Antique Repair Question

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Forum topic by dgrant posted 08-21-2014 04:50 PM 594 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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47 posts in 1138 days

08-21-2014 04:50 PM

I have been asked by a friend to take a shot at restoring her fathers childhood bed. I believe the wood is maple. It was made in the 30’s. It’s been in a storage and has dried out badly. It has several checks and splits, some worse than others. My friend asked me not to remove the BB hole in the headboard. It’s evidence of a BB gun war between her father and uncle in the 40’s. I’m also supposed to leave the chew marks from Rocky the dog, done in the early 50’s.

I have two questions. First, what type of filler can I use on the checks and splits that are fairly stable. I have some Timbermate but that seems pretty soft. I want to try to stabilize the checks and fill at the same time. Whatever I use needs to be able to take a finish which will probably something like Arm R Seal. No stain.

Second, there are two sections where the wood has delaminated enough to where I can move them a little. They won’t move enough to clamp down for gluing but enough that a regular filler would no doubt pop out pretty quickly. What is the best method to fill those larger splits and essentially glue them back together if possible.

One of the attached pics shows the part that I can move. I considered trying to pop them off the rest of the way and re-glue but I’m afraid the center section is glued well enough to make a mess of things. Thanks in advance for any help.

1 reply so far

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 970 days

#1 posted 08-21-2014 05:32 PM

In the bottom pic you’ll have to break that off and re-glue it. Come in from the back to start your split. If a piece is split you’ll have to try to glue and clamp. If that isn’t an option and it is acceptable by the owner, fill the cracks with maple wood. Cut to fit the piece and glue it, clamp or ratchet strap it. If you don’t have maple, use what you have and alter the color to match. I wouldn’t use putty or filler.

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