Repair Loose Chair Spindles

Q:

We have a 20-year-old dining room set that was in climate-controlled storage for more than five years. Now, after two heating seasons in Maine, we have a few loose spindles on a couple of the chairs. What are the easiest and most effective methods of repair?
—Peter Bossé, South Portland, Maine

A:

 If the spindles have come unfastened, but you can’t slide them out to apply fresh glue, try using a glue injector (no. 836-702, $26 from Woodworker’s Supply, 800/645-9292 or woodworker.com). With this tool, you drill a 116 " hole from an inconspicuous place near the spindle to the inside of the joint. To reglue a seat spindle, for example, drill into the underside of the seat to reach the spindle. Using the glue injector, force yellow glue through the hole and into the joint. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly; then cover the hole with wood putty or filler.

If you can pull the joint apart far enough to expose a small gap between the spindle and the sides of the hole, add glue using a less expensive glue syringe, such as the one shown above (no. 178-001, $4 from Woodworker’s Supply).

Avoid using yellow glue to fill gaps; it will leave voids as it dries. Epoxy glue is a better choice where there’s little wood-to-wood contact and it dries clear. For severe gaps, mix fine sawdust of the same wood species with the epoxy to conceal the gap.

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