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Best way to repair?7/27
Is there any good way to repair the corbel in place?
From the looks of it any repair would be temporary, as moisture levels change the crack will reappear no matter what you use for filler.
You don't have much of a choice but to re-make.
I usually will make a corbel out of mdf if it has to structural purpose. It's easier to mill, sand, and is much more stable than solid wood.
Could you take a multi tool and cut the crack would this stop it?
It looks like it's right next to the cooktop. Nice and conspicuous. And it looks like it'd be an effort to pull out and redo. I would personally make an attempt at a repair one last time. I'd dig out the old caulking/filler, caulk it a few times (looks like it's been caulk/filled not very well before). Let each coat dry real well, the more time the better, sand it better than previous attempt, finish and call it a day for now. You can always come back and spend a couple of days unbuckling/replacing it all.
Is this your work, or have you been called to repair it? If it's yours, take it out and make a new one. Coming out several times to attempt a repair will not do your reputation one bit of good. Make the new one out of MDF, not solid wood. If the thing is screwed to the cabinet, that is likely causing the split. If the clearance holes had been elongated, it would have had a better chance of survival.
Rich did you notice it's buried in grout at the wall? He'll have to pull off the moulding that wraps underneath and it looks like there's some type of stainless flashing for the hood that's caulked almost up to the trim. This has got cluster........all over it.
BTW is anything happening on the joint btwn the korbel and upper cab? Is this korbel properly buckled up? Some deep screws/lags with washers from inside the cabinet may help with movement.
I'm not a finish guy but i am a woodworker i would cut a straight parallel groove that you can tap a piece of wood into the full length and use epoxy. Leave it proud, sand flush and refinish in place. If it has been their for some years it might be all done moving in drastic form, if it is new then its a 50/50 chance. I might add don't be concerned about the groove width go for what's doable, an inch block if needed. Square to the side and wide enough to capture the angle on the face. Just my 2 cents.
Fill it with 2P-10, sand it flat and refinish.
You could also use Mohawk's Epoxy Stick.
I too suggest that you open up the crack a little bit to get a better surface area to bond the material.
I think removing the corbel and re-doing is the best approach.
Bart, I did see the mess. I also saw that someone tried to caulk the crack and that failed. This is a wood movement issue, not a crack issue. The caulk does prove that anything put in the crack will be under big stress as soon as the season changes. If nothing is done to allow wood movement, any crack coverup is going to fail too.
i second Mohawk Epoxy stick. Fill it, sand it, respray it. That would be the only attempt i would take at fixing it - and i assure you it will look perfect if done correctly.
If someone stuffed a bunch of caulk in the crack it's all over folks. Nothing to be done but replace the corbel. Only other option was already posted. Cut the crack out by running a saw kerf up it and glue some wood in there.
The caulk has infected the ability of either glue or epoxy to get a bond. Game over.
This isn't a cosmetic repair. You need to stop the future splitting. I suspect if you just forced a bit of glue in there it would crack again next to the glue.
I would drill holes at both ends of the crack. Take a circular saw and run it down the crack. Mix up some West System epoxy filler. Force it in there with a putty knife.
This is not a fix it in one day kind of a thing.
I've had to do this a couple of times to large exterior brackets back when we tried to use african mahogany. Big chunky heavy suckers. The wood had tons of internal stress. All of the repairs were fine. This is one of the reasons why we stopped using african mahogany all together.
In my humble opinion, the odds of fixing this permanently are pretty high.
This is how they taught us to fix cracks at the Corian school back in the day... it has worked well for me on wood too.
I think running the multi-tool blade into the crack making it large enough to fill properly, or splice-in wood, was a great idea. Also, the drilled holes could also be filled with glued-in dowel stock, turning the dowel grain perpendicular to the crack. But Bondo would probably be sufficient enough too.
The crack looks like a simple checking to me... the corbel looks like it was made from a slab that was not quite dry enough yet, and/or the crack radiated off a knot as the wood dried out a bit more once installed... My guess is that it is stable now.
I agree with Bobby S, I also use Bondo for fill. I feel it works better than caulk or wood filler. But, I might try to fill the crack with West Systems epoxy, mixed with fine sawdust. Lots of good comments here.
If this corbel is not structural, I would have made it with Signfoam. If I had made it with Signfoam, I probably would have floated a thin layer of Bondo, mixing it with lacquer thinner to make it more fluid as a skim coat to make it smooth.
An Amish neighbor of my customer built the corbels out of hard maple. I am not equipt to build that large of corbels. I want to remove them to fix them but the home owner wants me to try and fix them in place. The range hood will have to be removed and also it is grout it in. Thanks for all the info
Looks like the "fix" is in. Whichever route you take and there's plenty of good options here, I think you really need to crank that korbel down. If I was doing this I would seriously consider a 3/8" through bolt or two which could be plugged. At the very least some long screws or lags from the inside. Also possibly a hand painted finish option. You could rattle can the prep with BIN shellac primer and top it with a color matched paint.
Big bolts or lags will not change wood movement. Something still gives, even if it is just wood cells crushing.
So do nothing Rich?
I'd say do nothing to that solid wood slab. Someone made a horrible decision by using it, and the result will never be good. That is one very large end grain slab showing there, and will likely change a 1/4" or more in height every seasonal change. It will move every year no matter what kind of filler is used, even wood. It was my opinion very early in the conversation that it has to come out, and be replaced by one made of MDF. Preferably a hollow one.
rich c has the best solutions so far. Big bolts and cranking down show less of an understanding of wood than the bondo filler crew. My blow-up of the crack looks as if something has already been put in the crack, before it got larger.
First, diagnose. Could be that hot pot of soup a few inches way throwing huge amounts of moisture into the corbel, then a successive drying out before getting dosed with water again. No wood can stand that, even if it came from the neighbor's Amish friend. In my neighborhood, if the Amish supplied it, it would have been a tree last week, and about 12% MC when cut, and he subbed it out to the other shop on down the road.
Note the crack has happened on the 'free' end and side, and does not run all the way back to the wall. It is more likely to be restrained there, and get a lesser dousing during cooking than the face.
Then prevent. Design it so there is no movement. no ability to take on moisture. Measure the MC on the thing now in several places to see where it is. Ask the Amish guy what the MC was when he delivered it to you.
But note that if you do anything, you own it. See Irag or Afghanistan if you want to see how bad that can get. Call the Amish guy in to replace it. They have that gift, you know.
I apologize for the cynicism, but the public perception of "Amish", and their resultant self image just takes me right over the top.
Thanks David. I just zoomed in again, and found a horizontal lamination shadow line by the door knob, and then a vertical shadow line up on the top inside radius. So it is definitely a multi piece lamination. No way to tell for sure, but certainly a clue to the cracking.
Hey Dave, maybe you didn't read the client doesn't want to tear up his kitchen at the moment and wants an attempt at a repair!
[Note the crack has happened on the 'free' end and side, and does not run all the way back to the wall. It is more likely to be restrained there]
This exactly supports my comment about securing the corbel after releasing the tension in the crack in one form or another. You, rich and I don't know if that corbel has pulled away from the upper cabinet. By the appearance of the crack that is entirely possible. You both seem in a hurry to spend this customers/cabinetmakers money ripping out his hood, possibly damaging his back splash and then have those subs reinstall the hood/flashing and touch up the back splash. Sheesh!
When I made my comment, I did not realize the author had not made the corbel. Also, I did not realize an Amish shop was involved.
I will never do repairs on work we have not done. They could have hired my shop. Let them live with their results. Also, I feel the Amish are dishonest.
We worked with some owners, design, electrical, plumbing layouts. We were told we had the job and would receive our deposit on the monthly construction draw. They then hired an Amish shop and they built from the drawings we gave to the owner and contractor. You think the Amish didn't know they stole our work?
They were all slime. Let the owner live with it or get the Amish to fix it.
We have fixed cracks like this before with bondo forced into the crack after expanding the opening . Excellent idea about drilling holes at end of crack to diffuse farther run, using bin shellac to prime, mask and re paint corbel. Move on get it done and explain to customer that this should take care of it, if crack reappears than look to take out and replace. Less heartache for customer and they will appreciate what you're trying to accomplish.
Best option I've read on here is what I would do, since the client insists on this being done in-house.
Use a cutter/Dremel/Fein to basically cut the crack and surrounding wood completely out, and maybe a couple relief drill holes at the tips of the crack.
Fill it back in with Bondo or similar polyester body fill.