My mother gave me an oak dining table that looks nice, but was not
exactly sound, structurally. For many years it did duty in the
library of the school where my mom taught, and eventually became
At any rate, she bought it at a surplus sale, stripped the paint off
it, brushed on a couple coats of poly and gave it to me. It served me
well for a few years, but the structure itself was (pardon the pun) on
its last legs. After a move from balmy southern Louisiana to a
slightly less humid northern Ohio, the thing just fell apart. The
table top joints all gave, and careless handling by me and hundreds of
elementary school students over the years have left the table legs
loose in their sockets.
The table top boards are T&G and are all screwed into the apron (duh)
and the apron is just a 1x6 that stops short of each corner, leaving
room for the leg. Stiffening the apron (was) four pressed sheetmetal
gussets with a hole in the center. A hanger bolt went into the table
leg and had a nut that tightened the hanger bolt to the gusset,
therefore pulling the leg into the apron. Does that make sense?
Anyhoo, one of the gussets just fell out, and the other ones have been
deformed due to tightening and tightening over the years. As for the
table top, there is some nasty-looking glue-type residue on the table
top boards, and I wonder if the tongues and grooves can be salvaged.
As for fixes, I was thinking that I would just rip off a little of the
edges of the table top boards and re-glue. Do I need biscuits? For
the legs, what? Replace the sheetmetal gussets with wood, screw and
glue in place and just get longer hanger bolts? As for securing the
top to the apron, just one screw in the center of the apron? That
doesn't seem sound, structurally speaking. A groove and cleats?
Also, do I need (or do I want) another stringer running across the
grain of the table top for additional stiffness?
Sorry for the long-windedness, and thanks for the pointers, as always.