The change in Michigan weather can wreak havoc on your furniture, especially your chairs. If your chairs are starting to creak or you are scared to sit on it because it is too wobbly – here are 6 steps to fix it up and make your chairs sturdy again. A couple of tools that you will need: screw driver, rubber mallet, clamps, wood glue.
1 – Take the Chair Apart
Make sure you have all of the tools. Start by removing the chair pad screws with cordless screw gun or screwdriver. Remove corner blocks — tap out with rubber mallet if glued. Take apart loose joints with rubber mallet. Wood shrinks over time and this aging process weakens the joints. Be sure to take care when removing the corner blocks and joints.
2 – Clean the Pieces
Mark all of the pieces to know where to replace. Now scrape the old glue off joints, dowel pins and glue blocks with scraper, chisel (comes in handy for the tight areas such as around the dowels), or sandpaper. Make sure to clean and smooth all of the surfaces.
3 – Replace Loose or Broken Dowel Pins
Start by drilling a small pilot hole in the dowel and then use larger bit. Cut the dowel pin off with a coping saw so it is flush to surface. Make sure to mark the center of the dowel pin. Drill down through the dowel but not into chair frame. Match the drill bit to the diameter of the dowel hole and drill the old dowel out. Check that the new dowel pin is nice and snug. Apply small amount of wood glue to a nail and run around inside of hole. Apply glue to half of the dowel pin and tap it in gently with mallet. If the new pin is too long, set old dowel pin next to it, mark length and cut off excess with coping saw.
4 – Glue the Joints
Spread glue around joints with finger — spread inside hold and around dowel pins, tape piece into place. Glue both male and female pieces to create the strongest of bonds. Repeat gluing process for all joints. It’s better to use too much glue than not enough. You can always wipe off the excess. If you use too little glue, you may end up with a joint that was just as weak as before.
5 – Reattach the Corner Blocks
Use a strap clamp to hold frame together by putting a strap over the chair and around the rails of the body of the chair and adjust and ratchet until it’s good and snug. You can also use a rope or an old belt, but a strap with a clamp works best. Glue and screw corner blocks back on by applying glue to the face of the rail and block with counter sunk side face-down, screw securely in place and wipe the excess glue with a damp rag.
6 – Finish the Chair
Don’t forget to use the numbers that you wrote on the pieces to put everything back into its proper position. Leave the chair clamped for at least 6 – 8 hours. Use a touch-up pen to repair small nicks and scratches on the wood. When using a touch-up pen, start with the lighter shades first, and then progress to the darker shades.
There you have it – the process to reglue a wobbly chair. I would plan on taking between 30 – 50 minutes per chair to reglue it properly. You do not want to rush it.
Talk Soon – Dan Kaufman