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Repairing table leg

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jamiehill

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Hello,

I have joined this forum not because I am a carpenter but I have a problem that I cannot find a solution for searching online.

I recently bought a table, it is a pedestal style table with 2 central legs that have a connecting bar across the bottom. I was going to buy this for an agreed price but the seller had problems removing from their house so they cut the legs off. I have reattached the legs using 3 dowels on each and it appears to be a moderately good job however I have noticed another cut above where I have just joined that is loose.

I am posting in the hope i might get some advice on how to fix this problem. My current plan is to inject some glue into the gap and see if that strengthens it enough however the amount of pressure on this joint will be huge as it has a lever action on it. Would i be better cutting two slots and hammering pegs in?

Thanks in advance.

Jamie
 

Jacob

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Needs a photo - you know what you are talking about we don't! Injecting glue into gaps won't work.
How did they get it in, in the first place? Are there older cuts?
 

MikeG.

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Welcome, Jamie.

I sympathise, but don't worry, there is almost always a decent solution for these sort of problems. However, squirting a bit of glue at it and hoping probably isn't the solution! :lol: I think there is a low threshold of posts before newcomers are able to post photos, to avoid spammers and so on, but I really wouldn't do anything if I were you until you had posted some decent close up photos of the problem and received considered advice as a result. Some make another few posts and then give us some photos. We'll soon sort this problem out for you.
 

AndyT

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You can post photos immediately, if you upload them to the forum as attachments of small file size.
The post limit applies to posting links to photos hosted elsewhere.
 

MusicMan

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Agreed with all the above comments. Try to get the pictures showing the construction of the table as well as the bits needing repair. If in doubt, use more pics.

Dowels are very likely the way to go, so you have started right. The issue with leg repair besides pure strength, is alignment. You might be interested in this thread, which illustrates some of these issues: repair-of-broken-regency-chair-leg-t103108.html?hilit=chair%20repair.

Once we understand the problem fully, as MikeG says, we can very likely find a solution.
 

jamiehill

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Thanks for the quick responses. I have attached 2 photos for now, I hope they are sufficient.

The table does not disassemble, all the glued joints attaching the legs to the top are glued.

In the close photo the bottom cut is stronger but the top one is loose and wobbles. I could prise apart and reattach however I would need to also detach the other leg.

I should have checked the rest of the piece before I repaired it which I will hopefully remember in future.

I have already doweled and glued both legs with reasonable success. I didn't expect so much glue to be absorbed so it isn't a great joint visually but is not wobbly/loose.

I fear the due to the great leverage on the legs it might need the faulty section removed on both and a replacement properly attached in place. If I was to do that I would guess the best method would be to cut out, sand thoroughly, drill several dowel holes, I used 3 10mm ones originally but I think I should have used more and longer? I cant clamp so then would place weight on top for 1 hour to dry and leave for 24 hours to cure.

Another peculiarity is that the 2 legs are actually different so have quite likely been repaired before.

As a complete novice at woodwork I appreciate this is most likely way out of my depth and if I should contact a carpenter for a quote I will take that as sound advice however i think it will be out of my budget.

Jamie
 

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deema

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If it were me, I would buy a long auger bit or similar (preferably with a hex end so you can add hex extensions if needed, flip the table onto its top and drill down each leg passed the break. Glue in a long dowel and it will be as good as new.
 

jamiehill

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Thanks deena.

Ok, so you would recommend break it where it is loose and cut the other leg and dowel again?
 

deema

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I’m not exactly certain where the break is, but no, I’m not suggesting breaking the leg.

The top should come off to leave a frame. It will either be screwed or have wooden buttons that twist to release it. If the breaks at the top without taking the frame apart, drill down past the break / loose bit and insert a long dowel (say 12mm diameter). Make a groove down the dowel to allow the air to escape or you won’t be able to get it in.

If the breaks towards the bottom. Tip the table upside down and drill up through the bottom.
 

jamiehill

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To clarify the break is near the top. It is the horizontal line near the top of the first photo.

Unfortunately the tabletop has been glued and screwed to the legs :(

The legs have no screws and are all wood from what I can see. I have studied it fairly well but not taken a scanner over it yet so could be wrong.

I will take a look at a long single dowel. I can't use a drill press due to the fact the legs don't fully come apart but i could build a press table/jig over the top of the leg.

Jamie
 

AJB Temple

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Given the top has been glued and screwed to the legs, I would use a multi tool and cut the legs off (tool will cut through screws and glue) flush with the bottom of the table top.

I would then do a proper repair on the legs, but drilling as per the deep drill, dowel and glue method above.

Then I would refit the legs in a way in which they can be removed, such as wooden turn screws or even brass bolts.
 

MusicMan

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What is the scale here? what is the height of the underside of the table top to the floor?

If the top is glued and screwed to the leg then it has almost certainly been repaired before. This is not regular practice.
 

Benchwayze

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Looks like a job for a multi-tool to separate the top and the under-frame; then remount the top with buttons after the repair. Sooner or later a glued-on top is going to split? :(

John
 
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