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Need help repairing a panel door

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Forum topic by schniggeldorf posted 09-12-2012 02:35 AM 675 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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schniggeldorf

4 posts in 1584 days


09-12-2012 02:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak refurbishing

Hi:

Attached are several photographs of a frame & panel door that my step-father made for me around 18 years ago. He’s no longer living, so I can’t ask him, but I believe he glued the frame with yellow glue.

As you can see from the photographs the rail has separated from the stile in one corner. From this front, this appears to break along the joint, but from above and the back you can see that the stile has cracked along the grain.

Certainly I could re-glue the piece, but I fear to do so until I better understand the underlying problem. I first noticed the problem during a particularly humid portion of the summer, but I don’t really know if wood movement is the cause. The cabinet was recently moved into a different room from where it had spent the last 5 years, but this is its fourth location, and I hadn’t had any problems before.

Does anybody have an idea about the cause, and any suggestions for how to repair it?

Main Photo

Front detail

Top detail

Back detail

Thanks.


12 replies so far

View kizerpea's profile

kizerpea

746 posts in 1054 days


#1 posted 09-12-2012 12:35 PM

gorilla glue will hold it…follow directions an clamp it up…wipe off excess glue..

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

View lunn's profile

lunn

206 posts in 995 days


#2 posted 09-12-2012 12:48 PM

Thats all oak. From the second and last pict. someone has repaired it before. The second pict has glue over the finish. The last pict has 2 small holes where someone drilled and if you check probally small finish nails. My guess is the panels are to tight and where it sat was dryer than it is now. Each room of a house has a slight temp difference also humidy. The cloths dryer, dishwasher emits a little steam also a bathroom. As for the repair wood glue won’t stick to glue so you’ll probally have to use an expoy. Open the crack as much as possible and use a hypodermic needle (all sizes at animal supplies) to shoot the expoy into the crack. Give it a shot ! Clamp and move it back to a dryer room. Is it dryer or drier change the y to i and add er or something like that i can’t spell anyway. After 5 years of highschool thunk i wood have learnt sumthung. YYYEEEEEE HAAAAAAAAAAAAA (redneck for wow)

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

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huff

2804 posts in 1971 days


#3 posted 09-12-2012 01:10 PM

It does look like someone might of tried to reglue it at some time or another. The reason the door cracked is probably because the panel is too tight like mentioned before. As the panel tried to expand it pushed the joint apart. The nails could have been part of a repair or they could have been installed from the very beginning. I know some cabinet shops that drive small pin nails in from the back to help hold the joint. I personally don’t like doing that because of the reason you’re having now. It really doesn’t matter when it was done, just makes the repair a little more difficult.
Repair; Expoy glue may be your best bet. Like lunn said, spread the joint as wide as possible, clean as much of the old glue off as possible, glue and clamp. Your regular glues will probably not hold. I’m not sure about gorilla glue, I’ve heard it’s good stuff, but not sure if it will stick to another glue. Good luck on your repair.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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schniggeldorf

4 posts in 1584 days


#4 posted 09-14-2012 01:05 AM

Thanks for the ideas. I can understand why several of you thought it had been repaired before, but I don’t think that’s the case. What looks like an effort to re-glue the panel is really a drip of polyurethane used to finish the piece. I looked inside the joint, and there’s no evidence of glue, just wood.

View josephf's profile

josephf

52 posts in 783 days


#5 posted 09-14-2012 03:13 AM

If you can seperate it a bit then you can get glue in . Use a wood glue like titebond . I would drip a bit over the space then use my finger to push it in by wiping over the gap .It needs to get in there ,but do the best that you can .Then clamp it up for a day . A spline could be added to the joint or a nail even .
oh it may of come apart due to shrinkage meaning it will not clamp up .

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1537 days


#6 posted 09-14-2012 01:42 PM

If you cram glue of any variety in there and clamp it, you are obviously compressing the panel. As soon as a little humidity makes it onto the scene, a different corner is likely to pop.

To do it right, I’d break that stile off, trim down the panel, and glue the stile back on. Yellow glue will work if your joints are all fresh wood. If there’s any glue residue, or any joint gap at all, leave the yellow stuff on the shelf and go with the epoxy.

The cheapie HF epoxy stuff works, but not very well. There are higher quality name brands out there, even in small tubes.

dorf’s question is leading me to post a new topic about too-large panels in general.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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schniggeldorf

4 posts in 1584 days


#7 posted 09-16-2012 05:23 PM

Lee:

Thanks for the advice. How do I “break that stile off” while retaining pieces in good enough quality that I can subsequently glue the stile back on? When I pull on the stile, it’s pretty clear that the wood fibers start separating while the rail/stile joint remains intact, probably because of the nails others have already noted. However, those nails are thoroughly countersunk, and I suspect the existing glue would hold the joint closed even if I could magically remove the nails.

Is there a way to do this so that it looks reasonably clean when I’m done?

Thanks.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1537 days


#8 posted 09-17-2012 12:54 AM

I’ve heard that you don’t want to know how orthopedic surgeons work. The same could be said, by the general public, about what we have to do sometimes to things made of wood.

Actually you’d rather break the wood than the glue joint. It will go back together better.

I would first try to get those nails out. I would gouge around them ruthlessly and eventually I’d get a small pair of vise grips on the little diablos and pull them right out.

Then I’d clamp the door in a vise in such a way that I could put a block of wood on the stile and pound on it smartly with a hammer until it comes apart.

Others may have better ideas, but that’s how I’d go about it. It has worked for me enough times (similarly taking chairs apart to repair them) that I might get an honorary doctorate in psycho-orthopedia.

I just thought of this. Nails out first, then drill from the outside edge to destroy the tongue of the cope joint. It might weaken the joint enough that the rest of the glue will give ‘way. That wound could be puttied or filled with a matching plug.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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schniggeldorf

4 posts in 1584 days


#9 posted 10-11-2012 04:42 AM

Thanks to all for the advice. I took Lee’s suggestions, pried out the nails and dis-assembled the joint. Then I trimmed the panel, re-assembled, and plugged the holes. I’ve now gotten it plugged, and I’m staining to match the original finish. It’s not perfect, and certainly you can see the repair, but it’s only visible on the inside of the door and it looks good as new from the outside. All the help is much appreciated!

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 1063 days


#10 posted 10-11-2012 06:29 AM

Way to go.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View knockknock's profile

knockknock

221 posts in 859 days


#11 posted 10-11-2012 08:18 AM

Glad to hear you did a good repair.

View huff's profile

huff

2804 posts in 1971 days


#12 posted 10-11-2012 12:44 PM

Sounds like a job well done. Glad you got it repaired.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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