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Joint filler for an old dining chair

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Dan Steely

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Hi All,

A friend has brought me an old dining room chair with very loose joints. I've knocked it apart and it's clear it's been repaired numerous times before. Most of the joints have got some voids once I dry fit the chair back together. It's not a particularly valuble chair and I don't intend to use glue that was used when it was first made, animal glue I think. I'ts got some hardwood corner braces that have been added at some point through it's life.
So I could do with some filler to fill the voids. I was thinking along the lines of glue and sawdust mixed together. Can anyone suggest a better filler?
 

Just4Fun

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it's clear it's been repaired numerous times before. Most of the joints have got some voids once I dry fit the chair back together. It's not a particularly valuble chair and I don't intend to use glue that was used when it was first made, animal glue I think.
hmmm ... I don't follow the reasoning here. The chair is a good enough chair that it has been worth repairing numerous times before and it is worth repairing now. So why do you want to use a different type of glue that may well render the chair non-repairable in the future? Do you think that after your efforts the chair will not be worth repairing again?

I recently repaired some chairs and I used animal glue, similar to the glue used on them in the past. This glue is reversible and repairable in a way that more modern alternatives are not. I had not used animal glue before but it was easy enough and I would certainly use it again on future jobs like this.

As for filling the voids, I don't know if animal glue is suitable for that. If not, how big are the voids? If they are large enough I would consider glueing extra material onto the tenons and then working it back to make an acceptably tight fit.
 

Fitzroy

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Repairing the tenons / mortices through adding extra material then refinishing to size would be the more sensitive approach.
 
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Orraloon

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Without seeing the joints its kind of hard to say but chair joints are under a fair bit of stress so whatever you do keep that in mind. Hide glue would be the ideal after building up and reforming the tenons as said above. Only problem is if other glues have been used in past repairs then the hide glue is less likely to take unless you can clean the mortices out fairly well. Epoxy can be a get out of jail card in that it can fill voids but only up to a point. Big voids are best filled with wood. Just4Fun's suggestion will get the best result but be the most work but then thats true for life in general. One time saver that may help you is sometimes it's possible to just slip in a wood shim alongside the tenon to fill up the void during the glue up.
Regards
John
 

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