We today have repaired a small gate leg table that has suffered a common problem. Due to the weight of the drop leaf on each side of these tables a lot of strain is placed on the attachment point of the hinge, often using very short screws on a thin panel of wood. Frequently the wood splits at the hinge and the panel becomes detached. The repair for this is relatively complex and often the value of the table is much less than the cost of repair.
On this occasion however the table held a lot of sentimental value for the customer so we endeavoured to conduct a repair, whilst still retaining the patina of the table.
When we positioned the broken section we noted that there was a small but important section missing and so, using a piece of oak, to match the original wood we cut a small insert to initially glue into place. This gave us a greater area to attache the broken section that we already had, however gluing solely along the edge would not give us the strength that we needed and so we cut a recess in both panels in the shape of a triangle, so that when put together they would both line up with their "apex's " touching. Then from a section of close grained hardwood we cut a section that would fit inside the double triangle, with it's grain running perpendicular to that of the repair. Once glued in place it will act like a double dovetail joint and add strength to the repaired section.
Once glued and sanded the whole piece was stained to match and the surrounding wood.