How to Easily Fix a Broken Furniture Leg

I come across furniture pieces once in a while, that have a broken leg and can easily be repaired.
This tutorial that I will show you is only for breaks like this...

You will need a wooden dowel, a drill, a drill bit the size of the dowel and wood glue. First, drill a hole in the center of the broken leg and in the center of the part of the furniture where the leg will fit.
This is what it will look like when you have done the first step.
It's a good idea to dry fit the dowel to see how much length will be needed so you can cut the dowel to length. Then put glue on dowel and insert in the leg. After cutting off the dowel to the length that is needed to go into the furniture piece, just insert the glued dowel leg making sure that the break matches up for a seamless repair.
You can see by the arrow, that this break had a distinct area making it easy to place it back correctly. I discovered this by doing the dry fit first. The dowel will keep the leg in place while the glue is drying and though it will never be as strong as before the break, it will be able to be saved and still used again.
Now it's ready for it's makeover!
On a side note. Our neighbors threw away a beautiful antique spinet desk because the leg was broken. I asked if I could take it out of their trash and we fixed it this same way in about 15 minutes and it still is in our living room in all it's glory...

The front left leg of this spinet desk was broken the same way as the side table above and you can't even tell it's been repaired!

So the next time you pass on a piece with a leg broken like this, pick it up and try this easy fix!

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  1. I have a piece of furniture that is broken (not the leg, but a decorative crossbar on a chair). It keeps breaking each time I glue it, but I hadn't considered using a dowel rod!! Great tip! It will definitely do the trick.
    - Lora @ Craftivity Designs

  2. Great fix! I just had this problem and fixed it in not a very pretty way (a bunch of nails that were showing), but it was at the top of the table and it had a lip to cover it up. I am glad I know how to do it right for next time!

  3. Oh, yes, this is good. Excellent. Thank you. Linda

  4. Hi Terry--I love your blog & look forward to receiving them..You have such great ideas & tips, like today's..Are we not able to "PIN" them anymore?..I have looked & looked for your "PIN" button & can't find it..Can you help?

    Karen K

  5. Nice save on the table and desk. Do you have any tips on drilling the holes so the leg is straight when the dowel is put in?

    1. What I usually do is have another person standing there watching to make sure that it looks level. They signal to me when I need to straighten up the bit. A bit primitive I know.

  6. I am trying to figure a way to make legs longer so I will have to give that idea a try!

  7. Terry, I needed this today! When we moved a leg was broken on one of our wing back chairs. It has been sitting like that for a year!! This is exactly what I will do. Thanks!


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