repair chair arms

Old 04-25-02, 07:21 AM
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repair chair arms

Can someone tell me the best way to replace AND strengthen the arms that have broken off of my dining room chair? Please help!
Old 04-27-02, 04:46 PM
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Location: South Hill, Va. USA
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I would like a little more information than you provided, but I'll take a typical situation and show you how I work it.

Most dining room arm chairs I've worked on are supported at the back of the arm with a screw that's hidden by a dowel plug. Over time, this screw works loose, and unless tightened, will ream out the hole it's in, causing it to fail.

The arm is usually joined to the front support with a dowel. The front support itself is usually held in place with 2 or 3 screws. Normally, you have to remove the seat to locate these screws - they are rarely hidden, however.

Any screw holes that have become oversized can be easy fixed by wiping toothpicks in wood glue and jamming them into the hole until the hole will hold no more. Break the toothpicks off flush with the frame and let dry overnight. The same screws, reinserted, will now have something to hold onto (the fresh wood). Titghten securely, but don't strip them out, or you'll be back to square one.

The joinery of the front of the arm and the vertical support can be reglued. Clean all the old glue off first, apply fresh glue, insert and clamp in place to dry overnight.

The point is to get everything tight - any movement at all places strain on the joinery, and will cause it to fail.

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