Table Top Repair
Table top failure! What am I going to do about it? But more about that in a moment.
I apologize for not writing. Even goddesses need to take some time off. I was doing something myself a couple of weeks ago, and ended up hurting my back in the process. After a week of not getting better, I went to an emergency center and am currently on some medications that make me very tired. I am doing okay, and am dying to get back to work.
Anyways, I am in the process of fixing some kind of end table. I bought it at an antique shop. Of course, there was no description of what it was. The shop I go to is actually a cluster of several dealers, who all rent space in this huge rambler turned storefront. This particular dealer just puts a price tag on the item, with usually nothing else, except if the price is supposed to be firm. Not what it is, not how old it is, nothing. Fortunately she put on this tag that the table needed some fixing. In other words, it needed some love.
It is a unique piece. I don’t know if it is an antique or not. The apron of the table is solid wood. I am still trying to determine if it is a walnut or a very dark oak. (Note to self, do a post on the general descriptions of various popular woods for goddesses to learn). The table inlay reminds me of ceramic tile, or maybe granite countertop. It does not exactly fit in the apron, but it is solid. The top looks original, and one of the slats that keeps the tile (let’s just call it that) from falling through looks like a slat from a box that says Franklin Til…. But the other slat is not the same type of wood, and it did not exactly fit the piece. But I didn’t see that until I got it home.
The pedestal is where I saw the problems. First off, I do not think it is the original pedestal. The top is nice and heavy, but the bottom, I swear it was put together from scraps of decorative wood bought at Home Depot. You will see what I am talking about when I post pictures. One of the legs was split, another had part of the dowel attachment missing. It appeared when it was put together, they used glue and some tiny nails, instead of trying to fix it properly.
So, what did I do? First I attempted to fix the splits with a little bit of wood epoxy (which is becoming a personal friend of mine). You don’t see the splits unless you are examining the piece. Then I tried to scrape off the massive amounts of glue to get the dowels back into the holes for the legs to attach to the center piece. It appeared the glue had been put in the hole, then the dowel, but the dowel wouldn’t go all the way in. This was a failure on the part of the last owner.So there are gaps between the center piece and the leg pieces. I epoxied them as well, trying to fill the gap and get them as close together as possible. It seemed to work.
When I turned the table over, that is when I noticed the gap in the slats that hold the tile in place. Now that was not very safe. Clamps on the ends of the apron didn’t push it together to reduce the gaps. I had three options to try to salvage the entire piece:
- Get a new slat cut the right size.
- Put shims in the gaps (but that might create a problem putting the nails back in the slats)
- Put a little wood epoxy in the gaps, and use the clamps to squeeze the table apron together until it dried.
I went with option 3, in order to salvage as much of the table as possible. Remember, I have no clue how old this piece is, or where it was made (so what else is new with me?)
It worked! The gaps were gone, and there was just a small amount of epoxy showing. So i go to turn the table over today, and hear a crack. What the heck? I flipped it back on its top, and saw that one of the legs I had fixed had snapped back apart from the weight (I guess). Failure!
So I am back to square one. The table top is now solid, but the pedestal is now messed up again. I scraped off all the epoxy to start with a clean canvas. I put just a small amount of epoxy between two legs and the center piece, and this time I used the clamps that I bought to attempt to fix the apron. I will let that dry for a day, then try to do the same to the two remaining legs.
Moral of the story
- If you have a piece you need to do a little fixing on:
- Examine the whole piece and write down what is wrong
- Get all the right tools to do the job (Another note to self, do a post on what tools a goddess should have)
- Figure out what order the fixes need to be completed.
To be continued…