Repairing a Chip in Wood Edging on a Laminate Top

Ideas for making a gouge look like a naturally-occurring knot. December 12, 2008

Arrgh! The plumber on a job site chipped out a piece of hickory approximately 1/8" x 1/2" on the front edge of a 45 degree bevel on a 16' long countertop in the middle of the dishwasher section. The edging is a piece of 1" x 2" hickory. We waxed the chip in for a temporary fix, but frankly, I don't like it. The homeowner is not pushing the issue with the plumber. It was a legit accident (homeowner was standing there when it happened). It is a new house, and we have people coming in to look at our work as part of bidding on other jobs. There is no money in the homeowner's budget for a new countertop. I think the plumber is family, which is why they are not pushing the issue of a new top. We are in the clear other than they would like it fixed. The work had already been approved, and check cleared the bank.

I have considered a dutchman, or drilling, plugging, and recutting with a router; since it is hickory, it leaves more opportunity for damage even with sharp tools, and it will be difficult to match the grain and color. My other thought is to hide the problem in plain sight and disguise it as a knot in the wood using a dark brown epoxy, since there are small dark knots in a couple of locations in the edging. What say?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor A:
I definitely would not re-do or take out a 16' counter. See if you can get an actual knot just oversize of your ding, get a trim router with an 1/8" straight bit, and free hand route the traced outline of the knot. Doesn't have to be deep, just enough to cover. Glue with epoxy and some graphite mixed in. Don't just fill it to make it look like a knot; it'll just end up looking like a big glob!

From contributor G:
Can you just glue the chip back in and then fill and faux the gap around it? My second choice would be to fill with colored tootsie-roll epoxy and faux that. Your idea of making a knot of it is likely the easiest and shouldn't look too bad.

From contributor T:
Couldn't you just route the entire edge deeper? That's what I would do in the shop.

From contributor M:
I have had excellent results using a burn-in tool from Behlen for the occasional incident that we all run into. There is a slight learning curve to using it, but you will find that your customers will be far happier with this permanent fix versus the alternative of remodeling their brand new home.