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Thread: repair a broken leg on a nice sideboard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    572

    repair a broken leg on a nice sideboard

    New member Maurice McMurry, this is my first started thread. I get to repair a broken leg on a nice sideboard this week. The owners brought it with them when they moved from the UK to the USA in the 1970s. I was asked today if I would put some screws in to fix it. I brought the legs section home and will be thinking about what to do. I am considering adding some wood or steel in places that don't show. I also might try to trickle thin superglue into loose joints. Is super glue a no-no in the furniture world? I do not want to do a hack job. -Maurice

    mcintosh - Copy.pngIMG_0303 (2).jpgIMG_0304 (2).jpg
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 12-29-2021 at 12:24 PM. Reason: images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Norman, Ok
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    No, I wouldn't use super glue.
    First, I'd check to see if the other leg joints are loose. If they're tight, I'd leave them alone.If they are loose, then I'd try to remove the side leg assemblies from the stretchers, and then re-glue them.
    The broken leg looks like it is a clean break, so it should re-glue nicely.I'd carefully scrape off any old glue and re-glue with hot hide glue, gluing it up in a warm environment.
    Hope this helps.
    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Tend to agree with Rick. Appears to be great candidate for glue. I would be reticent to use screws. I would consider evaluating the top dowel (bottom of picture) as it looks like it never protruded beyond the stretcher and into the admittedly slight recess on the upper portion of the leg.

    Nice piece, good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Welcome. I'm also in agreement with Rick and Patrick.

    BTW, CA is pretty much never a good glue solution for something structural.
    --

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I'll second the hide glue, though would almost certainly use liquid hide glue rather than hot.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    Thanks all. All of the joints are loose. I will carefully see if they will come apart today. My bottle of liquid Hyde glue has become very thick. Can it be revitalized by warming it up? The first image is a screen shot of a similar piece from the web. The one I am working on is upside down on the lady's dining room floor. I will be flipping it back over by myself. I think I will do that before I put the legs back, set it on two buckets and reattach the legs from underneath then set it down gently. It is a lovely modern design. The legs are not very strong.

    Update, This much came apart easily. So far my idea is; leave the rest intact, glue the leg back together with Titebond and reassemble with Hyde glue?

    IMG_0307 (2).jpg
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 12-30-2021 at 9:37 AM. Reason: update + image

  7. #7
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    I can't tell you one way or the other whether or not you can redeem your existing glue, but personally...I'd buy new, especially since you are repairing this piece for others.
    --

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

  8. #8
    A new bottle of glue is a small cost considering the downside.

    Can you tell what glue was used originally? Why do you think the joints all failed? Hide glue in a humid environment?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Norman, Ok
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    I agree: you need a new bottle of fresh liquid hide glue. The manufacturer's website should show you how to tell it's fresh.
    It looks like not enough glue was used in the original glue-up. That's a common problem with old furniture.
    Let me reiterate the importance of using hide glue in a warm environment. I've had some joints fail that I glued up in cold conditions.
    Rick

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    Thanks again, The old glue looks like Elmer's. It was used sparingly. I think the wood has shrunk over the years. I glued the leg break with Titebond original. I did a test with the liquid Hyde and turned the heat to 70. Hyde glue is not stocked anywhere in town. My bottle may be older than 180 days. I will track that down and check my trial glue up.

    My Hyde glue is 11 months old. The trial is hard and strong after 20 hours at 70 degrees. I have not found an official shelf life. Franklin's website confirms "Not for structural". The leg broke when the owner tipped the piece to put felt pads on the feet. She also confirms that it is a McIntosh made for them in Scotland in the 60s. I am going to use the Hyde glue.


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    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 12-31-2021 at 2:05 PM. Reason: update + images

  11. #11
    I'd just remove any splinters that prevented a tight mate and glue and clamp with regular pva. If necessary, I'd add a single screw, then remove it and fill afterwards. Why bother with hide glue?

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    It Is from Scotland, I turn my clock back 200 years when I think of the UK. Titebond would have been a good choice too I think. It was helpful to have an hour or two to get the clamp up right. I missed a few crumbs that keeps it from going together just right. I had plenty of time to deal with those. The Hyde glue is a good color mach. I left fillets on the inside where no one will see. I am not going to use a screw. It is nice to hope that I have done no harm. I'm putting it back together today.

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    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 01-01-2022 at 3:32 PM. Reason: all done + images + woops

  13. #13
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    It would look better without those feet.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
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    Redmond, OR
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    A lot of wood workers like to preserve the original construction techniques and use materials simular to what would have been used originally.

    Me, would use PVA (Titebond), definitely PVA. I have used Titebond a LOT older than 1 year old without any issues. I almost always use Titebond III.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    It would look better without those feet.
    I agree, the floor protectors are intrusive. You can get darker sticky back felt and cut it to fit for a less obvious pad.

    Hide glue does give the option to repair the joints again in the future if necessary. PVA not so much.

    Good to see a vintage piece put back into service. Nice job.

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