I have a set of bamboo chairs that has some damage on the back spindles and need some help. The spindles have broken at the joint. Can you give me some direction for these chairs?

The problem with trying to repair bamboo is that the fibers are like a handful of straws. When the fibers dry out they become brittle and when pressure is applied they break cross grain. It is very difficult to get a repair on this type of material. If the complete spindle can be replaced then that could be your best approach.

I have a small round table that my dog knocked over causing damage to the top edge. The top is not solid wood but a composite type of material. Is this something that can be repaired?

If you can stabilize the material you can build up an edge to match the original edge. Use C/A glue and coat all of the separations. Cover with plastic and clamp between two flat boards to get a flat surface on top and bottom. To repair the misshapen edge use epoxy wood type of putty. When the putty has set then you can shape the top and edge to match the shape of the top. Stain to match the color of the repair with the rest of the top. Add a clear finish to lock in the color.

I have a chair where the back spindle broke at the chair seat I do not have the skill to repair this. Can you do the repair?

This type of repair does take some skill to make the part on the lathe. A section needs to be cut off the spindle and a new piece made to take its place. Using the old piece as a pattern and adding a new stub to plug into the existing part of the spindle and glued. This type of repair can be done so that it may not show at all when done. The color needs to be matched and the spindle glued in place.

I have individuals ask me how to drill the end of a leg to add a new stub and not break out the existing material.

The use of a simple holding jig makes the job more manageable and successful. To make the jig use a piece of stock approximately one inch thick to place on the leg that needs the end to be drilled. Clamp the leg in a vice and start with a one-fourth inch drill bit to make the initial center hole. Increase drill bit size until you get to the size of the stub that goes in the leg. The small amount of the outside of the leg at this point is very thin. This is why it is difficult to drill this repair. Drill into the leg about two inches. Make a dowel to fit for the new stub and glue it in place. Be sure to remove the jig for use on the next leg repair.

Until next time I’m Ron Stookey

E-mail to r.stookeyccref@att.net or telephone at (515) 277-1555. The shop is at 113 5th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa. Mailing address is Ron Stookey, P.O. Box 65102, West Des Moines, Iowa 50226. Visit us at www.countrycabooserefinishing.com www.countrycabooserefinishing.com