How to Repair a Table or Chair

Repairing chair rungs and legs

Broken or split chair rungs or legs can be glued together if all parts are intact. First, clean the broken parts of dirt and grease, then apply woodworkers’ glue to the broken parts. Fit the parts together with transparent tape and bind tightly with strong twine, allowing the unit to dry undisturbed for 8 hours. Then remove the tape and twine, check the bond and carefully remove any glue which may have oozed out of the joint.

Even if it’s impossible to repair the chair rung or leg, the piece can serve as a pattern for selecting or making a new unit.

Repairing wobbly chair legs

You can repair wobbly chair legs either by regluing the socket or by reducing the size of the socket if it is too large. To reglue a chair leg, first remove glue from the sockets and ends of rungs and legs. Brush fresh woodworkers’ glue into the sockets and on the ends of rungs and legs, and insert the glued parts into the sockets by tapping with a mallet. Bind the legs horizontally with a clamp or rope and place a weight on the seat to hold the parts in place until the glue dries.

To repair a worn socket, remove the old glue from the sockets and fitting parts. Then apply wood filler to the sockets and parts as needed to build out the socket to the correct width. Install parts in the sockets and tap them in place with a mallet. The wood filler has glue to help bond the parts. Bind the legs and place a weight on the chair.

Repair scars

To repair holes and gashes in chairs and tables, press wood filler into the hole. You will have to use more filler than appears necessary since it shrinks as it dries. Allow filler to set as recommended by the manufacturer before planing or sandpapering the area with the grain to level. Rub with sandpaper and finish as desired.

Smaller scars can be filled with a colored wood filler stick available at furniture stores and at large paint retailers.

Repairing wobbly tables

Wobbly tables are normally the result of loosening of joints between legs and rails or of joints in lower rails. To correct, pull the mortise and tenon joints apart and clean the old glue from the mortise and tenon. Then insert the tenon in the mortise to determine whether the joint is tight or loose. If it’s tight, reglue it. If it’s loose, fill it with wood filler as described above for chairs. Reinsert the tenon, tapping the opposite end of the tenon until its shoulder touches the mortized member. Hold the joint together until it is dry. Use table clamps or a wire clamp, described below. Allow the table to remain undisturbed for 8 hours or as directed by the glue manufacturer.

If clamps are not long enough, use strong wire and a block of wood. Wrap the wire around the table so that it puts pressure on the glued joint. Protect the corners first with wood blocks over pads of felt or cloth. Tie the ends of the wire with a square knot, loop the wire, and insert a wood block. Then turn the block in the wire to prevent its spinning loose.

Wobbly table legs, attached to the top with screws, may be tightened with a screwdriver the same size as the screw heads. If the screws do not fit snugly, force glue or wood putty into the hole before reinstalling the screws.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Bruno Silva is an entrepreneur from Portugal with over 15 years of experience in Online Marketing. He is also a blogger and writes on variety of topics from online marketing to designs, cars to loans, etc.

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