I’m attempting to fix an occasional table that the legs have fallen off. It’s a small table and the legs slot into grooves. There’s a small ledge that sits half way up the legs. I’m assuming that I can just glue the legs back in but I’ve no idea how to clamp them while it sets. Any advice greatly appreciated!
Solved! See most helpful response
Let me extend a very warm welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. We're pleased to have you join us and look forward to reading all about your projects and plans, as well as seeing you restore this table.
I'm sure our resident Bunnings D.I.Y. expert @EricL will be happy to assist you when he is back on the site on the weekend. In the meantime, let me tag some other helpful members to see how they would tackle the repair: @LePallet, @dean, @Peggers, @loggie, @Tara86, @Brad.
Irwin quick action clamps are a bit forgiving when spaning distances. Given the fit up doesn't look great and there is some damage repair being done I would use epoxy as the glue as it will fill gaps, the full cure type is stronger than the 5 minute ones so you need some time in a clamp for it to set. If you was going to paint the top? a screw would also help keep it together.
Thank you Brad. It does look much worse underneath, the tops are in better nick! I was hoping to keep the timber unpainted, as it’s such a lovely wood, but if additional steps will be needed for stability I guess I’l have to rethink it. Thank you for all your good ideas!
Screw I would save then if all else fails given you want to keep it natural looking.
There's 2 pretty easy ways to do it. Both methods avoid painting if you want to keep the original stain.
1. Drill a pilot hole at an angle from inside each leg to the base. use a piece of masking tape on the drill bit as a guide to ensure you don't go all the way through the top. After drilling the pilot hole, apply wood glue/epoxy to the slot and screw each leg in.
Start drilling the hole perpendicular (like a regular pilot hole). After a few milimetres into the timber, start angling the drill slowly (while the drill is spinning). When bit is in the right angle, complete drilling the pilot hole. I suggest practicing on a piece of scrap timber if you haven't done something like this before.
2. Small angle brackets like these can help support each leg in place. Drill a pilot hole, wood glue/epoxy and screw each bracket inside each leg so it's not visible. These small countersunk wood screws would work great.
Thank you so much for sharing your question about how to clamp table legs while gluing.
It's great that you've received excellent advice from @Brad and @loggie. Fixing and restoring your table is a wonderful way to give your furniture a second life. I suggest using Selleys 95g Liquid Nails Fast Grab Construction Adhesive. Before applying the glue, I recommend giving the slot on the table a good clean with a Trojan 100mm No.5 Slot Screwdriver. Remove all the old adhesive and debris in the slot and on the leg. This will allow the glue to get a good grip on the timber.
A combination of the Irwin 1270mm Quick-Grip Heavy Duty Bar Clamp and the Grunt 25mm x 2m Pull Tie Down Strap to keep the legs together should be enough to hold it in place while the glue cures. Using the Carinya 38 x 38 x 20 x 2mm Zinc Plated Angle Bracket - 4 Pack is an option worth exploring if you wish to support the legs. It looks like a fantastic project, any updates you can provide while repairing the table would be much appreciated.
If you decide to restore the table here is a handy step-by-step guide: How to restore wooden furniture
If you need further assistance with this project, please let us know.
Good to see that you have solved the problem re clamping table legs while gluing. If I can't clamp timber together, I usually use some super glue in one area to be glued, then use normal glue for the rest of the surface area to be glued, it works really well, no clamping.
thank you so much for this suggestion — and pics! I really didn’t want to paint it — not least as it’s taken me a VERY long time to strip it back! I’ll see what I can manage with your suggestions