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Forum topic by BobD posted 10-13-2011 07:59 AM 3412 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BobD

52 posts in 2877 days


10-13-2011 07:59 AM

Sometimes I use wood buttons to cover up a screw hole. Most of the time the button fits the screw hole just fine and a small amount of yellow glue holds the button in place. However, occasionally the screw hole isn’t drilled precisely or the button is not milled precisely and the button falls out of the screw hole and therefore can’t be glued in place..
Does anyone have a suggestion or trick that will make the button stay in the screw hole? Drilling another precise hole is not an option.
Thanks

-- Bob, San Diego


9 replies so far

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

780 posts in 1966 days


#1 posted 10-13-2011 10:45 AM

epoxy?

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2104 days


#2 posted 10-13-2011 11:26 AM

I use mostly 3/8” hardwood flat heat plugs. I like them better than the buttons. They fit a 3/8” hole tightly, but I still put a dab of regular titebond around the edge, then insert and tap in with the mallet until flush. They sand and stain well, too. I use the hardwood ones for everything but oak that will be stained… in which case I use the oak ones, of course.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Pdub's profile

Pdub

915 posts in 2644 days


#3 posted 10-13-2011 03:20 PM

I use a tapered plug cutter and make my own. That way the plug matches the wood. Just tap it in the hole and cut it flush before sanding. Saves a few dollars and I don’t have to remember to buy buttons.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2538 days


#4 posted 10-13-2011 04:15 PM

I’m with Pdub. I cut my own plugs and I cut them out of wood that is very similar to the wood I am plugging.

Further, with a purchased plug or dowel, you are looking at end grain. When I make my own (with a plug cutter) I go into side grain and I align the grain of the plug with the grain of the wood around it.

If I had a problem with a plug fitting because of an imperfect hole, I would cut the plug deep enough to touch the bottom and glue with epoxy at the bottom. Then I would fill in any visible gap with wood filler. It may not look perfect, but that is about the best you can do.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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BobD

52 posts in 2877 days


#5 posted 10-14-2011 07:41 AM

I am using buttons because when I send a piece to someone the installation is their responsibility. I am not there to install the piece for them. For that reason, I think buttons are easier to use to cover the screw hole because the end user may not know how to properly install plugs. The end user may not have glue or know to line up the grain orientation. With a button, it just fits into the screw hole which can have a small amount of glue or maybe a tight friction fit as there is no stress on the button. I recognize that the end grain of the button when stained is a slightly different color but the trade off is ease of installation.

My main concern is getting a well drilled hole that is square and deep enough for the button to fit. I use a drill press to insure square and depth. But sometimes the buttons are not milled to the exact specification and they don’t fit as good as I want them too. That’s why I’m searching for a tip or trick to make these buttons fit.

-- Bob, San Diego

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BobD

52 posts in 2877 days


#6 posted 10-14-2011 07:41 AM

I am using buttons because when I send a piece to someone the installation is their responsibility. I am not there to install the piece for them. For that reason, I think buttons are easier to use to cover the screw hole because the end user may not know how to properly install plugs. The end user may not have glue or know to line up the grain orientation. With a button, it just fits into the screw hole which can have a small amount of glue or maybe a tight friction fit as there is no stress on the button. I recognize that the end grain of the button when stained is a slightly different color but the trade off is ease of installation.

My main concern is getting a well drilled hole that is square and deep enough for the button to fit. I use a drill press to insure square and depth. But sometimes the buttons are not milled to the exact specification and they don’t fit as good as I want them too. That’s why I’m searching for a tip or trick to make these buttons fit.

-- Bob, San Diego

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2104 days


#7 posted 10-14-2011 08:13 AM

If you are truly able to maintain your hole tolerances, but are not able to have your buttons sourced to repeatably fit that, then you are likely going to have to “select fit” the buttons either with a caliper or a “go/no go gauge / jig” or something of that nature.

If you are not able to repeatably maintain your hole diameter / depth AND your buttons have unacceptable variation, then you may be in a world of hurt. I guess including a tiny tube of CA glue might help if they can’t tap them in lightly with a mallet.

I would try to find a better supplier or get the existing one to improve.

Good luck.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4452 posts in 3424 days


#8 posted 10-14-2011 04:31 PM

Here’s my cure for plugs (the mushroom type) that will possibly be removed at a later date.
Wind a few turns of WAXED dental floss around the stem end. Tap ‘em in.
How’s that for easy?
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2104 days


#9 posted 10-14-2011 07:01 PM

A jury rig that works: If you see that the button is loose (for whatever reason), insert a flat wooden tooth pick as you slide the button in by hand. Keep the end of the tooth pick even with the bottom of the button. Break off the toothpick (score with razor knife if needed), then tap the rest of the way in with a mallet.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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