As home furniture goes, chairs take a lot of abuse. Dining chairs are used multiple times per day. The heavier someone is the harder it is on their furniture. It also doesn't help when someone leans back on the rear legs, putting a tremendous amount of weight on joints that weren't intended to be load-bearing at those angles. It can cause the chair's legs to loosen and become wobbly.
A piece of furniture's age is also a factor. Over the years, the chair's wood shrinks and the glue hardens and no longer adheres properly.
Try these easy fixes to tighten loose chair legs and prolong the life of your furniture.
1. Examine the chair thoroughly and check for loose joints not only in the legs but also along the stretchers (wood dowels joining the legs) and where the legs meet the base/seat of the chair.
2. Remove the stretchers from the legs. You may also have to remove the loose legs from the chair. There may be screws attaching the legs to the chair so take care that those are first removed.
3. Loosen the stretchers from the legs and scrape off the old glue with a box cutter or utility knife. You may also need to sand off any old glue residue.
4. Apply epoxy or wood glue to the clean wood surface and attach stretchers back to the legs. If you've removed the legs, reattach them to the chair.
5. If everything is snug then wait at least 48 hours or the manufacturers recommended time before using the chair again. If the stretchers and legs don't fit snug then use a band clamp to hold the pieces together until it dries.
6. Keep a damp cloth nearby to wipe up any excess glue that may have oozed out of the joints.
* Don't use Gorilla glue. This type of glue expands and will cause problems once it dries. Stick to carpenters or wood glue
* If the screws you removed don't reattach tightly then remove them and use a slightly longer screw that will "bite" into the wood and hold it firmly.
For tons of home repair tips, check out this author's blog, Charles & Hudson
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