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How to fix a broken barstool

RIGHT: A reader wants a more secure repair than wood glue for this barstool’s broken arm. (Reader photo)

Q: One of our wooden barstools fell over and the wooden arm snapped and broke apart. We glued it back together with wood glue but we are afraid it will not hold if someone puts weight on it. It is part of a set and the chair is no longer manufactured. Is there a way to securely strengthen the joint so it won’t break again in the same spot? -Gainesville

A: Katie Schoenbauer Morgan, at Schoenbauer Furniture Service in Charlotte Hall, Md. (800-955-7603;, recommends strengthening the repair by drilling a hole from the top of the arm down through the break and gluing in a wooden dowel  3/8 or ½ inch in diameter. Make the dowel short enough so there is a slight recess on the top of the arm. Then, after the glue sets, you can fill the hole with wood filler and stain it to match the surrounding wood. You can also touch up the crack left from your first repair. A clear finish over all will give the repaired areas the same sheen as the rest of the chair. Schoenbauer’s can do the repair in your home in one visit, for $175-$200, plus a $50 travel fee. The company makes free service calls to Washington and much of the surrounding area, but Gainesville is outside the free zone. The company also does repairs at its full-service shop in Southern Maryland.

The Washington Post

Excerpted from The Washington Post Home & Garden Section
Article by Jeanne Huber, July 1, 2015

repairing barstool’s broken arm


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