The all wood footboard of one of our beds has been squeaking at the
joint where the horizontal board attaches to the vertical post. I
tried spraying some silicone in there a few weeks ago to silence it but
to no avail.
Yesterday when my wife was changing the sheets somehow the board
separated from the post. Nothing is broken, it just came out of the
notches where the dowels and main load bearing connection are. I
pushed everything back together for now, but I doubt it will hold
Why is there no glue in these connections? Everything seems to be dry
fitted together. Should I put some wood glue in there and hold it all
together with bungee cords until it dries?
When the wood was "greener", it was probably a very tight, press fit.
There may, actually, have been some wood glue but not much -- as there
wasn't much *room* for it ("press fit") -- that has now dried to a
nearly invisible film.
The mechanical relationships of the various "members" probably go a long way
to keeping things "together".
You can add some wood glue (yellow). Have a damp cloth handy to wipe up
any that oozes from the joint. I doubt you'll find a combination of bungy
cords that are the "appropriate" length. But, a strap clamp can be used
(convenient to have). Put a wash cloth or some other soft material
between the clamp's strap and the wood so you don't mar the finish.
[Hint: glue both ends of each piece at the same time so each clamp
application does double duty]
If you don't want to buy a clamp, you can use a length of rope tied in
a loop with a small piece of wood inserted and twisted, tourniquet style,
to take up the slack (careful not to overtighten).
On Friday, February 5, 2016 at 9:48:02 AM UTC-5, badgolferman wrote:
There may have been glue which has dried out. With shrinkage over time,
the parts have separated.
The problem with using regular wood glue is that it does not fill gaps
nor will it work well on surfaces that has wood glue dried on them. Wood
glue needs to soak into the wood fibers in order to work well. If you
sand all the old wood glue off of the dowels and hole, everything will
probably end up being too loose for wood glue to work. Catch 22.
Depending on how loose the joint is, you might be able to repair it with
Gorilla glue (not Gorilla Wood Glue, original Gorilla glue). I've repaired
a number of chairs with Gorilla glue and they have held up well. (I'll be
doing another one this weekend)
If the joints are *really* loose, you can try a couple of things:
You could use Gorilla glue along some toothpicks shoved in along side the
dowels. Gorilla glue expands while curing and can help lock everything
together. The expansion is key. Read the instructions carefully. You don't
want to use so much that it oozes out and makes a big mess. Keep an eye on
it and wipe up the ooze with a damp cloth before it cures.
You could use a back saw and cut a notch in the end of the dowels and then
insert a small wedge to widen them enough for a snug fit. Then use Gorilla
I've never tried these, but I've heard they work for dowel connections as
well as screw hole repair. I bought some to repair a chair last weekend, but
chickened out and went with the Gorilla glue. If the chairs were mine and I
could keep an eye on them, I might have tried them. However, I'm fixing
them for an adult day-hap and wanted to go with a repair that was sure would work.
They are metal strips with little barbs that supposedly dig into the wood
a lock everything together. Use at your own peril.
Has *ANYBODY* thought to ask bgm what type of joint this is ? Bed rails
are often coupled to the head and foot board with a pair of pins in the post
that engage notches in a metal plate (post has a slot for the metal plate)
that is fastened to the end of the rail . If this is the way it's made , you
have a couple of choices - assuming the plate is tightly fastened you can
put a shim between the post and the end of the rail . If it's loose ,
tighten it up with new fasteners and possibly move it a bit to tighten up
the joint .
If it's a glued joint as others have assumed , you're screwed . That
silicone you sprayed in there has soaked into the wood now and nothing is
going to stick .
On Friday, February 5, 2016 at 9:46:52 PM UTC-5, Terry Coombs wrote:
He didn't say the bed rails were loose, he said the *foot board* was loose.
He used the words: "Nothing is broken, it just came out of the
notches where the dowels and main load bearing connection are."
The corner posts often have a notch into which a tenon on the foot board
(or head board) go, which is then (sometimes) secured with dowels.
Granted, a picture sure would help.
Not necessarily. With a little work, the parts could be notched to give them
tooth which a product such as Gorilla glue could grab.
Better yet would be to use some 2 part epoxy with a filler additive such
as West Systems 404. See the "General Bonding" item in this list:
A couple of dove tail like notches in both parts would allow the epoxy
to get "behind" the wood and lock everything together.
Heck, a couple of fancy bolts and nylon lock nuts might even work, depending
how long the tenon is. Once the loose side is secured, add 2 bolts on the
other to balance out the visual.
By saying "you're screwed" you are implying that he should just throw the
entire bed away because he used silicon spray. There are so many options
for fixing this bed that to make that implication is ridiculous.
On Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 1:34:49 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Snag did not qualify his "screwed" reference by limiting it to a glue repair,
he simply said that bgm is "screwed".
bgm isn't screwed, but the bed may have to be. ;-)
As I said earlier, a picture would really help. Nothing against bgm, but
the mere fact that he thought silicon spray was a good remedy for a squeaky
wood-to-wood connection may mean that his description isn't extremely
accurate. Even if the silicon stopped the squeak, it would have only
treated the symptom, not cured the disease. (that's for bgm)
When I read "notch" I think mortise and tenon, not dowels, unless the
tenon was secured with dowels at a right angle, as in though the face
of the bed post.
If that's the case, I'm not sure how the foot board went from loose to
"separated from the post". "Separated" as in pulled out? I'm not sure
how that would happen with through dowels. Loose, yes. Pulled out? Not
unless the dowels themselves fell out or cracked. It would be really
tough to crack the through dowels unless there was major damage to lots
of other wood in that area. There was no mention of that in bgm's
Now, it is possible as I said before, that instead of a tenon on the end
of the foot board rails, they made the mortise in the bed post large
enough to accept the full foot board rail and used dowels on the end
(in-line) instead of a tenon. That takes the weight off of the dowels
but provides more secure connection than just gluing the end of the
foot board into a shallow mortise. If that was the case, it would not
only fit his description ("it just came out of the notches where the
dowels and main load bearing connection are made") but it would also
be a fairly common issue caused by dried out glue.
Of course, maybe I've got the entirely wrong idea of what bgm, means by
Once again, a picture would really help.
Sure sounds that way when you only quote half of what I said :
" If it's a glued joint as others have assumed , you're screwed . That
silicone you sprayed in there has soaked into the wood now and nothing is
going to stick ."
I hate it when that happens . It's very clear when you take it in context
that I meant that a *GLUE* repair is not going to work .
So here's a picture:
Sorry, there were no dowels. I was writing the original post from
another computer while not at home. Never mind the dried up wood glue
on the post, i picked it all off after the picture. That end of the
bed has very little light shining on it so I didn't see all that when I
was setting up the strap and gluing it. It seems to be bonded just
fine and doesn't squeak anymore.
On Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 3:22:52 PM UTC-5, badgolferman wrote:
It would have been nice to see a picture of the disassembled joint just
for clarity. Is there a tenon on the end of those 2 sections that go into
the mortise (notch) or was it just the full sized ends themselves?
The bottom looks as if the full size end goes into the mortise but there
might still be a tenon on the end of it. Just curious.
This is a mortise & tenon joint:
How snug was the fit when you put it back together?
On Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 7:42:44 PM UTC-5, badgolferman wrote:
Well, good luck. I hope it holds.
If it was loose enough that it fell out more or less on it's own,
regular wood glue may not hold up. As I mentioned in an earlier post,
regular wood glue is not meant to fill gaps, so typically a snug fit
is desirable. It may hold for a while, but if the bond isn't strong
enough it will eventually dry out and loosen up. I really do hope
that doesn't happen, but if it does at least you'll know why and
you'll be prepared to try something different, like Gorilla glue,
I spent most of the day reassembling a curved back antique chair.
14 joints, some mortise & tenon, some doweled (2 - 3 dowels each)
The old glue had to be cleaned off all 14 joints (both sides) before
could be glued back together. 10 of the 14 joints had to be glued up
in one shot.
The square chairs I did last weekend were easy. Round back chairs,
with curved joints aren't easy to clamp. I spent close to an hour
doing a dry run to figure out a workable clamping scheme that I
could get done in the 10 - 15 working time that the Gorilla glue
allowed. When I was ready, I had SWMBO come down to shop for an
extra pair of hands to hold things together while I got all the
clamps in place.
What a pain but SWMBO loves the chair (it came from her Grandmother)
so I didn't really mind.
Since I haven't seen this posted: Cut your sex life down and remove all the
bondage bindings, etc.
Why would you lube something that you don't want sliding? I think the Astro
Glide will eventually evaporate.
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