Fixing a Loose Chair Rung


Northfield Mountain Antiques

Hello. My name is Charlie. I am an old firehouse captain’s chair from the Gardner, Ma. area where I was made in the late 1800’s. My life has been filled with trauma from sitting on a porch in the rain and snow to a damp musty old basement and finally in one of those metal storage bins where I was rescued and fully restored by Northfield Mountain Antiques. I still have a loose rung and have been chosen as a model for a pictorial step by step instruction on the right way to glue a loose rung.

As a chair, I know that we are a most used piece of furniture in our owners’ homes. So, it is surprising that those real smart chair makers have never figured out a way to keep us together. Well then it’s good that we get "Glued" in a proper way each time one of our old bones need mending.

Lets Begin with the Materials you will need:

Elmer’s Wood Glue                  Distilled White Vinegar

Paper Towel                             Old English Lemon Oil

220 Grit Sandpaper                Jack/pocketknife

Bungee Cord

Step 1 Always begin a project by vacuuming any accumulation of dust followed by a dusting with Old English Lemon Oil

Step 2 By gently tapping the leg; attempt to completely remove the rung from the socket. A rubber hammer may be used to make this task easier. If a rung cannot be removed completely, the following steps can be used on the exposed wood of the rung.

Step 3 Remove all old glue used in past reassembly efforts. Soaking a Paper towel in distilled vinegar and draping on the end of the rung or inserting into he socket will soften the glue. Remember to have some patience as lots of glue may take awhile. A Jack/pocket knife works well for scraping the residue.

Step 4 Sand the end of the rung and the inside of the socket with a small piece of 220 grit sandpaper. Excessive sanding should be avoided as only enough to roughen the surface is adequate. Attempt a "Dry Run" by inserting the rung back into the socket. It should go in completely without much effort. If it does not, continue cleaning as there is likely more glue or residue.


Step 5 Dust surface with a paper towel and apply a drop of Elmer’s Wood Glue on the end of the rung. Remember that more glue does not cause it to hold better. A thin layer works best.

Step 6 Spread Elmer’s Wood Glue evenly around the rung with a finger.


Step 7 Reassemble by inserting rung into socket. A little pressure from squeezing or tapping on the legs with a clinched fist will make the task easier. Once inserted, wrap a bungee cord tightly around the legs to hold the rung securely in place.

Step 8 Clean any residual glue by moistening paper towel with water. The reassembled chair should not be used for seven days allowing adequate time for the glue to cure. If you should decide that the chair could use another coating of lemon oil, remember that until the glue is fully cured(30days) oil may cause it to become tacky. Being careful and not getting the oil close to the repair will keep this from happening.


Ray Harris

Northfield Mountain Antiques

Northfield Ma.



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