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Fixing a Broken Spindle

For our first grandchild, I designed a crib with more than 80 hand-turned spindles. Our third grandchild kickcd a spindle and broke it in the center. I can duplicate the spindle but have no idea how to put it back in the crib, short of tearing the rails loose. Any ideas?

Jim Murphy Germantown, TN

OWhen a spindle breaks, you've got two basic options: repair or replace. The former is easier. If you have to replace the entire spindle, the spindle size and shape will determine which method you use.

To replace a thin, straight spindle like you find in a chair back, drill through

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Breaks across the grain require dowel reinforcement. If possible/ drill through rail and spindle, then insert a smaller-diameter dowel.

the rail and pull the broken spindle up through the hole. Insert the new spindle through the same hole, then plug the hole and finish it to match the crib.

If the spindle's profile keeps it from clearing the rail, cut a small rectangle out of the least visible side of the rail. This will expose the mortise so you can remove and replace the old spindle.

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