Some Useful And Efficient Tips For Gluing Broken Furniture

Lillian SteinBy Lillian SteinDec 4, 20170
Some Useful And Efficient Tips For Gluing Broken Furniture

It’s a rare household where a dab of glue isn’t needed here and there on furniture. Ideally, broken furniture should be repaired without undue delay.

When ignored, even a “good” break, with opposing jagged splinters that will come together like a jigsaw puzzle, can become worn and dirty, making a really tight joining difficult.

The strength of such a repair depends on the close contact of as much wood as possible.

Complicated breaks, like those that might occur on the back of an Adam-style chair with compound shaping, are tackled in several stages. A clamping gear would have to be built that could join the pieces. Such a repair would test the skill of a professional who has a wide range of clamps.

What sort of gluing can be done at home without clamps? You need not worry, we have come up with tips to glue together broken furniture

Tips To Glue Broken Furniture

Tips to Glue Broken Furniture

  • Certain small breaks in wood can be easily and successfully joined with one’s fingers. And these repairs are generally the ones that place little or no stress on the reunited parts, like chips around the edges or broken pieces of carving or sculptures.

  • To succeed, the faces of the “join” must be clean the fresher the break, the better. Use liquid hide glue. For best results, do it on a warm day with low humidity, when the glue will be relatively thin and will run well.

  • When a thin layer of glue is applied to both surfaces and manual clamping is applied, excess glue oozes out in tiny beads. Make them “sweat” all along the line of the break, and you will know the parts have come together accurately.

  • The work should be held in steady hands for at least a couple of minutes. On small jobs, fingers act better than clamps. They can hold firmly where the join runs obliquely and where, under pressure, conventional clamps can slide the two surfaces of the repair off each other. Excess glue should be gently wiped away, using warm water and paper towels, or cotton-tipped swabs.

  • Where you think the wood is stout enough to take it, you may want to reinforce a join with fine dowels. But first, practice with a brand-new drill bit on scrap wood. Using an electric drill with a less than steady hand, you might find that your holes are slightly oversize. Don’t worry; glue will fill the gap.

  • You need to work fairly quickly, for glue tends to swell wood on contact. These fine dowels will not stand too much tapping, and inserting the dowel will be tricky.

  • To help you drill holes accurately, draw guidelines across the break with a pencil. You need drill only three-eighths of an inch on either side or less if there isn’t enough wood.

  • With less than perfect drilling, the longer the dowel, the more the faces will be off when they are brought together, guided by the dowel. If the two sides refuse to line up, ream the hole on one side only, using a slightly larger drill, to give the dowel some play. Do this before gluing.

  • For this type of work, the model maker or the professional shop restorer may use a flexible-shaft, variable-speed drill that fits in the fingers like an oversize fountain pen. This type of instrument certainly makes for steadier drilling.

  • On really delicate joins, instead of small dowels, beauty brads may be used to strengthen glued surfaces. These are made of brittle steel about as thick as a home mending needle.

  • To accommodate the brads, you will need a set of needle-drill bits and a special adapter for centering and clamping the bits firmly in the chuck. The brads are inserted in their holes with pliers and no glue, pushed in as far as is necessary then snapped off at the surface. This equipment is not inexpensive, but if you have several such jobs lined up, it will be a good investment.

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