Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Repairing Router Chipout

When routing a profile along the edge of a board, what can you do when the bit chips out a large piece of wood? If you're lucky and can find the broken-off chip, you can glue it back in place. But more often than not, the chip has been splintered or sucked into your shop vacuum.

My solution is like the trick an old greenskeeper uses on a nasty divot. First the "bad" section is actually enlarged out to the undamaged area. Then the area can be patched with a new piece to fit the hole.

Here are three easy steps for making this same kind of repair on a bad case of chipout.
1. Using a straight bit in the router table, rout a stopped rabbet along the damaged edge. This will remove the chipout and create a straight edge for accepting a filler strip.
2. Cut an oversize filler strip to fit into the rabbet. Round one end to match the curve of the rabbet (where the bit stopped). Then glue this filler strip in place and sand or plane the top surface flush.
3. Now the original profile can be routed in the filler strip. (Hopefully without chipout this time.)

If you use a filler strip that matches the color and grain pattern of the damaged wood, the repair will be practically invisible.
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