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Best Adhesive for chair restoration

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Forum topic by Samsat posted 08-29-2019 12:07 PM 424 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Samsat

4 posts in 46 days


08-29-2019 12:07 PM

These solid wood chairs were being thrown out. I decided to restore them.
You can see the large gaps where some of the joints have opened up.
When I apply pressure they do close up.
I assume therefore that this would be a perfect candidate for Titebond 2 or 3 with clamping as opposed to using any type of gap filling product?

My planned work flow is to sand all of the chairs using a random orbital palm sander.
Cut some wedges to fill in the big gaps where bits of wood are missing.
Apply the adhesive as required.
Finish with an oil based stain.

These chairs will mainly be decorative rather than for sitting on.

Make sense?

Thanks.


18 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

582 posts in 1124 days


#1 posted 08-29-2019 02:00 PM

Be sure to clean out the gaps as best you can of any old glue residue to give the new glue something to attach to.

-- Sawdust Maker

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

287 posts in 52 days


#2 posted 08-29-2019 02:26 PM

Just a suggestion. This product does require some experience to work with, but it is the best. And you wont have to disassemble every joint that needs repair to clean out old glue. Apply with a large syringe that painters use for various jobs.

Note, I am not affiliated with this company in any way. Hope forum rules dont prohibit posting product.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5712 posts in 3748 days


#3 posted 08-29-2019 03:27 PM

I’m not at all expert on glue, but I would guess those old chairs were originally put together with hide glue. I would use the same glue.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2200 posts in 3948 days


#4 posted 08-29-2019 04:50 PM

You could use polyurethane glue (sometimes called Gorilla glue). Water proof and glues almost anything. It is thick and syrupy in texture and definitely needs clamping during the curing process because it expands into a foam when not clamped. Leave any squeeze out (foam) to be scraped off after it cures. It cures with moisture so it helps to speed the set up by dampening the joints before you put the glue in.

-- Les B, Oregon

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1457 posts in 3354 days


#5 posted 08-29-2019 05:52 PM

Sam, if they’re opening up that much than you can likely get them all of the way apart and do a complete re-glue of the chair. As said above they’re likely done with hide glue if they are fairly old, but a heat gun, some putty knives and a gently dead blow usually works. Do not user a poly glue for this as you’ll wind up with a significant mess with alot of clean up and potential finish issues. I do a lot with cherry, and if I were taking on the job, id use TB3 to put them back together, while the chair is apart it’s also much easier to sand

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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Samsat

4 posts in 46 days


#6 posted 08-29-2019 06:11 PM

Many thanks for all of the comments.
I have no idea how old they are. There was a bench as well as other chairs which were restored at a nearby school. The restorer said that these ones were not worth restoring and the school was going to trash them.

I don’t think I’ll be taking them completely apart but should be able to open up the gaps enough to clean up the surfaces.

I was considering using a poly glue but seeing that these gaps will clamp completely closed then TB2 or TB3 should work perfectly.

View Brawler's profile

Brawler

64 posts in 335 days


#7 posted 08-29-2019 06:34 PM



You could use polyurethane glue (sometimes called Gorilla glue). Water proof and glues almost anything. It is thick and syrupy in texture and definitely needs clamping during the curing process because it expands into a foam when not clamped. Leave any squeeze out (foam) to be scraped off after it cures. It cures with moisture so it helps to speed the set up by dampening the joints before you put the glue in.

- LesB


I was just watching “The American Woodworker” the other day and he said not to use that kind of glue in an application where it can push the pieces apart. In context he was gluing the leg of a bench that fit in a hole. He used Gorilla glue on the sides of the leg and warned that gluing the end, the glue would push the leg out of the hole. I’m no expert, but it did sound like a reasonable tip to me.

-- Daniel

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a1Jim

117721 posts in 4082 days


#8 posted 08-30-2019 01:56 AM

Welcome to Ljs
I agree with the idea of taking them apart and perhaps adding some new joinery such as a spline or biscuit to the joint if they are all failing them now I would guess the original joinery was not strong enough particularly for what appears to be an end-grain butt joint.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View Samsat's profile

Samsat

4 posts in 46 days


#9 posted 08-30-2019 02:19 AM

Thanks for the welcome. These chairs have been stored outside in the SoCal weather for years never with any oiling or UV protection of any kind. It also looks like they were tossed about some. So, I think what we are seeing is more due to abuse than actual joint failures.
Anyway, I am looking forward to the project. Going to pick up a detail sander, ratcheting band clamp and some sanding sponges and get to work!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117721 posts in 4082 days


#10 posted 08-30-2019 02:38 AM

You’re welcome
Butt joints are the weakest woodworking joint due to end-grain inability to hold glue very well, it’s like trying to glue the open ends of tiny screws together end to end, so if you don’t see dowels or a biscuits in the open spaces of the open joints you may not get a long-lasting glue-up. Best of luck with whatever you do.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View Samsat's profile

Samsat

4 posts in 46 days


#11 posted 08-31-2019 09:29 PM

I just checked and there are mortise joints in the gaps visible in the photo.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117721 posts in 4082 days


#12 posted 08-31-2019 10:24 PM

Great, that should make a big difference as to the glue up holding up if you can actually get a reasonable amount of glue on the tenon and in the mortice, of course, the best way to do that is to disassemble the back clean the joinery and add a good glue like Titebond,that’s probably more than you’ll want to do given these chairs are not family heirlooms.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

988 posts in 3298 days


#13 posted 08-31-2019 11:00 PM

Woodcraft and other suppliers sell a high pressure glue injection kit for this type of repair

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117721 posts in 4082 days


#14 posted 08-31-2019 11:26 PM

I’ve tried the injectors ibewjon mentioned on chair stretchers, it was hit and miss because of the difficulty of getting enough glue in the mortice for it to hold well, others may have had better success than I have, this would be a difficult joint to get glue in without disassembly, unless you can possibly drill holes in the mortice and try and inject glue into the joint that way and then clamp.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

219 posts in 464 days


#15 posted 09-01-2019 12:26 AM

Assuming vintage chairs, hide glue…

Completely disassemble using steam and or hot water then reglue using liquid hide glue…



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