Friday, April 3, 2020

Rock Buh-bye glue joint

Chairs are one of the most abused furniture pieces in your household. Constant strain is placed on the joinery and glues can breakdown and fail over time. It doesn't help when large companies mass-produce chairs and starve the joinery in order to save a few pennies per chair.  

As an example, I have a rocking chair that dates to the 1970's. It's not fancy but I like it, it's "my" chair. Naturally, my 200 pound frame will test the joinery to it's limits and it's a good example of a glue-starved joint. 

Taking it to the chair to the shop, I test all the joinery and glue-up the ones that have failed. 

I personally only use hide glue on my indoor projects. I like the ability of it sticking to itself in later repairs, the fact it is non-toxic, and easy clean-up with water. 

To hold the joint closed to allow the glue to set, I grab a length rope kept in the shop for this reason. Add a small peg made from a length of pine I shaped on the shaving horse and you have a home-made tourniquet clamp. This is an old-timey method that is unbeatable for clamping odd shapes and rounds. 

The technique is simple; twist the rope as much as you can pinning the peg so that the rope remains taut while the glue dries. 

I normally allow at least 24 hours when using hide glue. 

Of course, after finishing one repair, I had another location that needed a glue up. 

If this was a piece I had to repair for a customer, I would had given all the joints a solid whacking with a rubber mallet the first time to ensure everything was good before returning it to them. Not something I always do for myself. 

When all is finished, the chair goes back to it's spot in the common room, ready for more Dan rocking. 


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