Thursday, January 2, 2014

Antique Table Structural Fix

Today I'm showing you guys how I fixed a structural problem on an antique table!  There's nothing like ringing in the new year with some "git 'er done" attitude.  Sorry...I am from the south.  The accent/attitude comes out sometimes.  Actually, the accent and the attitude usually come out at the same time.

A few month's back, my husband, SIL and I went in together on an antique table as a gift for some friends.  Being an antique (and being a craigslist find) I found a structural problem with it when we got it home that I didn't notice when we went to buy it.  

Here's a really bad picture of the table...

And a slightly better picture of the table at the party where we gave it to them.  It also has the leaves added in here.

Here is a photo of the structural issue underneath the table.
The board coming toward the camera was part of the frame that held the two ends together.  The board at the top of the photo that is busted was supposed to hold the other board in place.  Originally the top board held the middle board because it had a slad down the middle where the other board fit into.  But as you can see, that busted through and there was nothing supporting the middle board on this end of the table.

We took a trip to Home Depot and found the metal braces below.  Since the board was busted on both the top and bottom part of the slat, I decided to get two braces and bolt them together.

My mess of tools...

This is a close up of the braces in case you're needing to buy them.

First, I clamped the brace to the location I planned to put it.  

Using a bright colored pencil, I marked all the holes.

When I took it off, you could see them very easily, so that was successful!

When I started drilling, I realized I needed goggles since all the sawdust was falling in my eyes.  I found Tyler's goggles from Biology in college and used that.  I thought I looked ridiculous, so I thought I'd share.  ;)

Figure out which drill bit you need and get to work on drilling the holes!  I did pretty well at keeping them straight, but ended up having to re-drill a few toward the end.

Screw everything together.  This part was the most difficult because it was nearly impossible to get tools in that small space in the right angle.

I feel like this really helped the structural issue, and definitely kept the middle board in its place.

I was pretty happy with how it turned out!  The braces were long enough that it didn't stress the board at any of the points that were already breaking, so I don't foresee any additional damage happening to the table as a result of this method of fixing it.

I'm sure this isn't the proper way to fix this table, but for a layman I think I did okay!  

What do you think?  How would you go about fixing something like this?


  1. Hey, great job taking the initiative and doing what needed to be done to make the table usable!

    1. Thanks Rachel! I hope it will help it remain sturdy in the long run...I really don't know what the first step would be for actually replacing the wood.

  2. I am really impressed! You're so handy!

    1. Thanks girl! I'm not as handy as I'd like to be, but learning I suppose! :)


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