Over the past 25 years of repairing furniture, I’ve seen some real shoddy work that other people have done. Each each time I do, I am thankful for the knowledge that was passed onto me.
On this page, the basic information provided on furniture repair will be helpful to note.
What is Furniture Repair?
The phrase furniture repair is generally used to cover anything from gluing a loose chair, to repairing a scratched finish. But to narrow it down, repairing wooden furniture refers to:
- Re-gluing loose parts
- Repairing broken parts
- Replacing broken or missing parts.
Nails and Screws
Furniture that was not originally constructed with nails, screws or brackets, should not be repaired with any such hardware. The use of nails and screws usually create more damage, and make it difficult to fix correctly in the future.
The correct method to repair wood furniture is with glue and clamps. In fact, a properly glued repair will be stronger than the wood itself. If added strength is needed, a wooden dowel can be used. This I’ve found to still be better a nail or screw.
Before starting any repair, it is best to visualize each step and how it will affect the next. It also helps to understand how something has become loose or broken. Knowing this, along with knowledge of joinery, wood specie, wood grain, and wood movement, will aid in making a lasting repair.
Furniture repairs that blend in and use as much of the original as possible are preferred. But how to do this and still provide durability? This is what challenges restorers to always look for ways to improve their techniques.
An invaluable source of how-to (and how-not-to) repair furniture can be found when inspecting antique furniture. It is here that a restorer has the opportunity to view and evaluate repairs and techniques from previous generations. It is also a reminder that their own work will be viewed and evaluated in the future.