HELP! My dining table chairs' legs keep spreading out!

Debbie Brasher
by Debbie Brasher
The legs on my dining table chairs' legs are spreading out when anyone sits in them. I have tried gorilla glue.....what a mess! Please help me ...the screws are not holding the legs in where they are attached at the seat, and the cross bars are popping out!
  7 answers
  • William William on Jun 07, 2016
    I have repaired many chairs in my day. For the legs to the seat, use a good carpenters wood glue. Next step: This is what I do for chair spindles. Turn the chair upside down on a table. Put some carpenters wood glue on the center spindle. Use a rope, as a strap clamp, and wrap it around the legs. Use a dowel, pencil, etc., and twist it around the rope till the leg spindles are tight against the center spindle. For extra support so the legs don't spread out, Get two finish nails, cut the heads off. Drill a hole in the side spindles thru the center spindle tenon where it goes in the mortise of the side spindle slightly smaller than the nail thickness. Drive the nail into the hole, cut off any excess. This will prevent the legs from spreading out. Let the glue dry overnight, remove the rope.
    • See 2 previous
    • Gilmer Gal Gilmer Gal on Jun 08, 2016
      Me, too. Ugh! Only make that mistake once, right? LOL
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Jun 08, 2016
    What I usually do with loose spindles is pull them out of the holes, then add wood glue to the hole. But before you put the spindle back into the hole, take a couple (or three!) tooth picks and stand them upright inside the hole. Then tap the spindle back into place with the toothpicks wedged along the sides- you can cut off the excess that is sticking out once its dry. Make sure you clamp it tight until it dries.
  • Linda Y Linda Y on Jun 08, 2016
    Put wood glue onto the ends of the spindles and then wrap them with cotton thread. Reassemble the chairs as usual. If that fails use wood screws to hold the joints together then paint the screw heads to hide them.
  • Tawana Golding Tawana Golding on Jun 08, 2016
    Had the same proble m, I did everything everyone has recommended except extra scare sews and it continues happening. Problem is you need to put a gripper on the bottom of the chair legs so they hold in place. They are available at home improve stores or Walmart, I like the ones that have a built in swivel to them, just hammer them on problem solved
  • Jim L Jim L on Jun 08, 2016
    I know my limits...I take chairs to my local furniture refinisher and he does a proper job on the chair. It is well worth the money. Do it right and you do it only once!
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 24, 2024

    Remove the old glue that did not hold up, after that use a good carpenter's glue, before it dries, wrap with a bungie cord and that will pull the legs and spindle to a position where it is as it should be. Let dry. If you want extra security, you can add nails or screws to where the legs connect to the seat and where the spindles connect to the legs.

  • I agree with some of the others, you need to clean it out, use a very strong wood glue and secure it until it's fully cured. Then I would add a few screws if you can set then properly and grab enough wood. Lastly, I'd add no slip pads to the bottom of the feet so the legs don't slip.