Repairing Loose Tenons

mortiseWhenever you have one of your dining room chairs start to wobble, what do you do? Many will run to the tool shed, grab a nail or two, and nail the joint back in place that is loose. But nails aren’t going to last long.

One trick that works well is to fill up the mortises with wood shavings. The tenons are usually the culprit. They are loose in the mortises and need to be tight and stiff. So here is what you can do.

Take the legs apart first. Once this is done, clean up the glue that was used previously. First, you disassembled the legs and cleaned the old glue off the tenons and out of the mortises.

You can use shavings from your planer. 1/32 of an inch should do it. Wrap a shaving around each one of the tenons and apply glue to them. Once the tenons are dry, put glue into each mortise and insert the tenons.

If you have a rubber mallet, it can be used to tap the tenon into the mortise. Though much of the time you can’t do so, but it is better to do this in the winter time. This way the humidity will be lower and the wood will be drier.

The only thing it can do from that point is expand, and that is what you want it to do. If done in the summer, it could shrink enough to loosen it up again. But it will still be better than it was for sure.


DO YOU HAVE a woodworking project or tip that you would like to submit to WooDesigner and get it added to our site? Then go to the contact tab below OR at the top of this page and let me know. Just make sure you are able to give us step by step instructions on it, as well as images as you see here, and we will put it on this site just like you have read on this page! As long as it is clear and concise like you just saw, it will go up. Your name will be credited to the project, as where you live. (Please include that.) Also include the type of lumber you use for the design. We look forward to hearing from you! (Take note that the tip and images and instructions have to become ours. I do hate that so much but in today’s society so many will sue, and yes, you can sue for a lot of money over images.) The tips will need to include YOUR IMAGES that you take. They can’t be images from somewhere online. Remember, we have to go through these images and if they aren’t your own, we will not be able to use them. This is illegal and it won’t be tolerated and you will be banned from this community by being blocked. We can get sued for this, and just one bad apple can ruin our community.

Ted Leger –


Comments or questions are welcome.

* indicates required field



Updated: February 16, 2017 — 11:57 pm
What do you think? Please leave a comment below. © 2017 Easy woodworking projects and plans! Frontier Theme