One constantly reads on the web something like ” with the development of modern adhesives do you still need to do this or do that when making things from wood”. This kind of statement is based on the idea that there is some kind of new modern adhesive that is permanent, and stronger than the old fashioned glue available to our forefathers. As a furniture repairman I can honestly say that I have seen every kind of glue fail for one reason or another. The primary reason is that wood is not a static material, it moves with the seasons almost like it is alive. There is no such thing as permanent glue or joints in woodworking. If we believe that all the common glues are stronger than the wood, then what makes one glue a better choice than another? What makes one piece of furniture last for generations and another find the trash heap. The answer is to make it easy and cheap to repair.
Here’s an example of how to insure a chair gets burned instead of repaired. Take a cane seat Victorian chair replace the cane and glue the spline back in with epoxy. The next time the cane needs to be replaced add 2 to 3 hours of labor to the repair cost, to get the old spline out without destroying the chair, now the repair will cost 3 times the value of the chair and to the trash it goes or some body nails a piece of plywood on the seat.
If the spline that holds the cane in is glued with hide glue like it should be replacing the cane is an easy repair.