Georgian Kitchen Table - A Visit & Continuing Repairs

Recently we had a visit from The Black Country Society.  We were able to give them a brief overview of what our current projects are and were able to show progress on the table refurbishment. 

The main problem that this table has is that there’s been multiple glue failures mainly on the leg joints. To begin with we’ve taken a pair of legs off the frame. In doing so we discover a split in the top of a leg. It was difficult to see but using a modified screwdriver as a wedge the split could be opened up. Getting glue into the full depth of this crack is a challenge. To do so we dilute the glue which will allow it  to flow right in. 

Once the glue has fully penetrated the split we clamp the leg in both directions. You’ll note the elastic band which is used to hold the clamping blocks in place before the clamps are tightened. We have a limited number of hands and fingers so this helps manage the glue up.

On another leg these are screw holes which once held reinforcing brackets. After the joint repairs have been completed these brackets will no longer be needed. And so these holes are to be filled.

Being visible the filling needs to be as good as we can manage. Firstly these holes are drilled to a 6mm diameter hole. A plug is then cut to fill this hole. As the plug needs to be of the same material and we have no suitable in our timber store we cut that from the inner surface of a mahogany cross member.

Plugs in place and we watch whilst glue dries!

And here’s what plugged holes look like. Once the finish has been applied these will be very hard to see. 

Whilst waiting for glue to dry the drawing of this table nears completion. And here it is. 

Dating particular pieces of furniture can only, in some instances, be only an approximation as frequently there are no dates or maker’s markings. There’s much documentation on expensive furniture but on such a piece as this which we’d class as a piece of working class domestic furniture there’s scant information. 

Below is a drawing of a table made in the 1930’s. Whilst there are differences in drawing style the constructional ideas shown in either drawing are really very similar. 

And so the project continues.