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 Post subject: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 09, 2018 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:32 pm
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Location: Tacoma, WA 98407
I picked up a Zenith YT960 console last night. I'm super excited as this was my Holy Grail and I wasn't having much luck finding one. Outside of the usual electronics updates, turntable servicing and tape deck servicing that it will require, the left rear leg is broken off. First thought was just to use a good quality wood glue and then maybe put a couple of screws in it. Does that sound like the way to proceed?

Charles

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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 11, 2018 3:17 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Hi Charles,
Congratulations on your find. Zenith YT960 is a beautiful example of "mid-century modern"/"danish modern" cabinetry. Highly collectible right now, as I am sure you know. Damage to legs on this style of furniture is not uncommon, usually because someone tried to drag it across carpet (or the ribbed bed of a pickup truck) instead of lifting it up.

It is hard to give a direct answer to your question, not knowing just how much wood damage has occurred. I assume you have the broken-off leg, and any wood fragments? If you could post a photo, this would help.

But speaking in general, I would avoid use of any wood screws if possible, unless screws were originally used to attach the leg assembly to the cabinet body. You will do far better by simply using a high-quality carpenter's wood glue and proper clamping. If damage is such that there are doubts about the integrity of the glued repair, wood dowel(s) would be far preferable to metal screws.

But, as I said, I am speaking here without really knowing what is going on with your broken leg.

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Last edited by Poston Drake on Oct Thu 11, 2018 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 11, 2018 3:30 am 
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
As Poston says, using glue alone will be as good a solution as you can get, assuming that you have sufficient leg material remaining to give enough surface area for glue, and assuming that you can clamp it well. Many tests have shown that a glued joint is usually stronger than the wood around it.


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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 11, 2018 3:35 am 
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Joined: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:32 pm
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Location: Tacoma, WA 98407
Thank you both! I have glued it on and will see how it did tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 12, 2018 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:32 pm
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Location: Tacoma, WA 98407
Well, the glue didn't hold. Granted I didn't clamp it and was hoping that since it fit well that it wouldn't be required. I only have the leg, none of the other pieces that are missing near the leg. It was originally held with wooden dowels but they are broken and still in the holes. I'm thinking that even with proper clamping that I might still need to use some screws. This bad boy is heavy. I'll try to get some decent photos to post of the situation after work today.

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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 12, 2018 6:11 pm 
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Joined: May Wed 23, 2018 6:28 am
Posts: 525
The advice given was correct.

Furniture legs are a difficult or impossible repair because of the large stresses they are exposed to. Sometimes replacement is the best solution.

Wood glue applied to a joint without pressure limits the bond to the exposed surfaces. The surface area and strength of the bond dramatically increase when pressure is applied. This forces some of the glue into the pores of the wood, increasing both. Since pressure was not used, the pores are now blocked on the surfaces and wood glue can no longer form a useful bond. Any repair also is weakened because the glue on the surfaces now prevents the parts from mating as closely as they would originally have.

Wood glue also needs several days to reach full strength.

The best solution is glue with dowels or biscuits. Screws won't be nearly as strong.

I do a lot of woodworking. I have been through several hundred board feet of oak and walnut this year. Most case furniture in my home is 100 to 400 years old and completely assembled with wooden pegs. Metal screws or nails are sometimes useful as clamping devices while the glue dries, not a permanent solution when strength is required.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 12, 2018 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:32 pm
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Location: Tacoma, WA 98407
Attachment:
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Thanks for the reply, John. Well crap. From what I am understanding, the best course of action now would be to drill some holes and use some wooden dowels along with glue? I am quite sure that I will not happen to find a set of replacement legs in this style for the cabinet.

Charles


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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Sat 13, 2018 6:46 am 
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Joined: May Wed 23, 2018 6:28 am
Posts: 525
That's a tough one. There is a lot of leverage on the joint. The original pegs seem "blind" which means they aren't visible. If you have the ability to drill them out and reuse the current hole placement, it would help. Otherwise, you probably can't retain the blindness. How visible the repair will be will depend on your skill. It helps to align the grain of the peg with the grain of the leg. If it is visible it will reduce the value. It's likely to be weaker than the original. If its devalued, you might as well try to support it with a hidden metal plate or bracket. Unfortunately, this will require metal screws.

You will find some hints here:

http://antiquerestorers.com/Articles/jeff/repairing_furniture_joints.htm

This is a different kind of leg, but the principle is the same:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Fixing-a-Broken-Table-Leg/

    First, scrape off as much glue as you can and make the pieces fit as tightly as you can. Warm vinegar will help dissolve the last of the glue.
    Second, drill holes and dry fit the pegs. They should be barely loose.
    Third, glue in the pegs. Use glue on all mating surfaces. The glue will cause the pegs to swell. If you don't move quickly, it may take some force to push things together.
    Fourth, clamp it is best you can.
    Fifth, wait at least 2 days.
    Sixth, if the fix is visible, consider adding the hidden metal braces, if it is possible.

This isn't easy. Be patient, slow (except with the freshly glued pegs) and careful.

Remember that this may not be as strong as the failed original, so move it carefully.

Good luck

John


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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Sat 13, 2018 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:32 pm
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Location: Tacoma, WA 98407
Thank you very much, John! I am fortunate in the fact that the broken leg is in the back, so if I do need to reinforce it the repair won't be as visible. Those links are also very helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Sun 14, 2018 6:22 pm 
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Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Hi chazglenn,
After seeing your photos, I have a better idea of the extent of the damage. Yes, this is a tough one. But I still believe that the strongest and best repair will be one done only with wood and glue, not via metal fasteners or brackets of any kind.

The damage to the leg itself is minimal and could be fairly easily repaired by chiseling or routing a rectangular recess on the corner which is broken out, then insetting and gluing a rectangular wood patch. The main problem seems to be damage to at least one of the rails connected to the leg. Ideally, I would replace one or both of these rails and try to salvage the leg itself. But if this is not an option, then I would fabricate a triangular piece of hardwood (perhaps 6 or 8 inches on its sides and a full 1" to 1-1/2" thick) that will fit snugly on the inside of the joint between leg and rails, then glue, clamp and either dowel or screw it to all components including the bottom of the cabinet. Such a reinforcement would be invisible unless the cabinet were turned upside down. As John has mentioned, nothing wrong with using metal wood screws as clamping devices for glued joints, but do not depend upon them to add any strength to the joint.

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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 15, 2018 12:14 am 
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Joined: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:32 pm
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Location: Tacoma, WA 98407
Thank you for your insight as well, Poston! I had not considered the option of replacing the rail. I'll look into it.

Charles

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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 15, 2018 12:32 am 
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Joined: Feb Tue 02, 2016 2:38 am
Posts: 219
Location: Saint Paul, Minn
I wonder if the support rails and legs are removable? In order to find out you would have to lay the stereo on it's back and see if there are screws holding it on. If it is removable, it would simplify the repair as you wouldn't be working with all the weight of the console itself. If you do lay it on it's back, just make sure the hold down screws for the turntable (and tape recorder) are set. Also make sure the tone arm is locked in the arm rest. Makes me wonder how they were shipped in the first place, either the bottom was removable, or there was some sort of a support that took the weight off the legs in shipping.


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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 15, 2018 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:32 pm
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Location: Tacoma, WA 98407
You were right on target again as usual, Steve! I have the rails and legs off and will be taking them to a local woodworking guy to have him take a look at it.

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 Post subject: Re: Broken Leg?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 15, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Posts: 219
Location: Saint Paul, Minn
On my system which is a few years older (1964) but the same style, the legs have come apart ever so slightly. I haven't had anyone around to help me put it on it's back to see if that's the case (being removable). Sometime in the future I would like to pull the legs and rails off and re-glue with clamps. You have given me some hope I can do it. I was going to try and clamp using a web type clamp around the entire frame, but real wood clamps make more sense. Thanks for the feedback. It's a shame about the spindle, but if there's any consolation, you can still play 45's on it because it doesn't require the small spindle to work. LP's would have to be manually played.


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