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Thread: Need help fixing cracked dowl pin holes

  1. #1
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    Need help fixing cracked dowl pin holes

    My youngest daughter made this bench for me nearly 20 years ago. I would like to keep it as original as possible, yet, how would you fix this?
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  2. #2
    That's a really neat old piece and I can see why you want to preserve it close as possible. If the stretcher will come out I may be inclined to smooth the opening some and insert a spacer of similar aged wood if a piece could be found. You may be able to do that with a file or thin sanding block if you would rather not take it apart.

  3. #3
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    This is a wedged or tusked tenon. The theory is if things become loose, one only has to tap the wedges to tighten things. This works until something gives.

    You may find more help for repair ideas in the Neanderthal Haven.

    If the tenon is structural (no reason to have one if it isn't) you may need more than a fix for appearance to prevent it breaking again.

    If you do reuse this stretcher you may want to shave a little off of the shoulders at both tenons.

    If this can be disassembled you may do best by replacing the stretcher and making the tenon a touch longer to help prevent breaking in the future. A bit of finish can also help it avoid problems caused by seasonal changes causing problems.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 04-17-2019 at 1:53 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
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    Until I closed my pond it had a prominent place and was used daily.
    Since then my wife chose to use it as a potted plant stand. Not so much watched after, I'm ashamed to say. The feet are rotting as well.

    Anyway, thanks for your suggestions and ideas, guys.

  5. #5
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    Bill, If you do not mind changing the stool abit, I would get some 1/8" steel flat stock and shape it to the same shape as the sides of the mortice sticking through the feet.
    If you made 4 of them 2 for each side and drill the holes for the pin size and that would give that tenon the strength it needs.
    I would drill the holes in the pieces for the pins before shaping the sides. Ypu might even epoyy the steel to the side of the tusk or tenon
    1/16 inch flatstock would probably work and look better.

  6. #6
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    Remove the stretcher pins so you can have a good glue surface between the two sides of the crack, glue and clamp. Then re-assemble. You may or may not want to resize the pins so that they are snug but not exerting too much pressure that will re-crack the stretcher ends in a different place.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    If I am allowed a second " how would you "opinion, after thinking this through just a bit more, I suspect the stretcher is also cracked to some degree so it must be disassembled. It may take some time, persuasion and possibly a little moisture over time to pull it back together. So disregard my 1st suggestion of a spacer shim.

    Moving right along now, after the gap can be successfully closed with a clamp I would consider glue and a counter bored screw, possibly 2, deep into the bottom of the stretcher to assist holding and a second smaller screw in the tenon, located within the mortise area, so it isn't visible after re-assembly. While the stretcher was out I would reinforce the other end even if it wasn't cracked.

    If allowed a 3rd opinion I may be back.

  8. #8
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    The number of opinions is limitless.

  9. #9
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    Honestly, I think that a full disassemble is in order so you can see what you are dealing with fully, Bill.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    I would pull the pins out, carefully clean the crack out with compressed air and glue and clamp (with a good epoxy) the cracks closed. Then drill and countersink two #4 brass screws into the tenon from the underside to reinforce the crack.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Honestly, I think that a full disassemble is in order so you can see what you are dealing with fully, Bill.
    I think so,too. The wife just wanted it sanded and a clear coat over it to get us past Easter. Then I can take it appart. We will have all 3 kids (kids? My son will be 50 in July) and hopefully all 8 grandkids. Said she'd cover it with decor so no one sits on it.
    Thank you all again for your ideas and support.
    It is much appreciated.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Jobe View Post
    I think so,too. The wife just wanted it sanded and a clear coat over it to get us past Easter. Then I can take it appart. We will have all 3 kids (kids? My son will be 50 in July) and hopefully all 8 grandkids. Said she'd cover it with decor so no one sits on it.
    Thank you all again for your ideas and support.
    It is much appreciated.
    Seems the wife is thinking ahead because it looks as if Bill needs get the grill in order. Enjoy those kids and grandkids.
    Last edited by robert wiggins; 04-18-2019 at 11:35 AM.

  13. #13
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    I would practice on another piece of wood until I came up with how I wanted to do the repair.

    Just my thought.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Jobe View Post
    The number of opinions is limitless.
    OK, the round pin is what caused the crack and if i'm thinking correctly that can be prevented and still use the original rounds with a slight modification and still mostly preserve originality. Being a square/rectangle taper pin is the norm, so only lateral pressure is exerted on the tenon to draw the stretcher shoulders tight, a simple round pin modification would accomplish that if i'm seeing this right. The pin cut out area would extend slightly beyond the tenon on each side and be installed with the flats up and down.

    Did you notice, I'm still an old pencil and paper fellow.
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  15. #15
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    I would start by trying to glue the crack closed. What do you have to lose? If that does not work, you can resort to more extreme measures.
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 04-18-2019 at 2:25 PM.

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