Replacing a broken chair spindle

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Forum topic by CueballRosendaul posted 12-15-2013 04:12 PM 1796 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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484 posts in 2340 days

12-15-2013 04:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question lathe turning refurbishing traditional victorian

We have an old Windsor style rocker that is getting passed down the family tree, but it’s missing a spindle. In order to closely duplicate the pattern, I took a photo of it next to a ruler and printed the picture out so it was to scale. I took measurements at several critical points, and also taped a copy to the tool rest on the lathe. It came out perfect and I haven’t trimmed the ends yet.

Before I proceed too much further, I’d like to ask the LJ community if there’s any trick besides cutting it a bit long and making a deeper blind hole in the chair to install it without dis assembly of the rest of the spindles on the arm. They’re very delicate and 100+ years old, so I’m keeping my mallet away from it.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

3 replies so far

View shipwright's profile


8166 posts in 2998 days

#1 posted 12-15-2013 10:17 PM

Your idea should work fine . I would strongly recommend using hide glue, preferably hot hide glue. If it is 100 years old, then that is what the rest is glued with. You won’t have to remove the old glue as the new will re activate it and that bond will be perfect. The future repair ability will be retained and as an antique it will be less compromised.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3004 days

#2 posted 12-16-2013 12:50 PM

Looks like a decent restore job

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View TaybulSawz's profile


158 posts in 1882 days

#3 posted 12-16-2013 05:09 PM

My German Grandfather taught me this trick. Drill a Hole in the end of the spindle 1” deep. the one in the chair 1/2” deep. Make the Tenon 3/4” long. Put a spring from an old ink pen in the spindle hole and insert the tenon piece. Coat ALL with glue, slip the top of the spindle in place push the tenon up into the hole and slip it into place the spring will push the tenon out and into the receiving hole when aligned.

-- Still got all my Fingers!!!

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