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glue for chair joints

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  • glue for chair joints

    As I just mentioned in a previous post I'm finishing up an ash shaker chair project. The majority of my joints are 5/8" dia. x 3/4" round tennons that are a snug fit. I'm looking for suggestions on the best glue to use. I've never tried the gorilla type glues and don't know if this would be a good application. Due to way a chair is used I expect the joints to be stressed somewhat through use and want to use the best glue.
    Thanks.

  • #2
    Did you do a thru tenon on the legs to the seat? If so, I would add a wedge, and use titebond II.
    PVA glue is strong enough, but I would also suggest that you line up so that you have long grain to long grain in your glue ups. If you have snug joints to begin with, the PVA will swell the wood just a little, so you shouldn't have any worry about glue failure.
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    • #3
      i read someplace that the most recomended glue for chair makers is Hide glue I've never used it and dont know much about it just relaying what i've read bill

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      • #4
        Hide glue was used for furniture assembly before PVA (poly vinyl acetate) was invented in the '50's. Over time, the adhesive becomes brittle and fails. But that is precisely a benefit, because it allows you to take the furniture apart, therefore, furniture restorers prefer it in their work.
        More recent adhesives create a bond stronger than the wood, so that instead of the joint failing, the piece is damaged, and may not be repairable.
        The polyurethane adhesives (Gorilla glue) expand about 4:1, filling gaps, but also oozing out of the joint. The filling qualities do not make the joint stronger, just fill the voids. It is waterproof for exterior applications.
        Since PVA forms a joint stronger than the wood, there is little reason to use the other adhesives, and therefore most joinery is done with PVA. It also has a longer open time, allowing better assembly of complicated joints.
        If it don\'t fit, force it. If it breaks, \'needed fixin\' anyhow. 8{~

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        • #5
          I've got a chair - very old, possible 100 years - with some loose joints and tight ones and would like to take the whole thing apart and refinish and reglue. Any ideas on how to loosen these joints?

          Best regards,

          Henry

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          • #6
            My advise is to not use the poly glue, go with white or yellow glue or hide glue (with below caveat). I've use Gorilla glue and found it to be messy and I have doubts about a "joint" filling glue. Either the joint should fit properly or the void should be intentional to allow for expansion. Poly glue is essentially non-reversible, which makes it inappropriate for things like chair joints. These are eventually going to fail and you want to be able to repair them. In the future, we may find that poly glue is worse than nails when it comes to disassembly.
            The big advantage of hide glue is that it is reversible and repairs are much easier than with any other glue. Even with white and yellow glue you must be able to clean the old glue off before regluing. This is hard to do with damaging the tenon and is even harder to do with the mortise. Hot hide glue will blend into old hide glue without the need for scraping the old glue off. In some cases, disassembly of the joint isn't even necessary if it can be worked in around the tenon. Warm water and maybe a little white vinegar and a soft blow with a mallet is about all that is necessary to disassemble a hide glue joint. I do some antique repair and use it fairly often.
            A problem with hide glue is that you really ought to mix your own. The stuff you find on the self is questionable. Hide glue has a much shorter self life than white or yellow glue. In fact, I only mix what I plan to use on a project, although you can reheat it a few times provided no more than a day or so lapses between use. I buy my glue in grandules at www.homesteadfinishing.com. I think you can find directions for use at that website under the Articles section at the website.
            As for disassembling PVA glue joints, I'd try warm water mixed about 50/50 with white vinegar first. A rubber mallet and/or spreader clamp also helps, and you're entitled to cuss if you find a nail. Be sure to clean the old glue off and let the piece dry out (from the water and vinegar) before regluing. You have my sympathy if some of the joints are tight.

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