Chipboard is not easy to repair successfully. If it is possible and convenient to replace, rather than repair the chipboard, this is more prudent. Weight-bearing chipboard should always be replaced if compromised. Chipboard damaged by water is not usually worth saving.
However, there are some chipboard repairs you can tackle and they can lead to satisfactory results.
Chipboard is a reconstituted wood product manufactured from pieces of wood and adhesive, according to woodworker Kevin Jan Bonner. Having no grain or natural fibrous integrity, chipboard is not very resistant to wear and tear. It warps fairly easily under medium to heavy loads. Standard chipboard is especially susceptible to water damage, according to Home Furniture. Thin sheets of chipboard can be brittle, making it easy for corners and edges to snap off.
Broken corners and edges are almost impossible to repair effectively as an edge represents a very small area on which to apply glue and reattach a broken piece. If you wish to try, apply PVA glue to the broken surfaces, squeeze the pieces together and wipe away the excess glue. Tape up the broken edge until it dries. PVA takes about four hours to dry, according to Kingfisher Building Products Ltd. Optionally leave the tape in place to reinforce the edge, if cosmetic appearance is not important. You may be able to hammer pins through the repaired edge to fix it more permanently.
Sometimes, chipboard breaks away from hinges screwed into it. This occurs when the screw holes, having gradually become enlarged through usage, finally have no more grip on the screw threads. There are usually warning signs beforehand, such as looseness, rattling and wobbling. To repair this, squeeze PVA glue into the holes and fill them with sawdust. Leave to dry. Reposition the hinges so the screws do not penetrate the same holes or general area.
Where a clump of chipboard breaks out from the sheet, a “crater” will appear. Apply PVA glue in the crater. Place the clump back in place and press firmly. Wipe off the excess glue. Place a block of waste wood over the area. Clamp it in place and leave it to dry. After that, remove the clamp and block of waste wood. Warped chipboard shelves in bookcases can sometimes be “repaired” by removing them, turning them over and refitting them. The weight of the books will gradually straighten the shelves.
- "Furniture restoration and repair for beginners"; Kevin Jan Bonner; 1995
- Home Furniture: Home Furniture Materials - MDF vs Chipboard
- Kingfisher: PVA Adhesive
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