Shopping Cart

Gluing Oak: Repair Of An Old Oak Drop leaf Table

Why Am I Gluing Oak Back Together?

I am gluing oak because an old drop leaf oak table that has been in my family for very many years fell victim to a leaf breaking. A dinner guest had lent on it with the supporting leg not fully engaged, my error and not theirs.

The Oak Table Top

The construction was of oak planks, held together with dowels and glue to form the leaves and table top. The end plank had been broken from it with a failure of the glue joint and the dowels. Repairs had to be undertaken (Double click pictures to enlarge):

Remove The Old Dowels And Glue

Obtain replacement dowels of the same size, fit the appropriate sized drill bit and remove the broken dowels from the table top and the leaf

Gluing Oak Drill Dowels
Sand both surfaces to remove old glue and leave a clean fresh surface for the new joint

Gluing Oak Dowels Drilled Surface Sanded

Perform Test Assembly Dry (Without Glue)

Perform a test fit of the panels with the new dowels in place, and cramp lightly to ensure everything matches up nicely, sand further if required.

Gluing Oak Test Cramp to check fit closeup

Mix The Oak Glue

Measure roughly equal quantities of Smiths Oak and Teak Epoxy resin, which will fill gaps like all epoxy resins, thus making a strong joint if the wood is not perfectly touching down it’s whole length. Unlike conventional epoxy resins it is not affected by the natural oils in Oak, Teak or tropical hardwoods, so will give a strong bond in ALL woods.

Gluing Oak Mix Equal Quantities Epoxy

Mix very thoroughly. All two part adhesives will require very thorough mixing in order to offer their full performance. Many errors and glue failures are attributable to poor mixing.

Smiths Oak and Teak Glue performs best if left for 10 minutes before use, wait until it goes a clear amber colour:

Gluing Oak Wait till clear

Gluing Oak: Assembling The Table Top

Glue the dowels into one face, put glue in the mating holes for the dowels and on both sides of the joint. Wait for ten minutes more for the glue to penetrate the timber. When gluing oak or any other woods reapply if any part (end-grain is particularly susceptible) becomes starved of glue. The glue being absorbed into the wood is very good for the joint strength, but not if there is no glue left for the joint itself.

Gluing Oak New Dowels and Break Glued

Assemble the glued joint, and cramp lightly together. Do not cramp too tightly or you may starve the joint of glue if the wood absorbs more glue. Remove any Epoxy resin from the surface before it sets with solvent.

Gluing Oak Clean Epoxy before it sets

The Finished Product

Wait until the glue has set, remove the clamps, and enjoy the better than when new table:

Gluing Oak Good as new