had a little scare with birch plugs today

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Forum topic by teenagewoodworker posted 03-24-2008 03:11 AM 944 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3736 days

03-24-2008 03:11 AM

well today when i was working on the drawer for my printer table/cabinet i attached the door front and i wanted to cover up the screw holes in the back. well i had some regular birch plugs that you’ll find at any hardware of home store and i figured that they looked like the poplar i used for the drawer so they should match good, right. Wrong! turns and that after i flush cut them and sanded i applied one coat of poly to protect the drawer and give it a nice look and feel. when i put the poly on the plugs they turned to a dark brown color. that really surprised me as i didn’t think that that would happen. they contrast the golden brownish look of the poplar though so i guess that they turned out okay. just thought I’d share that as i didn’t think that that would happen. well i guess that you learn something new everyday.

By the way happy Easter everyone!!!!!

8 replies so far

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 3710 days

#1 posted 03-24-2008 03:27 AM

were they end grain because that will turn dark with any finish. The trick us to use boiled linseed oil first to seal the end grain and then put your finish on.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4186 days

#2 posted 03-24-2008 03:29 AM

I think Tyler knows his stuff. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3790 days

#3 posted 03-24-2008 03:59 AM

This is actually a way to add detail to the piece.

But if this isn’t a look you care for one method of counteracting this natural tendency is to sand the end grain to a higher grit than the rest of the project (150 vs 320 for example). BLO is ok but you can use other sealers such as shellac or commercially available products.

But one word of caution on the use of sealers. The directions for commercial products call for waiting for no more than 2 hours after application. This is incorrect. For the any sealer to work it must dry. This means waiting overnight before continuing.

But to tell you the truth trying to do this on just the plugs is going to be difficult at best since you have such a small surface area to work with.

Adding details to a piece increases the visual appeal plus it eliminates a lot of headaches in our woodworking lives.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3930 days

#4 posted 03-24-2008 05:22 AM

or buy a plug cutter and cut the plugs form the same wood and grain.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View aaronmolloy's profile


123 posts in 3748 days

#5 posted 03-24-2008 09:13 PM

Sometimes the darker plugs in a lighter material can give it a sort of effect please check the following link does it look like this Sorry I’ll send it to you later

-- A. Molloy

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3736 days

#6 posted 03-24-2008 09:28 PM

ya. i didn’t know that the end grain did that though so it kind of scared me at first. i think that from now on I’ll use those plugs more to give it that sort of visual effect. thanks for the info on preventing that Tyler. if i ever need a face grain plug i think I’ll just use a plug cutter on my friends drill press to make them. thanks for all the help everybody.

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4369 days

#7 posted 03-24-2008 09:40 PM

Wood cut from the same board (save those scraps). Help in matching grain and color when finishing.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3712 days

#8 posted 03-24-2008 10:44 PM

Try wiping the pieces down with mineral spirits, before you put it together and apply the finish, and it will give you an idea of the color to expect.

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