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Thread: How do YOU cut pocket-hole plugs flush?

  1. #1
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    How do YOU cut pocket-hole plugs flush?

    Okay folks, let's share some tips here.

    How do you get your pocket hole plugs (you know, the wooden plugs that you glue in to close up the pocket holes) cut flush?

    Right now I primarily use a flush cutting saw, which is slow and tiresome.

    I've tried whacking them off with a chisel, but bad things often happen that way -- with it making a gouge or digging too deep or whatnot.

    I've tried using a ROS but that just takes forever. (don't have a belt sander, and I'd be afraid of that gouging the workpiece also.

    So as I said, right now I use a flushcutting saw, and then I use either a chisel or block plane to clear it up -- because the saw may be flushcutting but I still find it wanders, so the result is NOT totally flush. Then I still need to work things over with the ROS for a while to get really smooth.

    Are there any better/quicker methods out there in the land of woodworking?

    ...art
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
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    Perfect opportunity for a low angle block plane. I highly recommend the Veritas. Their little 'apron plane' works very well for this, too.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Or a Lie-Nielsen chisel plane,,Click image for larger version. 

Name:	chisel plane.jpg 
Views:	8 
Size:	23.3 KB 
ID:	41458 only $199.00.
    A Chisel Plane is not meant to function as an ordinary plane because it has no support ahead of the blade. However, as a clean-up tool, with the blade set flush with the sole, this plane excels at removing glue, trimming plugs and dovetails flush or cleaning the very corners of rabbets.
    Last edited by Don Baer; 01-17-2010 at 01:24 AM.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    since i don't use pocket screws, i don't have this problem.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    since i don't use pocket screws, i don't have this problem.
    That's two of us...
    -- Tim --

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    Perfect opportunity for a low angle block plane. I highly recommend the Veritas. Their little 'apron plane' works very well for this, too.
    Nope. Tried a low-angle plane. The flushcut saw was faster. But the plane was pretty much the best choice for finishing up after that.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  7. #7
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    I use a fine tooth pull saw. It cuts 3 times faster than my Flush cut saw ever could.
    Some thing along these lines.http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com...ath/37_532_573
    But mine came from Aubuchons Hardware for a lot less money.
    Still a lot of work but I would say on the 5/16" plugs I put in the hall tree (100+) there was no more than three strokes per plug.
    Last edited by Chuck Thoits; 01-17-2010 at 03:51 AM.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  8. #8
    First, adjust the depth of the drilled hole so that the standard plugs fit flush enough so that simple sanding will provide a smooth finish surface.

    As I do use pocket screws from time to time, I reserve, the back side so that no plugs are needed. Some feel that pocket screws are a sign of shortcuts and not worth considering. but if you loook at the construction of some fine antiques built by talented craftsmen you often find pocket screws attaching adornments and such.

    I would consider it snobbery to PooPoo a simple question considering a simple solution to a very common practice.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    I would consider it snobbery to PooPoo a simple question considering a simple solution to a very common practice.
    tis not snobbery to say that one does not use pocket screws, and not having the attendent problem of what to do with the holes. i've been a mortise and tenon guy right from the start, because of it's inherent strength. i've read studies on the respective strenghts and weaknesses of various types of joinery, and for me, the true mortise and tenon wins hands down. fine woodworking ran stress tests for the jan/feb 2009 issue, and these are the results...
    3⁄8-IN. MORTISE & TENON 1,444 lb.
    ¼ -IN. M&T 717 lb.
    POCKET SCREW 698 lb.

    were i to use pocket screws, i'd glue in plugs, use a good thin kerf pull saw, and sand any bump down.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    I use a fine tooth pull saw. It cuts 3 times faster than my Flush cut saw ever could.
    Some thing along these lines.http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com...ath/37_532_573
    Thanks, Chuck. That's a great idea. Hmm, I wonder if this Japanese flush saw from LVT would be an improvement. Otherwise, maybe a Ryoba like this one...

    I don't have any japanese saws yet, so this may be something to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    First, adjust the depth of the drilled hole so that the standard plugs fit flush enough so that simple sanding will provide a smooth finish surface.
    Bill, how would you do that? The pocket holes are sized according to the Kreg guide/instructions. All of this depends on the thickness of the stock. With 3/4" stock, I can't make the holes any deeper, or I risk blowing out the other side.

    I have noticed that pocket holes in 7/8" stock work much better with plugs, since they usually can slide in almost flush. But I really don't see how you could do this with the more common 3/4" stock.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    i've been a mortise and tenon guy right from the start, because of it's inherent strength. i've read studies on the respective strenghts and weaknesses of various types of joinery, and for me, the true mortise and tenon wins hands down. fine woodworking ran stress tests for the jan/feb 2009 issue, and these are the results...
    3⁄8-IN. MORTISE & TENON 1,444 lb.
    ¼ -IN. M&T 717 lb.
    POCKET SCREW 698 lb.
    Dan you are welcome to use whatever joinery you like. After all, that's what I do.

    Yet articles such as the one you reference really bug me because they never look at how much strength is sufficient for the purpose.

    (ie: okay, so the M+T has 1,444 lbs of strength. Fine. But what does a bench, for instance, need in joint strength? Or a face frame? Or a cabinet door? Or...? My suspicion is that these methods are ALL more than strong enough. So use what you want.)


    best wishes,
    ...art
    Last edited by Art Mulder; 01-17-2010 at 02:16 PM. Reason: typo
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

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