Home Dec Love

So I Fixed an Antique Table

Table legs detached

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted about something productive on here – I honestly just haven’t been that crafty/industrious lately.

Except, I fixed a table.

My Aunt had given this table to us when we first moved into this new apartment. The one catch was that it was broken – specifically, the dowel pins that stabilize the table had rotted away and broken over the years, leaving the legs detached and wobbly. It was an easy fix, but not something she was willing to put the time into, so ours it became…

…and then it proceeded to sit in her garage for a year because me, Jim, and the apartmentmate could not get our shit together enough to come pick it up.

broken dowel closeup

But we finally did it! We finally got our asses in gear and got it up to our apartment a few weeks ago. The only thing left to do was to figure out how to flush out the broken dowels (the wood glue originally used was still totally solid), replace them with new ones, and reattach the legs.

Easy peasy.


Or it should have been. I had hoped to be able to dig out the dowels without using my grandfather’s drill (which I borrowed from my father juuussssstttt in case), mainly because I don’t necessarily trust myself to play with power tools on an antique without screwing it up royally.

But the file set and pliers just did not end up cutting it – the wood glue that was in there originally was just too solid. I even tried using a corkscrew. Like for wine.

It broke.


So I ended up having to bite the bullet and drill them out.

Legs reattached

It was terrifying, but nothing went too awry. I managed to get the legs reattached and stabilized. It’s not the most perfect job ever, but pretty good considering I was working in our dining room with a kitten who was dangerously interested in what I was doing.

And in the end, we have a beautiful new coffee bar! (No worries about spills, the table has a water-resistant finish).

Finished coffee bar

Come visit me at Magpiemakingdo.com!


  • Jenn

    awesome job! my favorite item from my apartment was an old buffet table we got from my grandparents (aka my mom’s garage). I was supposed to fix it, but since it was good enough to use right away, I kinda put it off. hah

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