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Can you help me with my computer desks?

Posted by jayjay_teacher (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 14, 08 at 11:17

I teach in the computer lab at our school. Four years ago we got new desks and now they are falling apart. They are pressed wood covered in something like laminate. No new furniture will be purchased for many years so I am trying to come up with a solution to fix these.

The screws are falling out. The only thing that I have thought of is to get right angle braces and run the screws all the way through with a nut on the other side. Someone told me that if I did not have the right drill bit, that the pressed wood would fall apart where I drill. Also, the laminate would crack. I think I have heard that if you drill through duck tape that it would keep the laminate from cracking, but I do not know if this is true or not.

Can someone tell me the best way to do this, or if there is another solution, I would like to know that.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can you help me with my computer desks?

I'm sure you'll get some help, but it would be best if you posted a few photographs, including close-ups of the failed joints and an overall view of the whole desk so we can get a sense of the stresses exerted on these joints.

RE: Can you help me with my computer desks?

There may be several ways to fix your problem. Does your school system have a technical school where they teach woodworking? If so, contact them and see if they can take a look at it. Also, you mentioned that it is presswood that the screws are falling out of - this kind of material does fine initially, then after use, the wood falls apart around the screws.

RE: Can you help me with my computer desks?

Thanks for the quick replies. Our school does not have a woodworking class--we are a small K-12 school. jbranch, that is what is happening, the wood is falling apart around the screws--or as we say in the South, they are "wallering" out.

I can't post pictures for a little while. They are waxing the floors in the school and I am not able to get in.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

RE: Can you help me with my computer desks?

Pictures will help, but in the meantime, a few things to consider:

- Super-glue (CA glue) will strengthen failing and flaking particle board. Use the thin stuff and drip it in and let it soak into the surrounding area.
- Fill loose holes with epoxy. Epoxy putty would work well for this.
- Most knock-down (KD) or ready to assemble (RTA) furniture uses connectors of some sort. If you are going to drill through and put "nuts" you might consider these

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