repairing a broken stool

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Antiques, Cleaning & care, Tutorials, woodworking16 Comments

I was going to call this post “how to fix loose stools”, but I realized that sounded like an Immodium commercial or something and came up with a different name.  You’re welcome for that.

Anyway, moving past the potty humor, I have a thing for antique stools.  They are multi-functional and, since they are hard-working pieces, they are typically worn to perfection.  They are very soulful pieces of furniture in my view.

Often times, though, the rungs that connect the legs on stools (and chairs) loosen over time, especially if they’ve been stored in a garage or attic where extreme temperatures can loosen the glue.

Fixing this issue is so simple, though!  Just get some wood glue…

…and brush it onto the end of the lose rung and the recess it fits into.

Push it back in…

…and wipe away the excess glue.  In my experience, most of the chairs and stools will hold together just fine, so they can dry in place.  If the legs keep pulling apart, separating the joint before the glue dries, use a clamp to hold it together or wrap the legs tightly with some twine at the height of the joint to pull the legs together.

Allow the glue to dry per the directions on the bottle and then you’re good to use the piece again!

And you can brag about what an amazing woodworker you are!

Well, not really, but something was broken and now it’s fixed and that’s worth something!

repairing a broken stool

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16 Comments on “repairing a broken stool”

  1. Old Yankee friend of mine would do that but instead of a clamp she would wrap the twine
    around a pencil as a turniquit. (Sp. lol).

  2. Too funny! But you have to be sure the old glue is sanded off because the new glue won’t be able to soak into the wood and you’ll be repairing it again before long. Ask me how I know that… 😉

    1. Yes, true! This one didn’t have any old glue, but I’m glad you shared that bit of wisdom.

  3. I have been following you for years and love everything you do. As a long time antique furniture restorer, I have to say, that is the simplest, most practical instructions you can give to repair a loose rung that there is. The fact that you suggest tying a string around the legs to hold them together while the glue dries is perfect, because, you know that a long clamp is not going to hold on tapered legs. Sometimes, men seem to make things much more complicated than they really are. I too have a thing for simple chairs and stools, and there is always a loose rung or two. I use the same glue as you do as well. I have learned so much about decorating from you over the years, way back to Annie Sloan, I just found it amusing that I could say to you, yes Marian, that is how it is done. Now if I could just borrow some of your discipline and energy, that would be wonderful. Debra

  4. Ha ha loose stools – bwuahahahaha – too funny.

    That cute stool is a workhouse – that pottery piece has to weigh a ton!

    Well done fixing stuff to last another X years, lady! : – )

  5. My boys would love the potty humour, ha! Thanks for this post—having 4 boys in our house coupled with my love for antiques, means we have quite a few stools and chairs like this. I will take a day and round up all the stools and things, plus the boys, and we’ll have a ‘fix it day’.

  6. It has been my experience that, while this gluing method may work for a stool, it is not a long-term solution for old chairs, especially those repeatedly sat in by heavier people. There is a reason some old chairs are repaired with wire!! (I personally love that look). When I get around to repairing some of the chairs in my house 😏, I am going to glue and then nail the rung so it stays in the hole. This may be against the “rules,” but they’re MY chairs!

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