Removing table leg without damage to the wood/table

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Blog entry by DonB posted 05-18-2014 11:58 PM 8599 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I posted earlier, asking a question about what worked to loosen old glue and remove a table leg without damage to the leg. Indirectly I found my own answer. Fornby’s paint remover. If you have any slit or space behind the old leg, Fornby’s will eventually loosen the joint and free the leg without damage to the leg itself. You have to pester the leg until it gives up, but it works. Now I just have to duplicate the leg clean out the old joint make the new tendon slightly bigger and we’re back in business. Just a FYI for someone who may not have had the problem of removing an old leg from one of the table supports. A less messy option could be much better.

-- DonB

5 comments so far

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2609 days

#1 posted 09-17-2014 02:17 PM

Great tip, Don! I have eight oak chairs (inherited from the late MIL) that have either had legs loosen, come apart or break at the joints. Lots of glue to contend with. This tip may make my job a lot easier…the wife happier in the end. Thanks. :)

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

View Mike Throckmorton's profile

Mike Throckmorton

124 posts in 2914 days

#2 posted 09-17-2014 02:41 PM

Would a delicately applied heat gun work to soften glue?

I will try it myself, but if someone already has…..

-- You are never complete, you just draw a line where done is and stop at that line.

View Marcio Wilges's profile

Marcio Wilges

35 posts in 2546 days

#3 posted 11-21-2014 07:11 AM

I don’t know if I’m the only one that feels this way, but if the majority of my furniture is starting to give way, then removal and replacement of parts I think really isn’t going to cut it. Moving the old furniture out of the way and making room for new ones might be a better solution, unless of course the pieces are heirloom and you really want to keep them in the family. Otherwise, I think it’s really not worth the hassle mate!

-- Marcio Wilges @

View Ron Messersmith's profile

Ron Messersmith

96 posts in 3534 days

#4 posted 01-14-2019 12:16 AM

Hi Don,
Just a non-woodworking comment. I’m also a retired submariner and also 71 years old. Just curious about what boats you had served on. I served on 5: The Stonewall Jackson SSBN 634, the John C. Calhoun SSBN 630, the Kamehameha, SSBN 642, The Plunger, SSN 595 and the Tunny, SSN 682

-- Jupiter

View Phil32's profile


1587 posts in 1153 days

#5 posted 01-14-2019 08:57 PM

I guess it would depend on whether the old joint was mortise & tenon, dowelled, splined, etc. It would also vary with a type of glue originally used. For old dowel joints a sharp rap with a mallet may do.

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

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