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  1. #1
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    Childs Rocker Repair

    I received a request from a son-in-law to take a look at a child’s rocking chair that has fallin’ on hard times. It was given to him by his grandfather.
    One of the rockers was broken off and needs a potential repair. Ideally the front post holding the front of the rocker should be replaced, but I am afraid that disassembly of the old post may be a challenge not knowing what type of glue was used.

    As you can see, ½ - ¾ of the shoulder of the mortise in the bottom of the front post snapped off. Gluing the shoulder back on may not work as I can see it failing again should our grand children decide to use/abuse it.


















    The tennon itself (dowel) appears to have pretty much survived.


    Any suggestions certainly would be welcome.

    Wayne
    ..............found out many years ago that Elbow Grease doesn't come in a bottle!!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    Looks like it had been repaired before. The back leg looks like the tenon is a continuation of material rather than a dowel.

    Also looks like a hole was drilled off center then on second attempt the holes was closer to center but still off.

    Really the right way is to disassemble and make a new leg without the dowel...

    Otherwise a good graft done in some stronger configuration may hold up longer than just glueing the dowel and broken parts back together.



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

    WWFD

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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    Wayne,
    I agree that I wouldn't disassemble the leg post, less about what glue was used, but more with the amount of work it will take to "Fix" the problem.
    Personally, I would be tempted to clean the pieces and glue it back together either with Titebond or epoxy and warn your SIL this is the "easier" fix and if that fails - then you can take it back to perform "real surgery!"
    People are amazed as a shaving rises from the throat of a plane as if it’s a spell plucked from a sorcerer’s hand – Paul Sellers

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  6. #4
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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    One can only tell so much from the pictures (perhaps not see all limitations and clearances available to work), but if possible I would:
    - remove previous fix (dowel) from rocker or cut it off flush and re-drill into rocker
    - get or make a new dowel same diameter from ash or hickory or other appropriate wood , but longer than the current one
    - carefully drill further (maybe 2") into leg at same angle as previous fix
    - reassemble using a good glue
    - glue broken piece of leg (from picture 2) back onto dowel at rocker
    Basically, replace previous fix with a longer dowel.
    I would definitely reattach the original piece of the leg as I assume this is an heirloom rocker. If combination of off-center and angle of previous fix does not allow drilling further into the leg, I would try do something similar with a slightly smaller diameter dowel (after cutting the current one off flush) and then build up to replace original broken piece onto smaller diameter dowel at final step.

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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    Drill a smaller diameter in the vertical dowel from the rocker leg and drill the bottom of the front leg almost on center. Insert an aluminum post rod to get a little bend and flexibility in the two pieces and mate them as best that you can. Glue with epoxy and add the "chip" from the leg. Rock on and carry on!
    Last edited by Jeff; 04-16-2018 at 05:51 PM.

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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    I agree with Mike that it appears the back leg looks like a continuation of material rather than a dowel. If the rocker is going to be used to any degree after being repaired, I think the best way of doing it would be to replace the leg with a completely new one which requires sawing off the dowel and making a the new leg in one piece with a tenon into the dowel hole that has been drilled out.

    It seems to me the break in itself was caused by the weak spot created by the dowel that was inserted to originally repair the break and thus, the repair using another dowel between the pieces, creates another weak spot.

    The very fact that this is a pretty old piece, may indicate that animal glue may have been used in the manufacture and/or repair. If you have a portable steamer or a way of getting some real hot water into the area where the dowel is, you may be able to tell if animal glue was used.

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  12. #7
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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    Thanks so much for all of the suggestions, all. I decided to take the easy way out and drilled holes in the posts and rocker to accommodate 2 1/2" long pieces of 1/2" dowel that I secured with System 3 epoxy.














    Once set up, I may sand the spots and try to touch up the paint around the fix. Hopefully it will see a little light use.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Wayne
    Last edited by Canuck; 04-17-2018 at 02:55 PM.
    ..............found out many years ago that Elbow Grease doesn't come in a bottle!!!!

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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    Looks good. I bet it will be enjoyed that way for years to come.

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  15. #9
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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    Looks good Wayne and kudos to relatively easy fix that should be pretty durable too. Is that the rocker that was removed (pic #2) for redrilling in the background?

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  17. #10
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    Re: Childs Rocker Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    Looks good Wayne and kudos to relatively easy fix that should be pretty durable too. Is that the rocker that was removed (pic #2) for redrilling in the background?
    Thanks Jeff.

    Yes the rocker is in the background. (I just kinda got lucky aligning new dowel tennons in the two posts with holes in the rocker. I didn't bother with a pic of the new dowel in the front post, since it was the same rear -pictured.)

    Wayne
    ..............found out many years ago that Elbow Grease doesn't come in a bottle!!!!

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