Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Any Excuse to Hit the Shop!

The last couple weeks have been pretty busy with the day job, so shop time was pretty limited.  I’ve been able to get out there for a few minutes at a time to tidy up or tinker with the “Lego” pieces, but that was about it…until last night!  While eating dinner with our visiting family from Colorado, disaster struck!  Joint failure on one of our old 60’s Danish Modern dining chairs, in two places even.  I sprang into action like I’d been training for this moment all my life.  My mind raced, “This will require a drill, clamps, wood glue and even a chisel for clean up!  Yay!...uh, I mean, oh what a shame!  We really like these chairs.  I’ll have to see if I can fix this tomorrow morning honey.”

I gently placed the patient on the examining table to survey its wounds…a total collapse of the left side supporting structure.

Upon closer inspection…ah ha!  This patient has been operated on before, and it doesn’t look like a licensed professional did the work.  It’s a good thing I’m here!  The rear joint has no signs of any glue at the joint or on the dowels and the front joint at the cross-bar looks like it was repaired with half a bottle of Gorilla Glue!

After removing the seat, a lot of chisel work was required to remove an almost eighth inch layer of the old polyurethane glue foam.  Not pretty!

I was able to chisel away most of the crud and then some sanding was needed.

Once the joints were cleaned up, the handy dandy squeeze bottle made injecting glue into and around the dowel holes and on the dowels a breeze.

After the glue-up it was time to lock it all down.

That front joint (the one attacked by the gorilla) was still giving me some trouble.  There must be a little sliver or chunk of the old glue that I missed because I couldn’t get the joint to close completely.  I really torqued down on the joint with two clamps to pull it as close as possible, but a small sliver of space on the back side just wouldn’t seal up.  There could also be some slight twist in the frame.  This patient is pushing 50 years old after all.

With glue applied to both joints, and since they’re closed joints, it was too late to pull it all apart again.  At the end of the day, both joints will be much stronger than they were after the previous repair, but I’ll have to keep an eye on it.

After about eight hours under clamp pressure the patient was ready to leave the shop and return home.

A few test sittings revealed a good strong recovery with a prognosis for a long and happy life…if you can really call having someone’s behind in your face all the time a happy life.


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