How to fix the backs of dining room chairs

Written by george n. root iii
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How to fix the backs of dining room chairs
Fix the wood spindles on the back of your dining chairs. (wood work image by John Sfondilias from

Anyone who has owned wooden dining chairs with backs made of wooden spindles knows that, over time, these chair backs can start to give way. For the majority of these dining room chairs, the key ingredient when they were first constructed was strong wood glue. But years of use and people leaning back in the chairs have loosened the glue, requiring the chairs to be repaired or replaced. Extend your investment with some quick dining room chair repair.

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Things you need

  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Strong wood glue
  • Towel
  • Pilot hole drill bit
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) long wood screw
  • Power drill with screwdriver bit

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  1. 1

    Remove the loose wooden spindles carefully from the chair back so you do not break them. Sand each end with a piece of fine-grade sandpaper. This removes the old glue from the ends of the spindle.

  2. 2

    Roll up the sandpaper and use it to sand inside the holes where the spindle is inserted. Only a little sanding is required inside the holes -- you are just trying to remove the old glue and give the new glue a good place to bond.

  3. 3

    Pour strong wood glue into the hole on the seat portion of the chair, filling the hole halfway.

  4. 4

    Insert the spindle into the bottom mounting hole. Clean up any excess glue that comes out of the hole, using a towel.

  5. 5

    Put a small amount of strong wood glue on the top of the wooden spindle. Slide it slowly into the hole in the upper portion of the chair back. The top portion of the chair back should lift just enough to allow you to push the spindle into place, but not enough to cause the other spindles to come loose.

  6. 6

    Press down on the top of the chair back to secure everything into place. Wipe up any excess glue with a towel.

  7. 7

    Drill a pilot hole into the back of the seat piece of the chair that goes through the spindle you just installed, using a pilot hole drill bit and a power drill.

  8. 8

    Screw a 2.5 cm (1 inch) long wood screw into the pilot hole to give additional support to the spindle. Repeat the steps for each loose spindle on your chair.

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