The steps to a "Simple Repair"
So a very nice lady brought me this little cafe table with a split top. She called it a "mallet and glue" job.
I took it into my shop for a quick examination.Two brackets holding the top to the base are causing the narrow added piece to separate from the larger board. The pieces are held together with three nails. No glue.
A mallet wouldn't bring the pieces together because the brackets are actually holding them apart. And glue wouldn't hold them together because the wood is well "aged" and glue needs clean wood to adhere to.
So I disassembled everything and drove the nails back out of the way. Then I cleaned up the edges with a sharp block plane to prepare them for glue.
I clamped it up and went to make a cup of coffee. Between sips I used a sharp chisel to remove the squeezed out glue that is now "cheese hard". Then I pounded the nails back in. They are just a formality now. The glue joint is stronger than the wood itself.
As I put the piece back together I noticed that the brackets holding the top to the frame are actually Door Strike Plates!! Very Clever!
The base was held on by only three brackets, one in the center and two at the back. I decided to move those two to the front, away from the glued seam.
I glued toothpicks into the old screw holes and replaced the brackets.
And pronounced the patient Fixed! I could have made the seam disappear if I wanted to, But that would have disturbed the patina on the piece. A bit more than a "mallet and glue job", but not incredibly complicated either. A repair like this would typically start at around $35.