Furniture that you disassemble to refinish or repair usually doesn't go back together as tightly as when it was first made. But here's a method to ensure that the rungs on an old chair will fit tightly.


First, cut some veneer strips as wide as the tenons on the rung are long and as long as the circumference of the tenons minus 116 ". Make as many veneer strips as you have tenons to repair. Soak the strips in water overnight or until pliable. Then, with a drill bit that measures the diameter of the tenons plus two times the thickness of the veneer, enlarge the mortise in the leg. Drill a series of holes the same size in a piece of scrap stock.

Place the wetted veneer in the holes and insert the tenon. Allow the veneer to completely dry. This shouldn't take more than 24 hours. Then, remove the tenon and veneer from the hole, apply glue to the tenon and the inside of the veneer band, and reinsert them in the hole in the scrap stock. When the glue dries, you'll have a tenon that, with a little bit of sanding, should fit snugly into the mortise in the chair leg.

—Julius Ventura, Kenosha, Wis.