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I'm repairing damage on a wooden sleigh bed; specifically, to one of the two side pieces that support the Frame Slats (a.k.a. "the slats"!). It is the thin "edge" that is joined to the inside and bottom of each Long Rail (i.e. the bed's sides). I dunno if it has a name, but I'll refer to it as simply the Slat Support. The original join was regular "yellow" glue, supported by screws every 10.5". Here's the non-broken left side (left and right being as seen from standing at the foot of the bed and looking towards the head) with a few slats supported on its Slat Support:

enter image description here

The damage is that on the right side (not shown in the above -- the position I was standing when I took the above shot), the Slat Support has separated from its Long Rail, at the Headboard end, to a length of about 24". Here is the break, held open by a ruler:

enter image description here

Given that this needs to bear a fair amount of load -- the Slat Support holds up the Frame Slats, the Frame Slats support the box spring, which supports the mattress, which supports the kid jumping up and down on it apparently!... -- can anyone recommend what glue I should use? As I say, the original join was regular "yellow" glue, but I'm wondering if should use epoxy for the repair.

I may also fill in the three affected screw holes and drill some new ones away from the damage. In addition, I intend to swap the left and right Long Rails so that the repair moves from being at the Headboard end and right side, to the Footboard end and left side.

But I think the glue is doing the most work here, so I want to make sure I get that part right.

Thanks!

  • Is it only the glue which has failed, or has the wood been torn apart in there where we can't see in the photo? – Andrew Morton Apr 27 at 18:32
  • It's only the glue. The wood itself is substantially intact. The only exception is at the site of one of three affected support screws. You can see it at the top right of my second photo. But even there, the damage is to the edge of the rail, not to the glued surface, which is pretty much intact. (Incidentally: the reason the first screw, near the ruler in the shot, didn't create even more damage is because it sheared in half. So half of it is still in the rail. Hence me figuring I'll have to relocate at least that supporting screw). – tkp Apr 27 at 18:45
  • Is it possible to separate that lifted piece of wood from the other part? That would make the repair easier as it will involve removing the old glue, properly preparing the surfaces, and then using ordinary wood glue and clamps. – Andrew Morton Apr 27 at 18:49
  • To be clear: "slat support" = part above the ruler; "rail" = part below, touching the carpet. So, if you mean can I separate the entire slat support from the entire rail, then no I don't think so. That was actually the first thing I tried. I loosened all the screws, expecting the slat support to just full off the rail, but it didn't. After a few hard tugs/taps I realized that the screws were only there in a supporting role. The main bond is glue. Or did you mean could I cut the slat support in two, separating the now-detached-from-the-rail portion from rest? Probably -- albeit scary :-) – tkp Apr 27 at 19:19
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    I'd consider screwing a width of steel, or even angle iron to the bottom of the bed. Screws into both pieces of wood. If the glue has already failed, you are going to have a tough time making a stronger connection with a wood-failed glue-New Glue-failed glue-wood connection. A nice piece of steel covering the join and screwed to the two pieces should help a lot. If you go with the epoxy be sure to check the psi rating on the package. Get the strongest, even if it takes 24 hours to drive. I Find the 5 minute epoxies to be slightly better than hot glue. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 27 at 20:19
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I think you are over thinking this.

I made this exact same repair a month ago and I used wood glue, you could use construction adhesive. Sand both surfaces, and glue and clamp.

Add extra screws for strength, one every 8 inches ? .

No need to fill in counter sunk screw holes, with box spring/mattress in place that part of the frame in not seen.

  • “Overthinking” is my middle name. 🙂 I’ve proceeded just as you described. Of course I then had to decide which wood glue and so watched <cough>a few</cough> YouTube videos on the subject. I decided on TightBond III simply because when compared with the other two versions then other than shorter working time (which didn’t matter in this case), and being double the price (but double $2.50 is still only an extra $2.50), it seemed superior in all other aspects. Thanks for the advice. – tkp Apr 29 at 14:01

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