With progression people developed things to make their lives more systematized. One such thing is furniture, without which most households are nothing but incomplete.
Whether it’s a chair for seating, bed for sleeping, table for eating, cupboard for keeping clothes and stuff, coffins to bury people, bookshelves for keeping books, or stools for decorative and domestic purposes, these are the necessities of a normal habitat. Furniture is molded in different shapes, sizes and styles to primarily suit human needs and requirements.
Majority of the furniture is made from the wood. Depending upon the type of tree, the wood is classified into hard wood and soft wood. The hard wood furniture lasts longer and withstand wear and tear of many years. On the contrary, soft wood furniture is quite popular have an extensive variety, such as Pine, Cedar, Larch and more. The hard wood trees, in general, are the ones which grow slowly, as a result of which, their wood is denser.
Various Hard wood trees are Oak, Mahogany, Walnut, Birch, Maple, etc. Depending upon one’s usage and requirement, the type of wood is chosen. For the furniture which will be subjected to a lot of stress, and thus will experience wear and tear over the years, Maple wood is quite preferable as it can endure and survive for long-term because of its sturdiness and heaviness.
Talking about unfinished wooden furniture, they tend to have hair like structures stemming out from them, which can be rough and uncomfortable for the people using. So, even if rustic furniture is made, it is ensured that hairs are removed completely.
Causes of damages to wooden furniture
- Inattentiveness: While moving furniture one must be very careful as slight carelessness can result in scratches, broken corners, and stains, which can eliminate the charm and elegance of the furniture. One must also ensure that proper care of wooden furniture is upheld, as termites can lead to degradation of the wood, which usually results in great losses for the user.
- Environmental Factors: The wooden furniture must not be subjected to excess hot or cold conditions. Also, it must be ensured that it is not kept in extremely humid conditions, either. This is because when wooden furniture come in contact with excess sunlight, or rain, they lose their original allure and eloquence. Though it depends on the quality of wood and polish used, still, some level of decay is always possible due to environmental factors.
- Bio Predation: This is another kind of environmental problem where the wood can be subjected to various microorganisms or animals. Micro-organisms such as fungi, rodents can slowly eat up the whole wood and can completely distort their shapes. The wooden furniture must be constantly looked and prudently scrutinized every now and then for any possibility of bio predation. It is advised that food should not be kept near furniture, even if it is required to keep, then keep it in air tight boxes.
- Insect Infestation: This is one of the major problems faced by wooden furniture makers. Infestation of termites, carpenter bees and ants is quite common in wooden furniture. These tiny insects eat up the wood and move through the small opening of it. Wherever there is a sign of new color wood near any openings, or some dust of wood on the surface near it, that is a sure shot sign of termites or larvae being infested in it. Fumigation is done in order to get rid of them.
- Rodents: The damage that rodents possess to the furniture is quite different as they do not belong to the category of wood eating parasites; rather they grow in number and size to reach out to the food on the other side of the furniture. Therefore, it is advised to keep food away from wooden furniture, especially condiments, as their smell can very easily attract them to reach to it, through the wood.
- Mold, Mildew, and Fungi: Moisture is the main reason for the growth of Mold, Mildew, and Fungi. Also, an excessive temperature can provide the conditions for their development. If one observes that the infestation has started, then also one can reduce the moisture and high-temperature conditions to make Mold, Mildew, and Fungi dormant. Fungi can really destroy the furniture; therefore, proper care should be given to the place where furniture is kept.
- Handling and Moving Furniture: Appropriate planning and care must be given in moving the furniture. One must check the route through which furniture will be transported carefully and see possible areas where there can be a possibility of hitting a wall, or ceiling or side walls. Also, the new place where it will be moved must be checked in advance for relative humidity content and temperature. The parts which can be detached from the furniture must be removed slowly and the furniture should be carried from the part which is most stable and strong.
Repair Techniques for broken wooden furniture
- Strong Glue: There are various ways and styles to fix the broken furniture
by applying necessary glue at the joints, but it is also necessary that you ensure that there is a strong contact between the joining parts and glue, i.e. there must be no gaps.
- Applying tape at ends: If you directly apply glue to the wood pieces to be joined, then glue can spread on to the surface when you will apply; thus, not making a good contact, so you can apply a tape and then apply glue on to it and after joining remove the unnecessary tape.
- Transparent tape: Apply the glue to the broken piece and then stick to it to the other piece and in order to get a good firm attachment, apply transparent tape on it. Note: Transparent tape must be of good quality, as when you will remove it, the polish surface of wood must not be hampered.
- Eco Resin: It works on the natural principle employed by trees, to heal them. The natural resin is used to join the broken wood. The process is simple and effective. The resin is filled in the cracks and it fills in the spaces between the two cracks to join them. The design and style are different in each case as it depends largely on the distorted shape of the furniture after the crack. Many companies which make new furniture out of broken furniture employs this technique to join the cracks and then allow the resin to join the two part of the furniture, and in some time it turns out to be new furniture, which then can be used as per the shape, size, and requirement. The concept of eco resin is slowly picking up in the market and you can easily apply eco resin at home with careful considerations to join the broken furniture.
- WoodFill Epoxy Resin: It is a great product to fill in the small cracks the wooden furniture might have developed owing to any reason. It is easy to apply, all you need to do is to select a woodfill epoxy resin of the color, which matches your wood, and then apply or spread it to the cut or crack uniformly. Allow it some time to rest on to it, and then remove the excess woodfill epoxy from the surface, leaving behind the epoxy being filled in the crack and there is no visible crack now. Just ensure to wear gloves, while applying the epoxy on the wood and spreading it smoothly over the surface and crack with the help of paddy knife. The inside part of the epoxy resin is white in color and the outer part is different in color. You can mix them well in order to obtain a uniform color, which then can be spread using paddy knife on to the cracks in the wood.
- Liquid Glass Epoxy Resin: To apply liquid glass epoxy resin, you must first turn around the wooden piece and apply tape to all the edges of the wooden furniture. Remove the excess tape. Now take two plastic glasses and pour an equal amount of resin and hardener into respective glasses and mix them. After doing that, turn around the wooden piece and spread the resin on the flat surface. Take another scrap piece to evenly spread the resin on the surface and allow it to evenly spread on to it. You must make five to six round of spreading the white resin on to the surface till you realize that the white resin is completely spread on to the surface leaving behind polished surface with minimum bubbles. Allow it to dry for a day or two, and then remove the tape on the other side of the wood. You will now obtain a shiny wooden piece, which looks very good aesthetically. The polished wood is generally recommended to be kept for drying till 2-3 days.
- Hinges: While fine fitting the hinges cabinets on to the wooden slabs you may encounter imperfect alignment of hinges. One of the ways is to fit steel cabinets in the trial process, till you get the perfect alignment for them, and then fitting the brass hinge cabinets finally. This will allow you to have a better alignment without much tear of the wood. While fitting the nail into any of your wooden slabs, if you missed the mark, and in turn had a hole at a place which was not required, then you can apply the saw dust onto the wrong hole. Glue can be mixed with the saw dust and can be applied on to the wrong hole.
- Joints: Loose joints are a common problem in furniture involving assembling of the parts, e.g. chair, table and etc. If the joint is broken then you will have to completely change the dowel. For that, you will have to separate the existing dowel, which might be tightly fixed on to it. After removing it, there is a need to clean the joint well without distorting its shape and size, as in case with sand paper it is observed that too much application of it turns sharp edges into rough edges. After cleaning of the joint, then apply then new dowel on to the triangular glue block. In case the joint is not broken, there is an option of fixing it with glue. Joints always serve an important part of the furniture and they must always be taken care with careful consideration.
- Structural Parts: Structural parts of the wooden furniture can be mended in many ways. One has to identify the extent to which the leg, rung or spindles are damaged or loose. One of the ways is to apply glue into the joints and try to re-fix them, but in such process, they may become loose again. Therefore, it is advised to take out the part from the frame and apply the glue at the end which is to be mended and firmly place it into the joint. Allow it to remain in that position where it is ensured that there is no gap. If there is an application of the glue earlier and it has set loose, then take out that particular leg completely from the frame, if required both ends. Remove the old adhesive as the glue has a property of not sticking well with other glue. Completely remove the old adhesive, and reapply the glue and try to fix it. Another way is to drill in a way such that the spindle or any part gets firmly stick to the joint, take someone’s help to hold it tightly and fix a nail in such a way that it cut cross both the leg and the furniture joint on which it is to be fixed.
- Non-Structural Parts: When it comes to non-structural parts the application of glue works well. If there is a crack in the wooden furniture then you can inject the glue into it, and firmly join the two parts. Apply the wax paper over the leg, wrap it around the crack and then tightly wrap the cord around it to hold it strongly. Glue will dry in sometime leaving the parts firmly attached to each other. Another way is to dig holes in the two parts to be joined and then take a dowel of size larger than one of the part and insert it from the top of that piece and fix them firmly with a nail.
It is often advised that if the broken or damaged furniture is out of your scope of mending then you must take the furniture to the local furniture shop to get it mended. In case where the damage is not large, the mending process can be done at home considering above points and ways in mind. One can also do a proper research where experts have demonstrated step by step application of various ways to mend the wooden furniture. These are man-made things as a result of which they have the vulnerability to experience wear and tear. If you will take proper care of the furniture, they might last longer than you probably expect.
The wooden furniture use is inevitable in today modern life, as you will find one or the other type of furniture in every house. The quantity can differ depending upon the use and requirement but it will be there in everyone’s house. Take proper care of all the furniture you have, in order to save on mending costs and effort and even if they require being repaired, all possible ways are listed out above to mend them at home.