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  • restoring a chest

    A friend has asked me to restore this old chest. The lid had basically fallen apart and all the trim had long since gone. taking it fully apart is not really an option as all the joints are dovetailed and pinned. I think if I try most of the dovetails could break or fall apart. The DTs are not particularly loose but I wonder about injecting some glue into the gaps. Dont really want to use polyurethane so that leaves regular wood glue, hide glue or epoxy. Regular wood glue will shrink so not sure about gap filling. I haven't worked much with hide glue and epoxy could get messy.

    It comes down to the question of what will fill gaps, provide some improved long term integrity to the joints and not look out of place.

    Open to thoughts and ideas.

    Thanks

    Jon

    Phoenix AZ - It's a dry heat
    ________________________________

    We all make mistakes and I should know I've made enough of them
    techzibits.com

  • #2
    For some restorations Iíve used titebondII, inject a dab in the crack/joint to build a dam, let it set overnight, rotate furniture so the crack is facing up and inject more in the crack and let dry. Rotate and fill the other side of the crack. This takes 3-4 days to fill the cracks and tighten up the box. This is not a great way to restore something because the titebond wonít accept stain, but it beats taking everything apart and basically having to make a new cabinet.

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    • #3
      If the gaps are narrow I'd try CA or wood glue.
      If they are dovetail joints that are not half blind but through joints you can try this: use the narrow nozzle of your shop vac on the back side of the joint and put the glue on the front side with small applicator (flat toothpick) or syringe. The vacuum will suck the glue deep into and even out the other side of the joint.
      .
      Loring in Katy, TX USA
      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
      BT3 FAQ - http://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/dis...sked-questions

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      • #4
        I've not repaired a joint like that, but have done surfaces where the wood has separated or cracked. I sand the wood surface or a similar wood type (looks like pine here) and then mixed it with wood glue to fill in the space. Depending on the size of the gap, it usually takes two or three applications of the sawdust/glue mixture. Then I sand the surface smooth before applying a finish.

        My experience has been that most wood glues will dry a more yellowish color than the wood and it won't take stain very well, if at all.

        If a gap is substantial, you can also take a sliver or adequately thin slice of a similar wood to wedge fit into the gap, gluing it in place and once solidly fixed, use a razor edged chisel to slice it flush. Properly done, it can look almost integral with the antiquity of the surface.

        CWS
        Last edited by cwsmith; 01-30-2018, 01:23 PM.
        Think it Through Before You Do!

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        • #5
          Some good advice. I like the vacuum idea, have to give that a try. I am most concerned with wood glue that wont stain. I guess I will need to be careful where it goes.
          Jon

          Phoenix AZ - It's a dry heat
          ________________________________

          We all make mistakes and I should know I've made enough of them
          techzibits.com

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          • #6
            Glue that gets on the wood and wonít stain made me stain my Tiny Table components before I glued them up. Itís not that hard to do a table like that but a more complex assembley or a re-work like your chest would be more difficult. Injecting just a tad at a time makes it less likely to get on the outside wood and cause stain prolblems. Iíve not tried the dark titebond glues, they may dry to the color you want. Iíve heard people that say they make up their on wood/glue paste to fill up a crack, and stain over it.... but any time I experiment with that process it doesnít stain much better than the glue, so I wonít suggest that. If you have a sizable crack the wood sliver jammed into the crack like cws suggests works good to hide the glue you have already reinforced the crack with.
            capncarl

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