How would you repair this chair?
This is a kitchen table chair of my moms, she's had the set for years & years.  

I need to reglue it, it appears to be slightly "dado'd" based on the edge on picture.

It also appears to have been repaired in the past, given the metal straps underneath.

I'm not sure if the two edges are straight or not, should I just take it apart, clean it up the best I can, reglue and clamp it?

If both edges are straight, should I take each side lightly through the planer to start with a fresh surface and then reglue?

Thoughts, tips, tricks are appreciated.





In looking at what you have there, it doesn’t seem too bad. I’ve lived in a 150 yr. old ranch house for 22 years, and have repaired many chairs. What I normally world do in this case is get a syringe and large gauge needle (vet supply), and inject some glue along inside the crack line, and then clamp. Best to remove the metal “gusset” on the bottom side ahead of time.
Those joints have a small radius tongue and corresponding groove which was common in years past.  They look old enough that they might have been glued with hide glue.  If so, yellow glue won't stick well enough to give a long term repair.  If you are up for taking the chair apart (not sure I would) you can clean the mating surfaces with a hot, wet rag and or scraping most/all of the glue off, and then reglue it with hide glue.  New hide glue will stick to old hide glue so the edges don't need to be down to raw wood, although that's always good. 

If you don't want to take it apart then the options get more interesting. You could try injecting hide glue into the joint and clamping.  I'm not optimistic that will last.  An option that would offer long term durability would be to route a slot on the bottom, straddling the joint, and stopping an inch or so from the front/back so it won't show.  1/4" bit run 1/2" deep, just make sure it won't go through the top.  Then glue in spline of similar wood with yellow glue if you can clamp it tight, or epoxy if you can't.  

Personally I'd pull it apart to reglue it.  Take the hip-huggers off between the seat and back legs, pull the screws from the back legs to the seat.  Check whether there are any screws or nails from the front legs to the seat and tap the seat loose with a deadblow hammer.  I'd then use a carbide scraper and remove the old glue from the 2 edges of the crack followed by wiping the edges with hot water and follow it up with a good brush to clean it all off.
This is optional but I liked to either use a router and slot cutter or biscuit joiner and cut maybe 3 slots for biscuits.  Insure they will seat properly, if they don't then either use a smaller slot or trim them a little.
Assuming it had previously been glued with hide glue, glue it; clamp it flat and snug it up with some good pipe clamps.
Can't tell you all the chairs that came through my shop over the years and that's how I did it and had very good results.
Thanks for the advice, it is appreciated. Reportedly, the chair was purchased in the mid 1960s and made by Heywood Wakefield.

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