Can this bed be fixed?

tam184October 6, 2010

I'm thinking about getting this bed from a Craigslist ad. I've been looking all over for a curved footboard bed and the price is decent. Unfortunately, there is a separation of the joint on the left side of the footboard (see photo). Do you think this can be fixed or should I just walk away? If it can be fixed, how should I do it?


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That's going to be a bit difficult to clamp. Difficult, but possible. I would use a couple of band clamps with a couple of pipe clamps set up as spreaders. Turn the piece so the pipe clamps are flat on the bench and the piece is positioned like a rainbow. Spread the pipe clamps as you tithten the band clamps and inject some tightbond 3 glue into the crack.

That frame looks like Walnut, I'll bet it will look really nice with a new finish. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 11:46AM
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Are you planning on painting the bed a solid color, like white? Looks like that's what was done before.
If you want to repair this bed, you need to take it apart, clean off the old glue, and attach clamping cauls to clamp it back together. You may also need to replace the dowels. If you have some woodworking skills this would not be too difficult.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 4:43AM
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Thanks for the responses. I don't have any woodworking skills, so I'm reconsidering getting the bed.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 1:29PM
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That is a great bed for the right person. It does not have to be a hard clamp-up and it should be an easy fix! I own a restoration business and trust's a 10 minute fix!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Restoration Studio

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 8:16PM
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I trust you. Just how would you fix this in 10 minutes? Does it have something to do with nails or screws?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 10:25PM
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I'm not a professional woodworker :) but I would definitely attempt to fix this bed if it were me, it's gorgeous and I think that if you could get loan of some type of clamps like they mentioned above, you could easily fix it. The hardest part would be to get the right clamp on it. wood glue would probably be enough. It appears that all you would need to do is get the 2 separated pieces tightly together again, and of course get your glueing medium in there. If you dont have access to any type of clamps see if anyone you know has those red fabric tie downs, the one's that have the ratchet fasteners on them get that around the foot board and cinch it up! Clear up any glue that oozes out with a wet rag and let er set up! that would easily be a 10 min fix...(well, maybe more ;) as it might take me 10 min to figure out how to work the ratchet thingies, but IT WOULD WORK IN A PINCH>

Now go and get this bed!!!

PS: I would use this obvious damage issue as a negotiating tool to get the bed for a better price.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 12:01AM
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someone2010 is, or seems to be, a professional restorer who has said that this is an easy fix. This site is designed for people with expertise to explain to people without expertise how to perform work. I have explained how I would accomplish the repair, but would like to hear from someone who apparently does this for a living, how they would do it. As can be seen by the couple of photos of articles I have made, I have some experience in clamping together curved parts; but I am always interested to learn different or better ways to accomplish a task. The only quick fix I know of is to put some glue in the joint and shoot a few brads in to clamp it together. That's a 10 minute fix, but not one I would use.
The other problem would be, how to get the paint out of the pores of the veneer if you want a clear finish.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 1:49AM
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I did not go into detail because the original poster is not likely buying the bed. While I'm sure the info could be useful to someone, I have limited time here.
When trying to be of help to an individual, it's a waste of time explaining a process they can't handle. Clamping these beds is VERY difficult...I have done it. It takes a lot of clamping knowledge, as well as many clamps the original poster obviously will not have access to.

So...a solution that works within their skill level and avail. tools would Imo be the best way to help the person with the question.

Given this,If I were in this persons situation I would lay the bed on a work surface and seperate the joint the best that I could. I would inject a good amount of wood glue into the joint, and pull the joint back together by hand.
Next, pre drill a hole at an angle on he underside from the flat section over towards the curved section.
Then, in the pre drilled hole, use a long (2.5 to 3") screw and slowly insert the screw into the pre drilled hole until tight and both pieces are pulled together. Glue should squeeze out of the seam.

That is a perfectly fine and simple way for a novice to repair that bed in a way that will hold.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 8:43AM
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Now that I looked at the picture again, you actually will need a 3-4" screw. The screw acts as your clamp, and will hold the pieces in position while the glue dries. You can either remove the screw within a few days, or leave it there for added security...your choice (I would leave it).

I normally don't suggest using screws (and please...NEVER use nails), as I prefer to use glue only on reglue projects, but a wise man knows when to say when...and for a novice this job is!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Meaning no disrespect, but when someone suggests a technique for repair I tend to look at the real world practical application of their method.
First, the old glue needs to be cleaned off because glue does not adhere well to old glue.
Then I look at the repair (a fluted post between two curved panels) and have to wonder where I would put the screws? One problem would be; if you wanted to put the screws on the inside, how could you do this. There is not room for a screwdriver between the curved side and the post or driving the screw from the post to the curved panel would be problematic. Then the screws would have to be countersunk in any case. And one screw would not be sufficent for that long of a surface. The minimum, I would think, would be three. Now you have some big holes to repair.
"NEVER use nails". Nails have been used as a clamping device in furniture forever. Norm, on New Yankee Workshop uses nails all the time to hold parts together until the glue dries. In this case, finish nails or brads could be used to hold the pieces together also until the glue dries. First, it would have to be taken apart, the old glue removed, new dowels put in, and then brads could be shot in with a nail gun. The only problem would be to get the new dowels shoved into the holes so the parts mate tightly.
If I were to do this job, I would rip four strips of wood, 1 in wide by 1 inch thick, the length of the panel. Then, if needed for a tight fit, I would trace the curve of the panel on cardboard and use this to handplane the curve into the bottom of the inside strips.
Next, I would use double faced tape to attach the cauls (strips of wood) to the curved panel and the center panel, next to the fluted post. Then, I would predrill four to six holes for finish nails to nail the cauls to the panels.
Now I can apply the glue and clamp tight. This would all be done after cleaning off the old glue and putting in new dowels and drilling new dowel holes.
After the glue dries overnight, the cauls and tape can be removed and the bed is ready for the finish.
That's the way I would the job.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 5:00PM
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No disrespect taken. You're talking about how "you" would do the job, but "you" didn't ask the question. The poster said point blank they have no woodworking skills, so how exactly are you helping be suggesting a method(s) they cant handle?

Yes, old glue should be removed in most cases and whenever possible, but that is not "always" the case. I have seen many pieces of furniture with dry joints...probably the reason the joint failed in the first place:-) In this case, A wire brush may even do the trick if the old glue is powdered. Also, it's a fluted post between a curved panel and a strait panel. I've worked on these beds several times...the center panel is not curved.

Why no nails? Well, for one... just try to take it back apart again. If I had a dime for every nail or brad I've had to did out! It's difficult to remove a nail without doing major damage. You also stand a chance of spliting the wood, where a screw put into a pre drilled hole is pretty non-invasive. But go right ahead and shoot some brads into your projects. I'm sure they will end up in my shop one day and I'll have to spend hours trying to dig them back out.

As for where the screw goes on the underside (very bottom). One long coarse thread screw will be plenty to hold the pieces together while the glue dries.

Now, as far as how "I" would do the job...that's not the point, nor is that what the poster of the question asked.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 7:43PM
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If you read what I said you would see the only nails I would use are to hold the clamping cauls which would be in predrilled holes, like I stated, and would be removed when the cauls would be removed.
The original poster stated they will not buy the bed. You said you were answering my question about how you would do a ten minute fix; and you did.
You don't think the original poster was asking people how they would do the job?
The exact same thing you said about nails can also be said about screws.
You can construe my post any way you like; it's there in black and white. It will be up to the reader and people who have similar repairs to decide which method will work best. I've just repaired too many screw jobs that have collapsed after a couple of weeks from a sorry glue job and the screws ripped out. To each his own.
Best of luck to you and your customers.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 8:45PM
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