Wood Chair Re-glue – How To

Chair re-gluing before and after

We repair hundreds of pieces of antique furniture and wooden chairs every year. The following furniture restoration project shows a basic outline of how we re-glue a chair.

The oak armchair for this project is dated around 1900. It is very loose and wobbly. Luckily it was brought in for restoration before something became broken.

To begin,
we removed the wooden plugs which cover the screws located at the arm-to-back and arm support-to-seat. After the screws were taken out, the arms came right off. The seat and corner blocks are also removed.

Then with a little help from a rubber mallet we disassembled the stretchers, legs and arms. Each of these chair parts were inspected for breaks or splits. As with most wood chairs we restore, the back frame was solid and did not have to come apart.

Once our wooden chair was disassembled, the old glue was scraped from their joints.

Oak chair taken apart and pieces laid out

During this part of the restoration project it is important to lay out the pieces in such a way that the chair will be put back together as was. Mixing up stretchers or turning parts the wrong way will cause assembly problems for any wooden chair. You only have to make the mistake once to realize the benefits of keeping the chair parts organized with whatever system works for you.

Furniture restoration shops with multiple workers eliminate mix ups by having a system that everyone follows. A common step by step process for re-gluing chairs can allow any trained employee to pick up where someone else has left off.

After cleaning up the joints on our oak chair, we re-glued and assembled the parts as original. Clamps were applied to pull the joints tight and left to keep secure overnight.

Chair glued and clamped tight before and after

A couple missing wooden plugs for this chair were replaced and finished up to match. Wooden plugs come in many shapes, sizes and species of wood. Wooden oak plugs for this oak chair are not hard to find.

To finish up
this furniture restoration project we applied a fresh coat of light oak furniture wax and buffed to a soft sheen.

Oak arm chair repair and antique furniture restoration for Lakeville CT client – thank you.