 70F minimum.
This assumes you have not over clamped and the Git Rot can penetrate
the full length of the crack.
Yeah, this is an old problem, repairing seat splits. Disassembly can be a
pain and cause damage elsewhere. It's a hard road to travel. I have two
antique chairs to repair and just keep putting it off. I keep thinking the
best solution is epoxy in the split with a mortised-in piece across. Hard
call for me, as it would not help the value of the antique rocker.
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