Though we don’t often consider them, tables are items in our homes that at some point need maintenance and repair. Many of these actions can be done by the homeowner – as long as the table’s are not especially unique or antique piece’s. If dealing with an antique table, go directly to a specialist. |
Loose Dowel Joints
Using a mallet or rubber hammer, break apart the loose joints. Using a chisel and some abrasive paper, clean off any residue and old glue left behind on the dowels. Also clean the holes that they fill completely – you may need to drill and clean them out.
To prepare new dowels, ensure they are well grooved and apply new glue. Tapping the joints together, put a piece of wood between the hammer and the spot you are knocking to ensure the wood on your table won’t bruise or crack. Clamp the joints together and wipe away any surplus glue while it is still wet. The clamp should be left until the glue has completely set.
If there is too much pressure on the flap, the wood on your table can split along the screw lines of its hinges. Simply remove the hinges and the impacted flap. Open each crack with a chisel and fill with wood glue. Keep it clamped until the wood sets.
Fill screw holes with plugs of wood. Glue each plug and saw off any surplus.
Reposition hinges over the repairs. Use a bradawl to mark where new holes should be for the screws. After drilling start holes, screw the hinges in place.
After ensuring that the uneven legs are the fault of the table and not the floor, place it on a flat surface. A quick way to guarantee the surface is flat is to lay a sheet of plywood on the floor.
Pack small pieces of wood under the leg(s) that are impacting the table balance until it stands completely level.
Once the table is level, use a compass to measure the shorter leg just above the thickest amount of packing. Then mark all four legs using the compass pencil.
Using a fine-toothed tenon saw, saw off the excess from each leg.
Start by tightening any loose screws and wing nuts. Where there are joints, use a wood mallet to tap them apart. Clean off any residue and then glue back in place using a clamp on the joints until the glue sets.
Use metal corner braces to strengthen joints, fitting each brace across a corner. Once its position is established, screw the bolt provided with the brace into the corner. Make sure its threaded length protrudes through the hole within the brace.
Once the brace is in place, a wing nut can be screwed into the bolt.
Remove the socket and castor. Open the split as far as you can with a chisel to fill the crack with glue. After gluing, clamp the parts and remove any excess glue before it dries.
After the glue has set, clear the hole and refit the pieces to the table. If there are screw holes, fill each with plastic wood and drill new holes for the glide.
There are simple repairs that can be done on tables that need a bit of attention. This article looks at how these repairs can be carried out.
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