How to Repair a Chair With Glue

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You can repair wooden chairs with glue and braces to hold it in place. The wood glue, or carpenter's glue, dries quickly and is actually stronger than the wood itself. The best repairs are done in weakened joints, or spots where the supports fit into the legs, for example. Repairing a snapped cross brace or seat with glue alone is less feasible due to the size of the break and the amount of weight the broken area needs to support. For the bracing, a repair shop would use wood clamps, which can be quite expensive; for a simple home repair you can substitute ratchet straps, which are much cheaper and which you may already have.

Things You'll Need

  • Carpenter's glue
  • Ratchet straps or weights
  • Damp rag
  • Screwdriver (optional)
  • Check the fit of the pieces to be repaired. The should fit snugly, either into the joint or each other, depending on the type of repair.

  • Squeeze carpenter's glue into the repair spot. If the joint is a hole for a spindle, fill the hole about halfway. You want to use enough for a good hold--more than a thin coat--but you don't want to flood it.

  • Place the parts you are repairing together snugly. Check for a good fit. If they don't fit correctly, take them apart, clean the glue off with a damp rag, and start over.

  • Wipe off excess glue with a damp rag.

  • Brace the chair with ratchet straps or weights, depending on the repair spot. You can wrap the ratchet straps around the chair and tighten lightly, or place the weights on top of the repair area if feasible. You want steady pressure from the weight, but not so much that you squeeze all the glue out. Allow to dry for at least several hours; overnight is better.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure that you have all the proper parts. If a part is missing or a piece of the area to be repaired has been lost or destroyed, rather than glue the chair you will probably need to replace the part.
  • If you are repairing the wooden base of a chair (for example an upholstered chair), remove it from the rest of the chair by removing the screws that attach it.

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