Q: I am an 82-year-old widow living in a home that my husband built in 1946. He was a building contractor for many years. My drain board is 14 feet long and is covered with Formica that doesn't have any chips, scratches or stains. The mastic has apparently dried out, and the edges of the board are now loose. How can I get it glued down again without damaging the Formica or replacing the entire board? - Mrs. W.A.
A: All you need to do is securely reattach the top to the casework, and you don't need to remove the entire top to do this.Since the top is coming up in just a few places, we suggest reattaching it with a few dabs of construction adhesive. Look for something that comes in a tube that you can apply with a caulking gun. This will allow you to force the material into the joint between the underside of the top and the top edges of the casework. The most difficult part of this task will be having to work crammed into the cabinet casework. The nice part is that it takes only a few minutes.
Once you have applied an ample amount of adhesive, place a stack of books or other heavy objects on top to weigh it down for a good bond at the glue joint. Leave the weight in place for about 24 hours to give the adhesive plenty of time to set. Chances are your top will be good as new and will be ready to serve you for another 40-plus years.