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Taking a Dowel Joint Apart

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Steps 1 - 2

Steps 1 - 2

To turn a wobbly chair into a sturdy one, first you have to disassemble it. Use these methods to conquer dowels that don't want to budge.

Furniture repair would be much easier if dowels worked loose at both ends at the same time. Unfortunately, they tend to stay solid at one end while wiggling at the other. So even when a chair is one the critical list, digging the dowels out for replacement usually poses a major challenge.

The photographs on this page will lead you through a useful sequence of tactics. If one method fails, move on to the next. You'll get those dowels out.

1) Break the joints apart. In many situations, you can disassemble a dowel joint with nothing more than a bar spreader and a non-marring mallet.

2) Then try drops of alcohol. If dowels remain in some holes and won't budge, try to loosen them with a few drops of alcohol. Let it soak in for a few minutes to dissolve the glue.

Continued on page 2:  Steps 3 - 5


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