Gluing is a Common Method Used to Repair Antique Furniture


Gluing the joints on antique furniture can help reverse problems such as wobbly legs on a chair or joints on a table that cause the piece to feel unsteady. Antique furniture repair is often as simple as applying wood glue to the problem area and clamping it until it is dry. The biggest hassle with re-gluing old furniture is preparing the surface for the application.

When you own a piece of furniture that is not steady and seems to sway when any amount of weight is put on it, the best course of action is to determine the piece’s structural problems. Are the joints loose? If that is the only problem, it can be easy to address and fix the issue with glue. A loose joint should be fixed as soon as the problem is noticed because delaying the fix can have a reciprocal effect on the furniture’s other joints. For example, if one joint becomes loose it will likely cause others to also become loose. In order to prevent this domino effect, address the problem immediately.

Before Taking the Piece Apart:

It may be possible to fix a wobbly piece of furniture by injecting glue into the piece’s loose joints and clamping the area until it is dry. Make sure to let the furniture sit for at least 48 hours before checking to see if the glue did its job. If it did… great! If not, you may have to disassemble the furniture and re-build the joint.

Preparing a Piece of Antique Wood Furniture for Gluing:

When adding new glue to an old piece of furniture, one of the most important steps is cleaning off all of the old glue. This is essential because most types of wood glue will not stick to old, dry glue. Therefore, if new glue is applied on top of old glue, it will do no good. In order to clean the furniture it may be necessary to use a drill to clean out the wood’s crevices and sand paper to remove residual glue. For wood dowel pins, replacing them is often easier than cleaning them in preparation for the new glue. If the cleaning step is skipped or if it is not taken seriously, you might end up spending quite a bit of time trying to repair your antique furniture and you will most likely not have an optimal result.

Applying Glue and Clamping:

When applying glue to a joint, make sure to use an ample amount. In order to save money, some chair manufacturers use very little glue in the building process. This saves them money, but it can cause the furniture they produce to become wobbly or unsteady after just a few years. Using enough wood glue to create a solid piece of furniture is an important step in the repair process.

After you add a nice layer of glue to the area you are repairing, it is important to apply a clamp to hold the joint tightly together. This will allow the wood glue to do its job. Keep in mind that you should not over clamp the joint – which means that too much pressure is being applied to the wood. This can cause almost all of the glue to ooze out, which will leave only a small amount left to hold the joint together. Additionally, over-clamping can cause damage to the wood itself – so use caution when using clamps. If applied correctly, clamps do an excellent job of holding the wood in the correct place until it is dry.

Wipe Up Excess Glue As Soon as Possible:

As stated above, the result of clamping the wood may result in oozing glue from the area in which it was applied. Because you hopefully used an ample amount of wood glue in the joint, you can expect that extra glue will drip out. This is a common consequence of using glue on wood pieces that are squeezed together tightly. When you see this happening, make sure to wipe the area with either a damp cloth or with a cloth that has been soaked in denatured alcohol. The method for cleaning excess glue will depend on the type of glue used, so make sure to read the glue’s label for instructions. Two brands of glue that are commonly used for fixing the problems discussed in this article are Titebond and Elmer’s, and these websites can provide you with more information about the available types of wood glue.

Gluing wood furniture in order to fix wobbles is one of the best and easiest methods of repairing antique pieces. Oftentimes, an injection of wood glue into a loose joint will fix the problem. In the worst case scenarios, the furniture will have to be disassembled and repaired. However, glue is always one of the most important materials used to repair the furniture and to help create a strong and stable structure.

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