Furniture Repair with G/5

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

I recently broke the leg off an old workshop table. The tabletop was made of particleboard covered with Formica®. The screws holding the leg in place had pulled out and taken chunks of particleboard with them (The problem).

I was desperate to use the table later in the day so G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive seemed perfect for the repair. This is a good method for repairing inexpensive particleboard or fiberboard furniture:

1. Flip the table over and dig out all loose wood debris in the holes.

2. Mix enough epoxy to fill the cavities. Pour unthickened G/5 into the cavities until full.

3. Let cure for 10 to 15 minutes. Drill pilot holes for the screws in the still somewhat soft epoxy.

4. Reinstall the screws immediately before the epoxy cures too hard, taking care to not over tighten.

Allow the epoxy to cure for another thirty minutes or so before using the table. The repair seemed pretty strong. I wondered how it compared to the other legs.

Upon further investigation

I was so encouraged by the results of the repair that we decided to do an experiment to compare the pullout strength of screws in particleboard prior to and after being repaired with G/5. Here are the particulars of the test:

The first pullout — I installed #7 sheet metal screws (0.191″ diameter) in a dry 3/32″ diameter hole in particle board with 11/16″ of thread embedded. Pullout strength averaged 313 lbs. (2 samples)

The holes in the particle board were then repaired with G/5 as described above. Reusing the control’s pulled-out sheet metal screws, I cleaned out loose debris, filled the cavity with G/5, allowed it to cure for 10 minutes, drilled pilot holes into epoxy, and re-installed the screws.

The first pullout averaged 313 lb with screws in dry pilot holes.

The second pullout averaged 667 lb with screws in G/5 adhesive.

The second pullout — We allowed all this to cure overnight before pulling the screws. Pullout strength averaged 667 lb, more than double the original pullout strength.

We normally recommend WEST SYSTEM® epoxy for fastener installation because it is so strong. But, for many household repairs, G/5 appears to be more than up to the task.