December 1, 2022

Woody Woodworking

and its tools

How to Repair Wooden Chair Joints – Level 1 Woodworking Repair

3 min read

Repairing wooden chair joints isn’t difficult if you know how to do it properly. I run a furniture repair business and I’m showing how to repair a wooden chair the right way. There are many mistakes I’ve seen over the years, and this demonstration will show you how to avoid making them.

Wooden chair legs become loose over time because of the weight and shifting of people sitting on them. The first step is to turn the chair upside down on a padded surface to protect the chair. Label all the parts so you can reassemble the chair without any issues.

Now you can remove the legs. On casual chairs, theses are attached to the base of the seat. Using a spreader clamp (see link below), start with the front two legs to loosen and lift the legs out of the mortises (holes). A slight circular motion can help if they need additional help to loosen up.

After the front two chair legs are loose, do the same with the back two legs to release the base of the chair. Once it’s separated, take apart the loose joints. If there are joints that don’t have any movement in them, leave them alone as you could break them if you try to take them apart.

The next step is to clean off the old glue on the chair joints. Clean the tenons (the part that goes into the hole called a mortise) using 120 grit sandpaper, being careful only to remove the old glue and not changing the shape of the tenon. Clean out the mortises using Forstner drill bits (see link below) and a drill. The key here is to run the drill backwards to the bottom of the hole, then run it forwards. This prevents potentially changing the direction of the hole and ruining the mortice joint.

Now you’re ready to glue and reassemble the chair. Lay out all the parts so you know exactly where they go as you have to move quickly with wet glue. Apply glue with an artist’s brush ensuring to cover the full mortise edge and tenon edges with glue. Assemble the parts. Attach the base to the chair seat, and stand it up on a level surface. Add some weight to the seat to help ensure the chair legs are level and then clamp up the parts. Wipe up any glue that has squeezed out and let it dry according to the directions on your glue bottle.

Types of Glue –
LEVEL 1 Woodworking Repairs –
LEVEL 2 Woodworking Repairs –
LEVEL 3 Woodworking Repairs –
LEVEL 4 Woodworking Repairs –

Spreader Clamps –
?? Canadian link –
Forstner Bits –
Blue Masking Tape –

00:00 How to Repair Wooden Chair Joints
00:37 Why chairs become loose
01:22 Turn over chair on padded work surface
01:56 How to remove chair legs
02:26 Label chair parts before taking them apart
03:16 Use spreader clamps to remove chair base
05:44 Take apart chair base
06:26 Clean old glue off the tenon joints
08:07 Clean old glue off the mortise joints
09:26 Choose the right glue for your chair repair
10:18 How to glue up a chair the right way
11:59 Reassemble the chair
12:31 Clamping the chair


See the tools we use in our workshop and the tools we recommend:
?? Canadian link –

This video is hosted by Scott Bennett, Owner of Wooden It Be Nice – Furniture Repair in Brooklin, Ontario, Canada.

#Chair #Repair #HowTo

Woodworking News Source: Fixing Furniture

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