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We recently moved and a bed was not put back together properly (wrong screws were used). As a result one of the boards split where a screw joins the long side board to a leg. You can see the split and screw hole at the top of the picture below. The board split cleanly and the other part (not pictured) is one complete piece.

I'm not experienced in wood working and have done only small repairs before. Can I just (clamp and) glue the two parts back together? Will it hold? Do I need any additional braces or supports? Any tips on making it look nice if braces are needed?

Split board

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It appears you are on the right track. It should be possible to repair the piece by gluing it. You will need 3 or 4 clamps to keep the loose piece in full contact with the board shown in the photo. Use a wood glue such as Titebond (1,2, 0r 3 will all work) available at hardware stores, Home Depot or Lowes. Place ample glue on both contact faces liberally so that some will squeeze out when the clamps are tightened. You can clean up the squeeze out with a damp rag. Let the whole thing set overnight and it should be ready to reassemble. Good Luck!

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    Before applying any glue, dry fit the pieces to make sure that they will easily mate back together. In a break such as this there are usually some slivery strands that might only slip back together by moving longitudinally. In any event make sure that glue is applied so that the surface of both pieces are completely covered. Carefully align the pieces, then clamp it like crazy, making certain that the clamping does not inadvertently misalign the pieces. – Ast Pace Nov 11 '16 at 22:49
  • Great! Thank you. – KZ. Nov 11 '16 at 22:58
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    I would just add, that since it broke right where the furniture hardware goes, you will want to pay careful attention to those holes to keep as much glue clear of them as possible so your hardware will not have any issues once it is done. – Jacob Edmond Nov 12 '16 at 14:20
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After gluing the break back together you can also reinforce the piece by drilling a hole through the top and putting a screw in or gluing a dowel into it.

This will add strength to the wood across the grain. So that if the wood starts failing again the screw or dowel will hold the pieces together.

You can hide the screw by recessing it and putting a wooden plug on top of it.

  • With a fresh break like this the glued joint will be as strong or stronger than the surrounding wood, assuming the broken faces can be brought together closely and firm clamping pressure is used. – Graphus supports Monica Nov 14 '16 at 9:46

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