For Houston Area Residents: Tips On How To Repair Damaged Furniture
- Remove damaged screws using an extractor
However, it is important to remember that these methods are not meant to types of glue on fine antiques. If you aren’t sure that an old piece of furniture is especially valuable, then consider having an expert take a look at it. (To find such an expert, look for one in the “Antiques-Repair and Restore” section of the Yellow Pages).
- To get a better grip on nails, drill holes
Often, nails can easily be removed by separating parts to access them. In some instances, you can simply remove a nail by driving it through the part so that it comes out on the other side. However, if getting a hold of a nail’s head proves to be problematic, then consider drilling large enough holes on the opposite sides of the nail’s shank for a needle-nose pliers to get through. Run your drill’s bit along the shank and drill as deep as the nail’s shank.
- Hollow out to chip out broken dowels or tenons
When half of a tenon or dowel remains stuck in its hole, most of us are normally tempted to grab a same-sized bit to drill it out. However, doing this will most certainly leave you with a large, unsightly and off-center hole. Instead, consider using a bit that is about 1/8 of an inch smaller than the socket and simply break out a small part of the remaining dowel and the rest will come out easily.
- Strip parts using a hammer
When doing this, make sure that you have a collection of carpet scraps, cardboard pieces or wooden blocks to avoid damaging surfaces. Cover your workbench using a heavy blanket or carpet and get to work.
While this is an approach that makes most furniture repair purists flinch, the truth is that some of the pieces just are not worth saving when making first-class repairs. While epoxy injection is easy and fast, it still is a bit of a gamble considering that it does not work every time. And when it doesn’t, you will only be left with a loose joint that is almost impossible to repair.
Your main aim should be to force epoxy into pockets between the bottom of the socket or mortise and the end of your tenon. This way, the epoxy will flow into the spaces around the tenon. The holes you drill into the pockets need to be about the same size as the tip of your epoxy syringe so that it tightly seals the hole when it compared.
- Hot water and shavings get glue off joints
Reaming, sanding or scraping off old glue from a mortise or socket is usually tedious and slow work. And it is tough to do so without enlarging the holes. Considering this, why not let moisture and heat get the work done for you? A large enough syringe will let you inject steaming hot water right where you want it, and bits of a block plane’s crushed shavings are good for soaking up the glue once it has softened up. While you will probably have to repeat this process a couple of times, it is still safer than most methods.
- Rebuild broken tenons
To rebuild broken tenons, the first thing you need to do is trim off the broken, rough end of the tenon before gluing in a block in the gap. If you are fixing a leg chair or some other part that experiences a lot of tension, then consider epoxy as standard glue doesn’t bond end grains very well. Once the block is in place, make a dowel hole through the wood block into the part. Check out the photos on the right on how to do this.
- Wrap up worn down tenons
To enlarge a tenon and restore a tighter fit, consider wrapping it with shavings from your plane. But, remember that shrinkage and wear turn round tenons and sockets into ovals.
- Insert a rung or spindle
A scarf joint is an answer. A scarf joint is a tapered and long cut that provides enough surface area for stronger glue joints. The great thing about this joint is that it’s less visible compare to crosscuts.
- Reinforce using steel
While a majority of furniture fractures can be repaired by simply gluing them back together, some breaks can be quite messy, leaving a tirade of splintery fractures that will not form strong glue joints. While replacing the entire part is an option, there is a way you could reinforce the part from inside without having to remove it. To do this, you will need a steel rod that’s cut to length and a long drill bit. Start by gluing up the fractured part as you would then drill it. The extent of repair will determine hole diameters; however, it is important that your bit is 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch larger than the rod. 12-inch-long bits and threaded or smooth steel rods are available at most home centers.
- Picking glue for repairs
Glue: Contingent to factors like wood species and temperature, standard wood glue may set in less than five minutes. However, when working on more complex assemblies like chairs and need more time, consider working with Titebond’s Extend (a slower-setting type of yellow glue) or liquid hide glue. Both glue types offer roughly twice the open time regular wood glue offers.
Faster Wood Glue: Also known as “Super Glue,” Cyanoacrylate is generally the best option for smaller repair projects as it sets fast (within minutes, and in some instances, seconds – depending on the formulation). With this option, there is no need to use a clamp to hold odd-shaped or small parts, simply hold a repair together using your hands until it sets.
Gap-Filling Wood Glue: While mixing can be tedious, a two-part epoxy formulation is the best option for joints that do not fit well. Epoxy strengthens sloppy fitting joints as it becomes a strong and firm bonding gap filler once it cures. Standard wood glues tend to shrink as they dry up and are too frail to bridge gaps. While polyurethane glue expands to fill up gaps, it does not cure hard enough to make a strong gap filler.
- Practice before gluing
While using a clamp to squeeze parallel and flat parts together is easy, the thing is that most furniture will have a few curves in place, and that could prove a bit tricky. As such, a clamping job that seems simple could end up becoming a tough one. It is, therefore, advisable that you do not touch your glue bottle before you have performed a complete dry run or two.
Furniture repair Houston doesn’t have to scare you if you have done the proper preparation and planning. Do a little homework, head over to YouTube, and keep checking back here for more helpful tips and pointers that will save you tons of money and give you great satisfaction.