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Thread: making square plugs

  1. #1
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    making square plugs

    Is there a tutorial on the procedure for making the pillow shaped pegs for G&G furnature. I just bought the square 3/8ths punch from Lee Vally. It works great for making the holes. But for shaping the pillow shaped plugs, I need some direction. I mak the piece about 10 thousants oversized as are staited in the directions. Then starting out with a long blank I start to form the finished end. Then cur it off and try to taper that little piece is abit scary. I have done one but it should have a softer look. Any suggestions would be most helpfull. Making the ones for arts & crafts are easy as they are flush. Thanks in advance.
    If you make a mistake it was part of the original plan!

  2. #2
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    I do basically as you describe Ron. If they are only 10 thou over, tapering probably isn't necessary but then, lining them up before whacking them can be a challenge. I taper mine by standing them up against a stop on the bench on one side and then drive the chisel across the surface towards the stop; repeat for all sides. Once the little guy will at least set in the hole, you can tap him in. The next challenge is to not drive them too far. The shoulder should be present so as to leave a sharp definition at the start of the dome but, not so proud as to look more Arts and Crafts than Greene and Greene. I always make a few extra so I won't feel bad if I suddenly have to drill a hole in the top of one and screw into it and yank it out before the glue dries ;-)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ebony-plugs 001.jpg  
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-28-2011 at 10:55 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    from what i've read, using an old dvd would help. place the hole over the plug, and tap it with something flat over the top.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  4. #4
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    Thanks Glenn: That helps alot as far as the tapering goes. I have an 89" edge sander, It has a fixed miter gauge on it . I have it set to about 65% After I sand with finner paper I buff it on the lathe (Beal Buffers) then cut it off with a fine tooth saw. Does this sound OK ? Thanks for your help. Thats what is so great about this site.
    If you make a mistake it was part of the original plan!

  5. #5
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    You're doing fine. Here's a couple quickly made up shots that maybe make the chisel work more clear. I just taper the back half. This requires a close dimension or you can split your work but, it sounds like you've got that figured out already. By being just a few thou oversized the seam around the plug gets nice and tight.

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    When I make them I am usually doing 40 or 50 so I actually have a little sled for my smaller bandsaw that cuts the prepared end of a long piece of stock off as I go. The peg gets all the way through the buffing stage and then gets cut off on the sled. (note - the stock shown is completely rough. Its just for the pics)

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    I taper it just enough to get a start and then drive it home with a nylon faced weighted hammer. As I said, the trick is to get them in far enough that they don't snag folks running their hands over your stuff but, prominent enough to declare their elevation.

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    Hmm, I need to dust better before taking these close ups
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-29-2011 at 02:05 AM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
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    WoW .... Glenn That is really nice. I set a couple in a piece of Oak to show my progress. I know I have a long way to go before I can come even close to what you do. But it is fun trying.
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    Hopefully I am on the right track.

  7. #7
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    You may have already seen this video that I just watched on youtube. Ng has an interesting way of making and installing plugs.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLopA6NF7dk
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  8. #8
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    Here's a video showing how Marc Spagnuolo aka the woodwhisperer does it.

    http://thewoodwhisperer.com/ebony-plugs/

  9. #9
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    after watching ng's video, i wonder if this method could be adapted to a drill press. you have your pads in place, and set the stop on the drill press to stop at the right depth, and then go on from there. that way, as i see it, there would not be the variation in pressure, and it would always be at the correct vertical angle. if you're going to make a boatload of them, make it as easy as possible.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  10. #10
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    You made a good point, Dan. It is worth experimenting.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

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