It’s been a busy few months in the shop and I got into the bad habit of working furiously and not slowing down to take pictures to share with you. When this great old Windsor chair came in I knew I couldn’t let this one go without documenting it.
It’s in great shape but through the years the joints have come loose so it was no longer safe to sit in. The owner wanted to keep the old finish and patina so it was a basic re-glue job.
Before I take a chair apart I mark each piece with masking tape so I know how it will all go back together.
A few gentle tugs on the parts and a couple of taps with a dead blow mallet and cork block got the chair apart. Only the bottom frame was loose so the top was left intact.
The chair has been repaired in the past but unfortunately the previous person wasn’t careful about pulling it apart. Chips like this come from not pulling it apart straight.
I also found some old yellow glue on top of the original hide glue. Even with two glue-ups in its history the tenon had very little glue on it which is most likely why the chair loosened up. Identifying hide glue is easy. Just put some warm water on it and if it gets sticky it’s hide glue!
I’m going to re-glue it with hide glue since one of the great things about it is that new glue will bond with the old. I also like to keep chairs as original as possible. They make fancy glue melting pots but I choose to improvise my setup with what I found at the thrift store. I even left the price tags on.
I forgot my tripod so I couldn’t do any action shots of me gluing it back together. As you can see, after a waxing the chair came out great!