How to Fix Laminated Countertop

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QUESTION: There is a plastic laminate on our sink countertop. I guess the laminate actually is the countertop. In any case, one end of it has come a bit loose. I assume it can be recemented, but what kind of glue should be used?

ANSWER: Contact cement. This adhesive usually is applied to both surfaces and permitted to dry a while, but that might be a little difficult when only a small part of the two surfaces can be reached.

Try this: Take a flat wooden stick, like an ice cream pop stick, and place some contact cement on it.

Carefully shove the stick under the top of the laminate. Quickly press down the laminate and just as quickly, lift it up.

This will place contact cement on both surfaces. But the cement now needs time to dry. Place some kind of prop there so the two sides do not come together. After about an hour, remove the prop, push down the laminate top and weight it down with several heavy books.

Since the cement bonds immediately, it is necessary to keep the books there for only a minute or two. You can dispense with the books if, when you press down the laminate, you are willing to hold it there tightly for a minute or two.

Wipe Colors on Wood for a Pickled Effect

Q: I would like to try my hand at pickling wood and intend to get a book or two on how it is done. In the meantime, can you help me? Is it true such pickling can only be done on open-grained woods?

A: There are a number of finishes on the market that are called pickled finishes, but a true pickled finish is that which is obtained by wiping colors on woods such as walnut, oak and mahogany.

When the coloring is applied to the wood, some of it remains in the open pores and produces the effect we know as pickling. In some methods, bleaching is a part of the process. Wood finishing involves a lot of personal preferences. No matter what a finish is called and regardless of how it is achieved, it's the right finish for you if you like it.

How to Keep Kitchen Sink Free From Clogs

Q: Our kitchen sink clogs up periodically. I have tried almost everything without success, including one of those steel augers. Nothing seems to work. I have been told the only way I will get the drain working again is to open up the plug under the sink at the bottom of the elbow pipe. Is this something I can handle myself?

A: It isn't difficult if you are the least bit handy. Actually, you can answer the question better than anybody else. Two things come to mind.

Before you use a wrench on the plug, be sure there is a pail or basin under it to catch water remaining in the trap. And, secondly, the stoppage may be farther down in the system, in which case you will have to get a plumber.

Reconsider Uses for a Home Work Bench

Q: I am making a work bench for my garage, where I will be doing a lot of work. I want to put perforated hardboard at the top of it in the rear to hold various tools. Can I attach it with nails or should I use screws?

A: Screws would be better. But hold on a minute. If you attach the perforated hardboard to the bench, won't everything rattle and roll every time you do any hammering on the bench?

You had better reconsider unless you will be using the work bench for chores that will not require any heavy work.

Fill Driveway Hole With Blacktop Mix

Q: There is a ragged hole in our blacktop driveway. It's in a part the car usually doesn't go over, but just to be sure, how soon can the car be driven over a repair? What's the easiest way to handle such a repair?

A: After poking at the opening to loosen anything that will come loose, fill the hole with a blacktop mix.

The instructions on the container of mix should be read, but there is nothing left to do but to tamp down the patch. Add more mix if necessary. This kind of repair usually can withstand the weight of a car almost immediately, but an overnight wait is preferable.

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