Repairing Old Wooden Chairs

Repairing instead of discarding is one of the primary tenets of living a green lifestyle. Wobbly legs are common on older wooden chairs, but that doesn’t mean the chair has to sit in a landfill.

You can fix a slight wobble on a not-too-valuable chair with metal shims or glue from the hardware store, but to do the job completely, follow these steps:

1

Take the chair legs and rungs apart.

Separate the pieces gently, and lay them out in the same pattern in which they fit into the chair so that you know which ones go where when it’s time to reassemble.

2

Clean off old glue with sandpaper.

The old glue may flake off or be worn off in spots, but for a clean refit, sand off the clinging bits.

3

Re-glue the joints.

Get a good-quality and good-ecology glue from your local hardware store. If you can’t find a nearby supplier, try www.greenbuildingsupply.com.

4

Re-insert the legs and rungs.

This is where laying the pieces out properly pays off because you need to put things back the way they were.

5

Clamp the chair rungs into place and wipe off any excess glue that oozes out.

Use several rigid bar clamps or a flexible clamp (often called a strap or band clamp) that cinches around all the legs at the same time.

6

Wait for the glue to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

You have a stable, usable chair again!

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