I've recently acquired an old oak table from my parents. I'm going to refinish it, but I have a problem to deal with first. I doubt I can describe it better than the pictures, so without further adieu...

Full table view The problem part Side view

This thin length of wood runs half way around the table, then there is a break for the leaves, then another length on the other side. I believe my father tried to mend this with wood glue and clamps a few times, so that might be what some of that gunk is. Does anyone have advice on how to remedy this? It is salvageable, or should I look to recreate it? Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


I'm not much for bending wood myself, don't have the tools to do it. So I would try very hard to fix what is there. The first thing would be to clean out all the old glue and get to nice clean surfaces to work with so the glue can do it's thing.

After that I would glue it clamp it down very well and then from the inside run some screws through to help hold the slats peeling away. I would drill the holes before gluing and clamping and make sure your screws are short enough, but I think that would get you quite a few more years of use out of it.

  • Once you manage to carve out most of the old glue, take a good look at what's left. It looks like there's a significant amount of salvageable wood in there, but there may be some parts that have rotted out or got chipped away in the glue removal process. Also, depending on how long it's been sitting opened up like that, you may need to re-steam it to get it to set into the proper bend again. Not quite sure how you'd go about that without damaging the rest of the table unless you took the whole thing apart.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 2:37

remove the wood completely with spatulas, remove all glue with paint remover and clean with Clorox. re glue wit h gorilla glue, clamping down and also across so the splits are mated. wait until the glue has set and simply scrape it off, sand accordingly and oil or stain.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.