repair of oak drop front desk


New member
Movers didn't secure the drop front on my desk, and it dropped and hit the front flat board.  The drop front has a bow to it so it will lie flat.  No side supports or limiters.  The drop front rotates on the smooth upper part of a large wood screw.  The drop front is 3 boards glued together.  The impact broke the joint of one board at the edge where it hit the front flat board edge, but then the board itself split and the split goes out into the board, not along the join, all the way to the other end.  The desk was made by Faribault Furniture Company in Faribault MN and I think is about 100-110 years old.  It has been refinished.  I'm looking for ideas for how to repair the damage and have the repair be as strong as possible so the desk can be used, maybe with some kind of reinforcement as well as glue.  I'm concerned that the impact may have damaged the other two joins and they will eventually come apart.  Any suggestions or ideas? 
Without seeing it, I would suggest hide glue for all the wood repair, probably no need for any other reinforcement.  Hopefully all the pieces are still with you and can be put back together cleaning (no gaps).  Do you have pics?
Thank you for the response.  No photos yet but will post some this coming week,  The desk drop front will be in daily use and therefore leaned on, have books on it,, etc. and I'm concerned that glue alone will not hold up because the board is split the entire length, and that is the board that hits the front of the front board on the desk.  The drop front is curved so that it will lie flat on the front board of the desk.
Have you used either Franklin liquid hide glue or Titebond liquid hide glue? and do you have a preference?
Would the board have to be clamped for a strong bond? because with the curve I'll have to make some kind of jig or padding to hold the pieces properly aligned in a clamp.
If done properly, the glue bond will be at least as strong as the wood.  It wouldn't concern me a bit, so long as you're not missing wood (ie, no gaps).  Yes, it would need to be clamped.  I would not use Franklin or Titebond.  Use Old Brown Glue from Patrick Edwards. 
Thank you.  I looked up Old Brown Glue and will use it.  I watched the video on his web site. 
I read online that if there's any question about missing wood in the break it's a good idea to mix fine sawdust with the hide glue to be sure there are no gaps in the glue joint.  Have you ever done this and if not, would you do it?
My next task is to figure out how to make a jig to hold the joint for 12 to 24 hours.  I am not a woodworker although I've worked off and on with wood items, but don't have a lot of tools.  Is there such a thing as a flexible clamp or jig that could hold a curved surface in place?
Post a picture, most likely someone in this group has had to glue something similar. Please post clear pics of the break if possible. If it was a clean break (like a snap in half) you shouldn't need to work about missing wood, if there are a lot of fibers sticking out, then some loss of wood is possible.

Since the piece is curved you will most likely have to make a cradle to hold it in the correct position while clamping and drying.

Glue strength is rarely an issue, as almost all wood glues are stronger than the wood, which is why the wood split, and not the entire joint.