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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wilsonart Gibraltar Countertop Repair

Here is a repair that I recently did that is a Wilsonart Gibraltar countertop. This color is a discontinued color and it is the old formulation of Gibraltar which is a polyester blend. I forget exactly when they did it but Gibraltar changed over to an acrylic formulation that is much more reliable than the polyester.

I have always disliked the polyester tops but they have provided me with a ton of repair work over the years so I guess there is an upside to them, for me anyway.

The problem with repairing a discontinued countertop is trying to either find a place to "harvest" the material from in the kitchen or finding a fabricator that keeps material laying around for years and years in the hopes that one day he will actually be able to use the old stuff for something. Fortunately for these customers, I am that fabricator . I never throw any material away no matter how old it is, how ugly it is or what size it is, or what it is made of. You just never know when a 1" wide by 6" long piece of some discontinued color may just save the day.

This countertop cracked right at the corner of the wall and came forward. A crack like this offers up a special challenge to a repair man. Any time you are working within about 3 inches of the wall you can't really get a good cutting tool there. You either have to alter a router to make it be able to cut all to the wall or spend way too much money on a special router that is made just for that, or do some very precise free hand cutting with a Dremel tool.

On this one, I chose to try the precise free hand method first. Fortunately for me, that was the key to making this repair.

I have posted about odd dye lot, or non dye lot repairs before to show just how the repairs can turn out. I have to say, I am very pleased with this repair and the customer was ecstatic too because even though it is a non dye lot repair, the color was remarkably close and is not obvious without some very close scrutiny.



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