LumberJocks

Removing a finishing nail from a mortise and tenon joint

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by mtkate posted 11-30-2010 12:23 AM 5730 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 2787 days


11-30-2010 12:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: repair nail

I don’t think there is an easy answer to this one – I certainly can’t find one…

I am taking a chair apart and hit a snag. The cross-brace on the bottom of the chair goes into the chair rail (or stile?) with a mortise and tenon joint. The joint was re-enforced with a finishing nail that only goes in half way. Now the joint is loose – it wiggles…. but the nail assures that I cannot easily take it apart.

Do I have to bite the bullet and tap it through? There is a risk of cracking the tenon, of course.


26 replies so far

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 2709 days


#1 posted 11-30-2010 12:28 AM

Rubber mallet – knock it apart a few sharp hits get it over with. Just glue it back together again you will do more damage trying to dig the nail out than just busting it apart and letting nature take its course. Just glue the shattered sections back in place, usually it just pulls out a splinter when the nail comes through the side. If you are lucky it will bend the nail and pop out somewhat cleanly.

You can get crazy and try to wiggle in an osolating tool with a very small cutter – but really it ends up just digging into the wood somewhere anyway in most cases.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4167 posts in 3204 days


#2 posted 11-30-2010 12:41 AM

I agree with Eric. Bob Flexner digs the nail out but it does to a bit of damage, but he is a touch up master.

For tenons, sometimes it will pull through, other times it will stay and cut your tenon in half depending on how close to the end of the tennon it is however that damage wont be too bad structurally.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3483 days


#3 posted 11-30-2010 02:33 AM

What I have done is to drill a fine hole in the mortise in an area that is least visible and right into the base of the mortise.
I insert a 20 or 22 guage needle on a hypodermic syringe and drive my glue of choice in the hole until it exudes around the tenon.
Clamp and pray. ;-)
I just did one for one of my wifes’ antique collector buddies about 2 months ago.
Unless the mortise is extremely worn the glue will hold it forever.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 2709 days


#4 posted 11-30-2010 02:39 AM

All said and done – damage is nothing that a little construction adhesive won’t fix. You can sometimes dig them out, we have every gadget known to man to remove a nail. The little pincher device does work but it damages the outside and visible surface of the leg. Cracking the leg slightly in the process of removing the nail

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 2709 days


#5 posted 11-30-2010 02:40 AM

If you drill and inject – you gotta watch that there is not too much old crystallized glue in the joint or nothing bonds right. It will fill the current spaces but in a short time of wiggling the old glue will shatter more opening up more gaps. At that point the new glue is involved and getting it apart is harder.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3483 days


#6 posted 11-30-2010 06:10 AM

Eric, are you referring to hide glue?
If you are then heating the joint with a hot air gun should melt the stuff sufficiently to re inject the joint with more hide glue.
I’m not familiar with any other glues that crystallize.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 2709 days


#7 posted 11-30-2010 06:27 AM

Could be a hyde glue on an antique – could a combination of any random glue that dries out. The old Elmer’s that people used to repair the chair 50 years ago will be in poor condition now. Even if its on the wood and just in a shrunken joint it prevents good bonding between the new glue and the old wood. Works better if you sand the joints out or scrape them to get to bear wood.

We certainly have injected when taking apart isn’t possible … but I try to avoid it.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3483 days


#8 posted 11-30-2010 07:37 AM

The reason I suggested this was because of the nail problem. I would prefer to take the joints apart if possible and in some extreme case retrofit the mortise with shims or a wedge in the tenon. I have found that some of the “old” furniture was not made to any great tolerance that we build to today so the joints were bound to fail as time went on.
The worst is always the one where somebody beat me to it and botched the repair before they bring it to me.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3483 days


#9 posted 11-30-2010 03:01 PM

another tool kit resource are the screw extracters from Woodcraft.
http://www.woodcraft.com/Family/2000983/Screw-Extractors.aspx
I have been meaning to pick them up and this thread reminded me.

It probably wont be the last time I lose the head on a brass wood screw.

They should work fine for this problem as well.


Incidently, Woodcraft has free shipping to Canada right now.
I wonder how long it will take the rest of the wood stores to realise they have a willing customer just a bit Norht of them?

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View rance's profile

rance

4245 posts in 2622 days


#10 posted 11-30-2010 03:12 PM

Bob, as a warning, these are meant for Brass screws & nails. Steel nails can do a number on them, and quickly. Ask me how I know. :D Its still a good solution. :)

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

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3483 days


#11 posted 11-30-2010 03:16 PM

Rance, I had anticipated that but them’s the chances you have to take.<vbg>

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 2787 days


#12 posted 12-05-2010 04:45 PM

Thanks – I am going to go look at the problem today. What I have noticed in the chair is there is quite a lot of crystallized glue in the joints that I have had to remove as well. Someone did beat me to a repair – I believe 20 or so years ago. I’ll try knocking one joint first, then see what the result gives. Gulp!

I’ll bet whoever tried to fix it up last time used regular white glue. I bought myself some Titebond furniture repair glue which hopefully will do the trick.

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 2787 days


#13 posted 12-05-2010 05:25 PM

Wow. Wow. Wow. Talk about COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED results!!!
.
From looking at the picture below, which I took just before I applied the rubber mallet – one would think this was a mortise and tenon joint – no????
.

.
.
I am ok with the fact I cracked the wood. I will deal with it. But could anyone have expected the nail was holding in a dowel?

.

.
.

At least I know how to deal with any other joints I find.

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 2787 days


#14 posted 12-05-2010 05:28 PM

Of course, there is crystallized glue at the bottom of the well – and there was never a mortise and tenon joint in the first place. And the dowel is pine.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2577 days


#15 posted 12-05-2010 06:00 PM

thankĀ“s for the update MtKate
I have used dovels but it was on a coffeetable where the legg at the end look like II (a roman 2)
but both post had two dovels in the ends

anyway you can call it a loose tenon construction…LOL (think Festool )

Dennis

showing 1 through 15 of 26 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com