My wifes grandfather was an avid woodworker in La Canada California. He owned and founded Lincoln Lumber in Pasadena.
My wife received a pair of chairs, with rotted out leather seats, and a pretty rough finish. The chairs spent the past 60 years or so in a steel Shipping container/storage unit outside Palmdale.
This is the intact-ish one the other is laying in pieces sanded beside it. One of the features I really like is that he made the barley twist on the front legs run opposite directions (one clockwise one counterclockwise):
Of course to do proper restoration, I decided to go with hot hide glue.
Playing with it, I definitely found it is plenty strong. This is 192 gram strength, and I added urea (the blue capped tube). Bought the glue from Homestead finishing.
I used the recipe I found on Blended woodworking of adding 15% urea by weight.
It certainly added to the gel time – so I think I can work with this.
I played with making rub joints until it tacked – I used a quick grip clamp overnight, then put it in a vice and using my “CALIBRATED mallet” to check the glue strength – especially with the urea in it.
You can see in the cherry gluline – it is plenty strong. there were two joints, I was surprised that the longer piece of wood failed, rather than one of the shorter ones… however the result is indeed the hide glue is stronger than the wood—- even after adulterating it with 15% urea.
Back to the Chair
I got all the joints apart, with the help of a Wagner wallpaper steamer, with a piece of RC Airplane hobby brass tubing inserted as a steam wand, rather than the plastic diffusers that came with it.
That + some bar spreaders, and the occasional coaxing with the Mallet – and I have a pile of chair parts.
Sanded down, and ready to reassemble. Sanding the Van-dyke brown stain out of the barley twists by hand really really REALLY was miserable! But used strips of cloth backed paper ~3/4 inch wide, from an 3X21 belt sander belt.
Now just have to see if I can get gluing done on Sunday – or if the plethora of kids activities, will derail my plans.
Certainly with hot hide, I will still need to break down the glue-up into stages.
The red bins are the different length dowels (hence the blue tape) since when the chairs were made, he didn’t drill all holes the same depth (for stretchers that would be impossible anyway)
-- I don't trust trees. They're kinda shady