Solid Wood Table Top: Repair a Chipped Corner Solid Wood Table Top: Repair a Chipped Corner

What You'll Need
Hand sander
Dremel tool
Replacement wood
Wood glue

Though strong and sturdy, often lasting for generations, even a solid wood table top can be damaged. Chipped or gouged corners are the most common complaint, but these steps can be used on any part of the surface. Restoring a table top to its original beauty takes some work, but it can be done with the right tools and attention to detail.

Step 1 - Survey Damage to Table Top

With the table top in some good lighting, take a look at the damage. Look carefully to make sure of the extent of the chip and any other gouges in the surface.

Step 2 - Buy Replacement Wood

A solid wood table top can be repaired by clearing away the wood surrounding the chip and replacing it with a new piece, called a "Dutchman." If you can, locate the same type of wood that the table top is already made out of. This will give the top consistency in look and quality. If not, then get as close as you can.

Step 3 - Mark and Remove a Square Around Chip

Using a pencil and square, draw a small square around the chip. This is the section of wood that you will be removing.

Score the outline of the square with a chisel and hammer. If the square is not too big, you can remove all of the wood with the chisel. However, larger pieces can be done a little easier with a Dremel and a grinding wheel bit. Work at the chip until it is completely removed. You do not have to go very deep with the cut. Only go slightly deeper than the chip in the wood is.

Step 4 - Square Up Sides and Bottom

Once the square has been removed, square up the sides and the bottom to make everything level. You can use the Dremel with a sanding attachment, or a chisel.

Step 5 - Cut Replacement Wood to Size

Measure the dimensions of the square and cut the replacement piece of wood to size. The use of a bandsaw, or a small scroll saw will make this much easier.

Step 6 - Glue in Wood

Clean out the square hole and apply wood glue. cover the area completely, but don't put too much glue or the Dutchman will float rather than sit flush. Insert the wood piece and make sure it sits on the bottom of the square. Clean off the excess glue with a cloth. Clamp the patch in place and let it dry overnight.

Step 7 - Sand and Finish

Once the repair is dry, sand off the excess glue and make sure the Dutchman is flush with the rest of the table top. Clean off the table top with a damp rag and finish it with your favorite stain. You can choose to refinish the entire table top for a more universal look.

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