Notes from the workday. #5: July 22nd, Workday notes

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Blog entry by vicrider posted 07-23-2010 08:16 AM 894 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: July 20th, continued Part 5 of Notes from the workday. series Part 6: July 23rd, Chair leg repair »

I decided to lightly sand and re-coat all of the parts of the desk. Had to mix finish anyway. All parts are now in the ‘drying room’ (a shed we don’t go into often). I should be able to assemble it tomorrow. This process burnt the morning.

I got an emergency repair call from one of my buddies. He has broken a front leg on one of his dining room chairs. He is packing for a two year stint in England and asked if I could fix it so he could take it. First impression; make a new leg. No time, says he, need it tomorrow or Saturday latest, the container leaves his driveway Sunday.

It is a turned leg with a top tenon and a stretcher mortise.The tenon is snapped off right at the bottom of the chair (top of the mortise). I cleaned out the stub and glue from the mortise, pulled out the stretcher, and then took a half hour to think about options and plan the repair. The legs and stretchers had square drive screws in each joint driven through the tenon into the back of the mortise. Those had to be removed to loosen the joints. Fortunately the glue didn’t hold up very well and I could get the leg structure apart from the seat.

The neck of the leg curves dramatically from 2” down to 1 1/8” diameter. The tenon is 15/16” X 1”. The mortise is 15/16” X 1 1/16”. Thus there is a very small shoulder right where the break occurred. Also the leg split slightly about 1/4” below the tenon.

My plan is to first shorten the leg by trimming it below the split. The wide parts of the leg are all 2” so I should be able to clamp and trim it square. I have a jig that I use on my drill press that will hold the leg vertically, centered and square to the bit. I think I will bore a stepped 3/4”-5/8” mortise about 2” deep into the end of the leg. Then I will turn a matching stepped tenon that begins at 5/8” x 1”, steps up to 3/4” X 1”, then up to 1 1/8” X whatever I cut off, then down to 15/16” X 1”. Epoxy that puppy into the leg, then re-assemble the chair.

I think that short of making an entire new leg, and I haven’t done any real lathe work in a while, this is my best option. the plug will be long enough to get to the meat of the leg and i believe it will hold. No money in this, just an exercise in furniture repair. If it doesn’t hold up, I’ll make a new leg for it later.

Got the jig all lined up. Now to sleep on the idea prior to drilling…..

Remarkably, I was able to locate all the tools I needed today, even though I had just moved most of them…..


-- vicrider

1 comment so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3004 days

#1 posted 07-23-2010 09:54 AM

It is always when the need is now that you get the most creative and get those juices flowing. Sounds like it should work to me.

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