August 16, 2022

Woody Woodworking

and its tools

Split Wood Rocking Chair Restoration – Level 2 Woodworking Repair Restoration

3 min read

This broken rocking chair has a split wooden side rail. It’s made of mahogany and needs some TLC to put it back together again. See how to disassemble, realign parts, glue up, and touch up this rocking chair to get it back in working order.

The first step in restoring this rocking chair is to remove the seat cushion. This opens up the area to investigate the split wood from all sides. The split is loose at the front but connected at the back. Since the top arm joint is also loose, the only option to repairing that joint is to break off the rest of the split side rail.

The leg of this rocking chair is also loose, so it needs to be removed. It is slightly loose but it won’t come apart, so soaking it with vinegar breaks down the glue to release the joint.

With the parts disassembled, it’s time to test fit the broken wood to make sure it will glue up nicely. The key here is removing any loose parts that are interfering with the two pieces coming together tightly. If there isn’t a tight match, the split will be obvious after the glue dries, sit it’s important to be patient and get the fit perfect.

Once the parts are aligned, I glue them up with PVA glue. I prefer to use Lee Valley’s Carpenter’s Glue as this PVA cleans up much easier than other PVA glues I’ve used (see link below). When PVA glue is used properly, it has a stronger sheer strength than the wood. For the joint at the top of the arm, I use liquid hide glue. This is an important glue to use on wood joints for antique furniture as it is a reversible glue. If there’s a broken part in the future that requires taking this rocking chair apart, the hide glue can be reversed to safely disassemble it.

With the arm and the leg glued up, it’s time to clean off any remaining glue and touch up the broken wood to disguise the break. I use a furniture stain marker to cover up the hairline cracks where they’re visible. I also use burn-in wood fillers to fill any voids while matching the colour to the rocking chair finish. After I reinstall the seat cushion, I add my business sticker to the bottom of the seat, and this project is ready for the customer to pick up. I hope you enjoyed this video and you learned a few things. Thanks for watching Fixing Furniture.

Antique Rocking Chair Restoration with Broken Rocker –

Old Brown Hide Glue –
?? Canadian link –
Titebond Hide Glue –
Lee Valley PVA Glue –

Note: purchases made with Amazon links help fund our video production work

00:00 Split Rocking Chair Repair
00:58 How to Disassemble the Rocking Chair
05:22 How to Unglue a Wood Joint
08:25 How to Align Broken Wood to be Glued Up
12:57 Glue and Clamping the Split Wood
15:51 Glue Cracked Wood with Warm Hide Glue
16:50 Use a Syringe to Inject Glue
18:11 Glue Rocker Leg
20:14 Clean Off Dried Glue
21:13 Conceal Areas with Stain Marker
21:40 Before and After Look at Repair


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.

#FurnitureRestoration #Glue #WoodRepair

Woodworking News Source: Fixing Furniture

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