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trestle table repair

aggiewood's picture

I have an old trestle table made of pine. One board has split I've seen repairs consiting of some plugs perpendicular to the split that look like 2 dovetails put together. Names of these? Also seen wood inserted lenghtwise to the split after taking out section with the split. I'd like some advice on how to achieve either. thanks.

UncleDunc's picture

(post #77089, reply #1 of 3)

Butterfly keys.

Names I've got. Can't help with advice, sorry.

joinerswork's picture

(post #77089, reply #2 of 3)


You might want to spend a few minutes, if you haven't already, considering what caused the split to occur, and address a way to eliminate the cause.  Then you can address the issue of the damage itself.

If the top has "breadboard" ends, you might want to take then off before pulling the crack closed and making the repair.  Then re-attach the ends using a method that allows for seasonal movement.

If the top split because it was glued or screwed tightly to the base, then you'd want to remove the top and figure a way to re-attach it, again allowing for some movement across the width of the top.  Use slotted pockets for the screws, or buttons, for instance.

Unless the crack is full of dried food and other crud, it shouldn't be too hard to clean it out carefully, and glue it closed.  Some time spent trying to get a clean surface in the crack to give a good glue bond will be well worth the effort.

If you want to re-inforce the crack with a butterfly patch, I'd recommend the following:  Make the butterfly(s) first.  Cut them with a slight (1or 2 degree) taper from the top side of the patch (the side that will show) to the bottom.  Put in place on the table top, and scribe around it with an exacto blade, or something similar.  Rout or chop a recess slightly less than the thickness of the patch.  Carefully pare just up top the line.  Try the patch in place, and fit til it will press nearly home with light pressure.  Then coat the recess and the edge of the patch with glue and drive home with a hammer.  Plane flush after the glue is dry.

Bear in mind that if this is an antique table, you can reduce its value considerably with a careless repair; adding elements that were not there originally, for instance.



walnutjerry's picture

(post #77089, reply #3 of 3)

I believe jointerswork has given some sound advice-----the seasonal movement of the wood can play havoc with furniture if there has been no allowance for it in the construction. Good luck with the repair!