I recently inherited a table. It is rather heavy with a solid maple top. Two of its legs have failed at their attachment points (one was fastened with a hanger bolt and the other with a machine bolt & threaded insert, which I was told was installed after that leg's hanger bolt failed). Here are those two legs (I do not know why there are screws driven into them):

image of tops of 2 splintered table legs

Here is one of the remaining legs, which appears to be splitting: leg bolted onto table's corner brace

I have 4 replacement legs that I've already notched out to the same dimensions as the old legs, and I was planning on removing all current legs and re-bolting the new ones to the corner braces. However, the table's skirt is splintering at one corner, and the corrugated fastener holding the apron in place also looks suspect.

corner of table from above, where ends of skirts are splintering

table corner from outside, showing splintering

If I hanger-bolt the new legs on, won't they just fail again? Should I through-bolt them instead? Will the damaged corner continue disintegrating? I have limited access to tools right now and a very limited budget. I'm not looking for a perfect fix, just a sturdy table.

Thank you for any help and guidance you can provide!

  • 1
    I would recommend a browse through the Woodworking sister site for a lot of info on woodworking in general and furniture repair in particular.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 18, 2023 at 13:40

2 Answers 2


I don't believe that corner is a concern.

If you have the missing wood pieces from the legs, you can wood glue them and that might hold; that stuff is really strong.

If you don't have the wood pieces, I would recommend drilling holes in the legs and running a carriage bolt in from the outside or a countersunk hex head would be ok too.


Find the broken pieces and glue them back on as good as you can.

remove the threaded inserts and drill those holes deeper until they go almost all the way through the legs, then use epoxy to glue in lengths of threaded rod ("all thread")

Then once the epoxy has set, to attach the legs to the tabletop, use a wing nut and a washer on the threaded rod. (so be sure to epoxy the rod in straight)

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