1434 Jan 29, 2002
I cannot say this is the right way to deal with the plugs, but this is what I do.
Sometimes the plugs fall out, sometimes they can be pried out, but otherwise they must be drilled out. Use a smaller size drill than the plug and carefully remove the remainder to leave a hole the proper size for the replacement.
Most plugs are tapered, so the small end goes in first. I make a mark across the top of the plug parallel to the grain, so the plug grain can be set parallel to the grain of the wood. Push the plug in, and tap it with a hammer to get it seated well. For plugs in the interior, you may not need any glue, but exterior ones usually do, particularly if the hole is shallow. I use two-part epoxy glue which comes in ˝ pint cans.
When the glue dries (if any) trim the plug flush with the surrounding wood. I usually use a sharp chisel and hammer. Make the first cut of the plug at least 1/16" above the surface of the wood, cutting with the grain. Then you can see which way the grain runs, that is, which way to trim further so as not to chisel too deep. When it is flush, finish off with sandpaper. Some advise using a block plane. Some may use a sander.
There may be other or better advice from our group.
Dick Weaver, SWII75K
1435 Jan 29, 2002
I "glue" exterior and interior plugs with varnish, the same kind I’m using on the woodwork. They’re easier to remove next time, and no more likely to fall out since it’s almost always due to wet/dry cycles. Obviously this wouldn’t work on untreated teak decks, etc.
1436 Jan 29, 2002
Varnish is a good idea, but I never touch the stuff.
I put it in the same class as mowing glass and washing cars.
Dick Weaver SWII75K
1437 Jan 29, 2002
I remove them with a sharp small steel dentists tool without damageing any surrounding wood. Then cut my own from teak scrap, insert with sealant, wait a few days, then remove excess cutting with the grain using a very sharp chisel and cutting small amounts until almost level, finishing with sandpaper.
1439 Jan 29, 2002
Just to add my two cents on installing plugs. Regardless of what is used to glue the plug I do my trimming with a sharp chisel used bevel side up while the glue is still wet. So if the plug shears off wrong I can remove it and start again.