Quick Fix?

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Blog entry by greg48 posted 06-17-2012 02:44 PM 1375 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I stepped in it again. I took on a non-remunerative commission (a favor) to repair a two seater patio rocking chair that the (client) said had sagged a bit in the corner of the seat. My first inspection looked like I could simply replace the round tenoned stretcher/seat support. Getting it back to the shop, I removed the seat slats and discovered a small bit of rot in the rear vertical stile which I probed and cleaned out.

The small bit of rot grew to 7 inches in length and the lower half of the rotted area spanned from paint to paint.

So much for the quick repair. Unless someone out there has a quick fix for this, I’m looking at replacing the vertical stile as well as the tenoned stretcher/support. I don’t have a large problem manufacturing the two pieces, but during the cleaning process, I noticed that the tenons on the rocker have been pinned with nails.

I’m not sure how to dis assemble the joints with these pins. Any suggestions?? The immediate suggestion that came to mind was to throw the rocker away and build another, but the client really likes her rocker and would like to save it.

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

7 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3357 days

#1 posted 06-17-2012 03:09 PM

I would just use a small gouge to remove the wood around the nails and then pull them out with a tang like they use to pull out horseshoe nails. You might get a better idea than this one, but it’s the only way that came to my mind.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Gary's profile


9333 posts in 3455 days

#2 posted 06-17-2012 04:41 PM

I think Mike gave you the best advice since you’re replacing that piece anyway.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3183 days

#3 posted 06-17-2012 04:55 PM

Yeah, I’d go with stefang’s idea. This is exactly why I don’t like to take on repairs. I still do them from time to time, but I don’t like it.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View greg48's profile


601 posts in 2780 days

#4 posted 06-17-2012 05:25 PM

Thanks guys, the nails in the area of rot are not my concern as much as the other tenons that are solid. I was thinking of a small screw extractor that drills down the sides of the nail (Rockler sells one for <$15) but I’m not sure how to extract the wooden plug if I didn’t drill through. Perhaps I’ll just apply some pressure to the good joints and see how they react. Oh well, maybe this project will work into a blog and finished project.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#5 posted 06-17-2012 05:42 PM

Mikes Idea will work fine or you could just cut with a sawzaw or jigsaw what your calling the side rail a little above and below the tenons and then just split the little piece with a chisel. I would use the old piece to make a pattern before cutting it up. The rockler tool might work (I have a set) but I’m not sure they are big enough to fit around the nails, if it does fit you use a small chisel to clean out wood plug that you drilled and then grab the nail with some needle nose vise grips.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View greg48's profile


601 posts in 2780 days

#6 posted 06-17-2012 08:29 PM

Nothing like brute force and awkwardness. I applied a little pinpoint pressure (shot hammer) and the joints gave way, the small nail pins bending through the round mortises. I didn’t notice the strategically placed wood screw pinning the arm rest tenon so I get to manufacture a new armrest.

Let this be a lesson to all neophyte furniture repairers – don’t do this at home without the guidance of an experienced repairman. This project may cost me a few hours and $$, but the experience is priceless.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3357 days

#7 posted 06-18-2012 08:03 AM

oh, oh!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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