Magazine Rack Repair: Part 1

My mother-in-law has asked me to repair a magazine rack that her grandfather made.  It’s a fairly simple design made of Walnut.  Over time, multiple legs have broken off and been repaired. The most recent break was more complicated as it separated into three pieces.  One piece was the foot and the other was a triangular shaped sliver.  This sliver had been misplaced which meant it couldn’t just be glued back together.  Even if it was available it would probably be tough to successfully glue back together.  Shown in the picture below, is the break surface on the piece.  It doesn’t show well, but the right side of the break is lower than the left side.


The first problem was how to level the surface so I can glue a piece to it.  I could try to take the side off of the rack, but I’m not sure I could do it without causing damage.  I ended up using a block plane to flatten the surface.  This worked well but sanding probably would have as well.  This left me with a almost flat surface as seen when checked with a straight edge.  I could not get it perfectly flat though.


I decided to fabricate an entirely new foot from a piece of walnut I’ve had laying around the shop.  It is much thicker than I need so I planed it flat on one face and resawed it using the band saw.  Here’s the piece before planing.


I traced the profile of another foot to use as a pattern for my new foot.  That lead me to discover that my Walnut board wasn’t wide enough for the entire foot.


Since my board stretcher only works in the lengthwise direction I cut off a small piece to glue onto the main part of the replacement foot.  I clamped the piece to my band saw table to make sure it was flat.  Note I’m using wax paper under the piece to keep any glue off of the table.


Here’s how it came out.  You can make out the line where it was glued in this picture better than you can in person.  From here I band sawed out the foot making sure to stay proud of the pencil line.


To try to prevent another break in the future I wanted to add some reinforcement to the joint.  I could have used a biscuit or a floating tenon but decided on using dowels. (Yes, I know it’s a floating tenon too.)  I’m using some 1/4″ oak dowels as I didn’t want to make the wall of the drilled hole too weak which may cause it to blow out in the future if hit.  I marked a couple spots on the main piece and drilled them.  To locate the holes on the replacement foot I used my little aluminum transfer plugs as seen in the picture below.  Just line the two pieces up and press them together to mark the foot.  (The dark spot on the foot is a blob of glue I haven’t removed yet.)


With the hole centers marked I drilled out the holes in the foot.  Add glue, put the dowels in and it’s time for clamps.


I clamped the piece in as many places as possible.  To put pressure on the bottom of the feet I had to use some scrap wood as my clamps wouldn’t grab onto the curved area at the bottom of the foot.  I also clamped it down to my bench top to keep everything flat.

MR9  That’s where I am currently with the project.  Stay tuned for part 2!

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