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Releasing Old Glue Joints

by TheWoodenOyster
posted 02-03-2018 08:04 PM

10 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1801 posts in 3399 days

#1 posted 02-03-2018 08:30 PM

If it’s hide glue it can be released by using heat. Moisture helps so a steam source can work well.

Other glues are generally not releasable.

Good Luck!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4188 days

#2 posted 02-03-2018 10:49 PM

View Woodknack's profile


12927 posts in 2920 days

#3 posted 02-03-2018 11:04 PM

The enemy of glue is heat.

-- Rick M,

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

256 posts in 1315 days

#4 posted 02-03-2018 11:17 PM

The enemy of glue is heat.

- Rick_M

Or Kids.

View Lazyman's profile


4090 posts in 1927 days

#5 posted 02-03-2018 11:30 PM

Are you trying to just remove the loose joints or the disassemble the whole chair? If the other joints are sound, I wouldn’t mess with them unless you have to.

Some pictures of the problems may help get more specific advice.

PVA was pretty widely used by any large furniture companies from about the 60’s (at least) on so chances are that is the kind of glue that was used. That will make it fairly difficult to get appart without doing more damage unless the joint is already loose. Note if it is PVA, you have to completely remove the old glue, without making the joint even looser to reglue it. PVA will not bond to PVA.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Woodknack's profile


12927 posts in 2920 days

#6 posted 02-04-2018 03:14 AM

Or Kids.

- Richard Lee


-- Rick M,

View Rich's profile


5001 posts in 1129 days

#7 posted 02-04-2018 04:42 AM

I’ve never seen a glue joint that could resist a hammer.

View JohnDi's profile


79 posts in 1974 days

#8 posted 02-04-2018 10:59 AM

Heat gun.

Check out Thomas Johnson antique restoration on YouTube

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3054 days

#9 posted 02-04-2018 01:51 PM

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, when I had my refinishing shop, I would get in loose chairs every week.

I used to bang them apart with rubber mallets, with success but once in a while, would snap one off and have to remake the stringer or dowel it.

Then, we got smart and if the chair could be stretched so the hole was clear and the peg was available, just sand it all down to get rid of the old glue, (usually some sort of PVA or old hide glue, sometimes some awful who knows what the owner tried to use), then hand saw a groove in the end of the stringer/leg, etc., put in a wedge in the male end groove, and reglue and press it back together. Saved probably hundreds of chairs that way, and it was much faster and easy.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1329 posts in 2475 days

#10 posted 02-06-2018 02:45 AM

Thanks for the input guys. I am going to give the rubber mallet method a shot and see what I can do.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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