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Spindle chair repair

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Forum topic by Elvin posted 221 days ago 407 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Elvin

62 posts in 2024 days


221 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: chair repair spindles question

A friend asked if I could repair some of his chairs that have become loose over the years. I said I would research it and see if I was in over my head.
This is one of the chairs. It has eight spindles and loose seat legs.


Has anyone repaired a chair like this? Any suggestions? How long, on average , would it take? I am a one man shop and any help would be appreciated.
El

-- Elvin, Southern California, "How great would life be if we lived a little of it everyday"


7 replies so far

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wseand

2119 posts in 1666 days


#1 posted 221 days ago

Could you give a little better idea of the problems with it. Loose spindle, cracked seat, etc.

I have used acetone to loosen up the glue and the spindles come out pretty easy. Then really it is just sanding the pieces and then glue them back in. If there is any broken spindle you may have to manufacture/purchase one. If part of the seat is cracked you can glue some Butterfly Keys across the crack. I have also used dowels to reinforce cracks.

I have had cracks in the rail, this is how I fixed that problem. HERE

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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wseand

2119 posts in 1666 days


#2 posted 221 days ago

As far as time, depends if your going to re-finish it and the extent of the damage.

Edit: Sorry I missed the first part of the question, I got loose spindles and seat.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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mtenterprises

817 posts in 1318 days


#3 posted 221 days ago

I’ve done LOTS of these over the years and once you are skilled in how these things are built it could take anywhere from a couple hours to oh maybe four hours to dissassemble and reglue one of these. Watch out for hidden pin nails they can make the job go real bad trying to get them out. If the joints come apart easily, great but if the don’t give any indication of looseness leave them together. Make sure all the old glue is removed from ALL surfaces to be reglued. Any regular hard drying wood glue works(hide glue, titebond, Elmer’s wood glue). Do not fill the sockets with glue but paint the sides of the sockets and the tenons, the glue does no good what so ever in the bottom of the hole. Assemble quickly so the glue doesn’t set because you often have to bend things into place and give them a bit of a twist. Once started in the gluing process don’t stop, don’t let people call you away from this part of the job. Then all I use to clamp most chairs is a loop of rope and a stick as a tourniquet to apply pressure all around. It can be done on the legs and backs both with a little thinking. When done properly these chairs are usually good for another 25 to 30 years.
MIKE
P.S. Oh yea number your joints on both parts so you get it back together correctly, believe me on this one.

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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Picken5

118 posts in 1316 days


#4 posted 221 days ago

I agree with mtenterprises on this one. I’ve repaired a dozen or so of these type chairs. Assuming all the parts are in good condition, it’s not too hard to take it apart, clean the joints and glue it back together. I usually find it easier to glue the legs (with cross pieces) to the seat first. When that’s set up, I’ll work on the back with it’s spindles. (But, that strategy doesn’t work with some of the bentwood chairs where the back and rear legs are one piece.) Two to four hours is about right. Now, if you’re also refinishing, that’s another story altogether… and a lot more time.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

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Elvin

62 posts in 2024 days


#5 posted 220 days ago

Thanks to all of u for taking the time to respond. I can use all of your info and it has given me the confidence to work on these chairs.

-- Elvin, Southern California, "How great would life be if we lived a little of it everyday"

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

817 posts in 1318 days


#6 posted 220 days ago

Believe it or not these chairs lend themselves well to repairs as long as nothing stupid has been done to them previously. Repair or replacement of broken parts is another story and often a judgement call as to what is best for the chair and the customer. That is how I first got into turning, because I could not find proper replacement parts. I have way too many tips and tricks to post here so if you run into any problems contact me.

Bill – Thanks for the acetone tip I think I’ll try that on my next repair.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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wseand

2119 posts in 1666 days


#7 posted 220 days ago

Mike,
Works like a charm for me

Great job explaining the process, I lack literary elegance.

El,
If you run into any problems along the way don’t hesitate to ask for some help. I’m sure you’ll do fine.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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