Durability Shmurability

It would be great if it were possible to build a piece of furniture that would last for generations without any need for repair.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Fortunately, there are glues and finishes which are easy to repair. Available are animal based glues such as hide or fish glues. They create a strong, rigid bond yet readily disassemble for repair with steam. What’s more, they don’t require all the old glue to be removed for a good bond, like PVAs do.

Of course, in some situations, such as in a bathroom or outdoors where heat and/or moisture are likely to be present, these glues are not ideal; a waterproof adhesive would be a better choice. In this situation, you are compromising ease of repairability for longevity. Not a bad trade-off.

Many high-tech finishes like polyurethane or epoxy coatings are extremely durable. However, should any damage be inflicted, they are difficult to repair, requiring the finish to be completely stripped before reapplication.

Age-old finishes such as lacquer, shellac, and oils are easy to fix, often requiring only a cleansing followed by another coat of finish.

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