Thursday, May 09, 2013

Broken Arms

Now that this last round of classes has ended, it's time to hop back onto a few jobs that are piling up. The first one has something to do with broken arms. 

No, not like this. 

Or this.

Or even this. 

It's more like this. 

And this.

Broken arms on chairs are one of the most requested repairs I do. A few weeks ago, my dentist called and said he had some chairs that needed repaired. Not my favorite job, but  - hey, that's why they call it work, right? 

Apparently the manufacturer of these chairs knew that this part of the arm was its weak spot. All of them were broken in the same place, and had mortises in the arms, with a loose tenon inside. An interesting thing though, was that the tenons weren't glued into place. At least I didn't have to dig them out, that made this repair a little simpler.  They all looked like this.  

I felt the best way to repair them was to cut new tenons and glue the arms back together.  Since the mortise was one-quarter inch square, I set the fence on the table saw up to cut a one-quarter inch rip. 

I made a vertical cut on a piece of wood, 

and flipped the board around, making a vertical cut,

 to create the square rip.

 I cut a few different pieces, each slightly larger, so that I'd get a good fit. (Richard W. makes fun of my stubby pencils, so I thought he'd like this shot.) I love stubby pencils!

 This is a perfect fit, so I cut them to length, and started my repairs. 

 These were miserable to clamp - I tried every which way to find a way to clamp them - making a special wooden block to support that big curve in the arm, but nothing worked, so I clamped them by hand.... yes, I put some glue on the pieces and held them together 
with my hands for about ten minutes, until the glue set up. 

Ah... the glamorous life of a woodworker. 

 But - in the end - the repairs were pretty solid. All four arms glued together perfectly. The best part was scratching this off of my "to-do" list. 

 I'm just happy I wasn't called to repair this chair leg!

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