Just wanted to write this small instructable on how to fix/mend a broken table leg. This instructable might be very specific (a three legged round wooden table) but you may adapt this to fit any kind of wooden furniture that uses wood dowels.
We are going to remove the old glue and dowels and replace with new glue and dowels. Also we are going to adjust the fitting of the leg to the table base.
Why the table broke?
If you look at the second picture you can see that the leg was poorly fitted. The wood glue has formed drops. That can only occur if there was no contact between the leg and the center part. So, the leg broke because of ill fitting and not enough clamping pressure.
- Wood glue
- Wood dowels 6 mm
- Sanding paper (120 grit)
- A chisel (or knife)
- A couple of clamps
- A Cordless drill
- Wooden drill bit 6 mm (or the same size as the dowels)
In some grocery stores, you can actually buy a kit containing drill bits, dowels and wood glue.
Step 1: Remove the Old Glue
Remove all the old glue. You need clean wood for the new glue to stick. This is very important.
I use a chisel and sand paper to remove the old glue and varnish.
I also sand the leg to fit better around the base.
Step 2: Drill New Holes
This is 6 mm wood dowels. I mark the center first with something pointy. Its very hard to hit the center without a pilot hole, so dont put the drill bit directly on the wood.
Drill out the old wood dowels. If you buy these (comes in different sizes) use the same size as before, if possible.
If the wood around the dowel is too damaged, use a larger dowel instead.
I dry fit (testing) the pieces to make sure they are in contact and fit well. If needed, I sand some more.
Step 3: Put in New Dowels
After the holes are drilled (in both the leg and the table base). I put glue on the dowels and glue in the holes. Also on the contact area of the leg and base.
I'm a strong believer in putting glue on both parts, if possible. This makes sure there is enough glue. This makes sure, glue comes in contact with all the wood fiber (even if there is something that is uneven).
Step 4: Putting It Together
Then I put the leg in place. Tap it carefully with a wooden mallet, another block of wood and clamp it tight.
Never tap using a hammer directly on the surface. It will dent/damage the wood. Always put another sacrificial board in between. Also when clamping.
Step 5: Finished Table
And there we go! Good as (better actually) new.
If possible, mend or fix whats broken. This easy way of fixing broken wood furniture that uses wooden dowels dont take much skill, effort or time.
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