I purchased a lovely table on the cheap off Craigslist that needs repair to the table legs. Fractured at the point where the legs meet the base, the breaks were filled with some kind of glue but not clamped. The result is mismatched pieces that have spread apart and on one leg the dowel hole is almost filled with glue. What would be the best way to remove the glue given the fact that I don’t know what kind was used. This isn’t a matter of cosmetics the table is structurally unsound. It is a teak table from the seventies and the legs are solid wood not pressboard. Thanks. enter image description here

Hi again! No I haven't abandoned either this question or hope. I do payroll for a municipality and end of year shenanigans make this quite possibly the worst time of year to start a thread about table legs. And yet I did.

On a scale of 1-10 my skill level is about a 5--very basic. I have some saws, also sanding and finishing equipment. My workspace is shared with cars and my living space shared with people who are happy to accommodate my obsession with furniture repair as long as it doesn't involve moving their cars. My projects have to be set up and taken down within the day. In summer I work outside, kind of ideal for sanding but it makes shelaccing a bit of dance.

I've assembled the table on spec and included a picture. When I got it, the legs were semi-attached and dangling to each other by their bolts which thankfully were not bent by it but it was easy to see how the wood might have fractured under the stress if they transported the table like that before.

The legs attach to the top via two bridge pieces, one of which is missing. I've stayed in touch with the previous owners who might have the bridge and the leaves out in their shed. They will let me know in the spring. If not, then I will have to jury rig a new bridge.

The glue is clear yellow and soft, i can stick a metal pick into it easily but it snaps back when pried at. The only thing I can use as a lever is the wood itself and I don't want to do any further damage to it, its already so fragile.

I was thinking some combination of heat and physics? Maybe softening the glue with a hair dryer and slowly prying apart the wedges.

table in piecestable in pieces

  • 2
    An additional photo or two showing the cross section profile and the extent of the crack on the leg would be helpful.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 19:29
  • Yes, we could do with multiple angles here. And it wouldn't hurt to show how these table are supposed to attach to the rest of the piece to give a more detailed and thorough Answer. Oh and welcome to StackExchange BTW!
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 9:30
  • In terms of what's likely needed here, we could do with an idea of how you're set up for tools and whether you have any woodworking experience — no point for example in recommending you create clamping cauls by drilling and splitting a piece of scrap softwood if you can't do any of that :-) Also if you don't have the clamps that would be necessary to apply sufficient force to close this gap entirely (some glues require very firm clamping to achieve a strong bond in wood, which obviously is going to be quite critical here).
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 9:34
  • This looks like a tough situation. What type of glue is that? Is it pliable or rigid? How well is it adhered to the wood? We also need more context as to how the table is constructed and where this piece fits into it. I think I'd be tempted to just put a wedge in and fully break the piece apart to facilitate cleaning out the old glue, then glue it back together with epoxy. Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 16:55
  • Oh God I hope this isn't another abandoned Q *sigh*
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 10:00


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