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Top Tips When Restoring, Rebuilding, or Repairing Wood Furniture
by Nick Marr on Nov 17, 2020
Wood furniture is timeless. You can take a piece that was made fifty or one hundred years ago and incorporate it effortlessly into a modern design. Equally, you can use modern wooden furniture to simulate older items.
But, an original piece offers character and a story that you won’t get with modern furniture. Of course, although wood is extremely durable it can deteriorate over time. That doesn’t mean it’s ready for the scrap heap!
You can get hold of a local specialist in furniture repair and have it done for you. Or, you can attempt the work yourself. Your decision will depend on the finances you have available and your existing DIY skills. If you attempt it yourself, here are the top tips to ensure your wooden furniture looks as good as it should when finished.
Your first step must be to evaluate the item of wooden furniture. For example, you need to know if you’re dealing with loose joints, wood rot, or some other issue. This will allow you to plan your approach and, if necessary, get expert advice before you start.
This is important on two fronts, firstly because you know what damage you’re dealing with, and secondly, because you can plan before you repair This allows you the opportunity to get all the tools and materials you need to complete the repair before you start.
Use An Extractor
If you’re dealing with damaged screws you need to use an extractor to remove them. This allows you to twist them out. In effect, you should be able to avoid digging into the furniture to get the screw out. This minimizes the damage and leaves the screw hole intact to be reused.
If a joint is secure you don’t want to take it apart unless you have no other choice. That’s why you should drill small holes on each side of a stuck nail. These should be just large enough to enable you to get needle-nosed pliers around the stuck nail. You should then be able to pull it out.
Alternatively, you may be able to drill a small hole from the other side of the joint and then hammer the nail out from the other side. You choose the one that will cause the least noticeable damage.
Hollow Out Dowels
Don’t drill a dowel out with a drill bit the same size as it, this will enlargen the hole and potentially leave it off-center Instead, choose a bit slightly smaller and drill the center out of the dowel. You’ll be able to chip the rest of the dowel out with a carver’s gouge and leave the hole intact.
Protect The Item
Whenever you’re working on wood one part of it is likely to be leaning against the bench. This is the part that is likely to get damaged when you hit and pull the joints. Make sure you’ve got plenty of soft cushioning to protect the wood, you don’t want to create more work for yourself!
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