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OK, my neighbor thinks that I'm a magician.  I am happy to help them.  This is a chair that she had back in the 1970's with her children and it has stories to tell.  But, her grown son turned the chair over and broke off the headboard.  It is pine or something like that.  Here are some pictures and I need some experienced guidance to know how to proceed.





The back slats are not glued in.  They are simply held in place by the seat pan and the head rest.





It seems obvious that what holds the head rest to the back spindles are dowels.  Then they drove small pins between the head rest and the dowels.  When I start boring, I will see if there is any glue.  First I need to remove the nails/pins.  





The other side reveals the same information.  So, I need to look elsewhere to see if there is a better approach.  





Looking at the head rest in the seat pan you can see this dowel and pin.  





So, to ensure that I am boring straight, I am wondering if I can remove the back posts so as to mount it to my Shopsmith for horizontal boring.  Does anyone know if this plug reveals a screw to hold the arm rest?  If there is a screw, I can remove the wedges in the bottom of the back posts, remove the posts, drill the dowel hole correctly and then make all the repairs.  I am thinking that I can put on the head rest and then slip the back posts into the seat pan and glue in new wedges.  Can someone step me through this?  Thank you.



Edited by FlGatorwood
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My first thought is to drill out the dowels and replace them and reassemble.


I think I'd start with an undersized brad point drill bit. Maybe with enough of the meat removed from the center of the original dowel you can chisel out pieces so the original holes remain undamaged. 


BTW, we have neighbors like that, too.

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Keith, this is exactly what I had in mind.  The back posts do go through the seat pan and has a wedge to spread the post toward the seat pan.  I don't think it is glued, but it will get some when I reassemble.  I was hoping that by removing them that it would be easier to make the posts fit the head board rather than trying to use clamps to draw the back posts close enough to slide the dowels in.  Maybe some extra work, but I think it will work easier and better for the chair and me.  LOL


Thank you, @lew and @kmealy.

Edited by FlGatorwood
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17 hours ago, p_toad said:

you might run over the chair (not with a truck) with a metal detector and check for the presence of other brads and the possible screws hidden under plugs.   Can save you some tooling.

Yeah, but this is probably not from China.  For them, if one fastener is good, four is much gooder.   Not a political statement, just voice of experience from the furniture repair business.

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Back in the days this chair was made, there were several factories in North Carolina and Virginia.  I turned it over again today to remove the wedges in the back support posts.  It has a stamp of somewhere in Virginia.  I didn't take the time to really look at it.  The back supports are just as Keith described, split like a hammer handle with a wedge driven in and cut off at the end of the tenon.  The only pins that I have found are in the top rail.  As quickly as I can remove these back supports, I will align on the SS for horizontal boring of the dowels.  


I did have to ruin one of the plugs, but they are easy enough to make and put in a new one.  The glue was gooey like liquid nails.  Cleaned it out with knife without damaging the hole.  The plugs are 3/8" by 1/4".  Too easy to make and replace. Thanks folks.  Will try to get a picture tomorrow of the bottom and set up on the SS.  

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