On one of my early workbenches (the $175 Workbench), a split opened at one end of its benchtop a couple weeks after assembly. It was about 1/8″ wide and a few inches long, but it might as well have cleaved the top in twain.
Everyone in the shop gave me a good mock , it was my first benchtop using Southern yellow pine. And I wanted to see if epoxy could , as my grandfather claimed , fix anything except overcooked swordfish.
So I filled the split with epoxy. The adhesive shrank out a bit. Then I filled it some more. That was 10 years ago, and the repair is still as flush and sound as the day I made it.
Today I face some bigger splits in this cherry benchtop, so my strategy is different. I cleaned out the two large splits with a putty knife and then faired the walls with a thin paring chisel. Then I glued in tapered wedges that I scavenged from some offcuts from the benchtop.
Now I’m off to the store to buy some stuff to color my epoxy black. Knife makers have suggested the following colorants:
1. Toner from a photocopier
2. Pigment used to color oil paints from the paint store
3. India ink
4. Testor’s model paints
5. Epoxy colorant from K&G
6. Ebony dust
I’m sure there are other options. But these are the ones that appeal to me. (Especially the toner dust. We have a metric buttload of that stuff here.) I’ll keep you posted.
– Christopher Schwarz