What type of wooder filler can i use to cover screw heads in pine that won't blotch when varathaned?

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Forum topic by Jim Reeves posted 05-22-2013 02:58 AM 13745 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Reeves

208 posts in 3017 days

05-22-2013 02:58 AM

i need help with working with pine wood, l made a few shelves a few years ago pine and oak 2 different shelves.
When l filled screw heads and a few nicks in the wood then stained it filler blotch showed threw.
This table just made want to cover screw heads up is there a common wood filler to use that when l put on either clear indoor/outdoor varathane or a semi dark stain won’t show as a blotch, but will blend in sas not there same question for oak those are the 2 main woods l presently use?
Thanks in advance

-- jim

17 replies so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


706 posts in 3267 days

#1 posted 05-22-2013 03:04 AM

The only thing that has ever worked for me was to make my own pine wood plugs. I make my own with a plug cutter so I can match the grain, rather than using commercially available plugs made from end grain pine. Good luck!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View ShaneA's profile


6928 posts in 2592 days

#2 posted 05-22-2013 03:06 AM

A face grain plug would be my guess.

View lew's profile


12052 posts in 3749 days

#3 posted 05-22-2013 03:41 AM

another vote for face grain plugs

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Reeves's profile

Jim Reeves

208 posts in 3017 days

#4 posted 05-22-2013 05:16 AM

I used plugs for shelves l think great idea i used # 8 1 1/4’’ and # 8 2’’ screws does screw # dictate plug size or standard plugs fit all i have one plug cutter not sure of size of it?
thanks jim

-- jim

View a1Jim's profile


117086 posts in 3571 days

#5 posted 05-22-2013 05:56 AM

I agree with plugs also. If you don’t have the right size plug cutter you can buy ready made plugs instead.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View WDHLT15's profile


1741 posts in 2470 days

#6 posted 05-22-2013 11:27 AM

You can buy a set of plug cutters amd make your won plugs. Sometimes a contrasting wood highlights the plug rather than hiding it, like walnut plugs in maple. That is the way to go.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View bondogaposis's profile


4717 posts in 2345 days

#7 posted 05-22-2013 12:44 PM

Face grain plugs is the way to go, forget filler.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View DonB's profile


510 posts in 2686 days

#8 posted 05-22-2013 12:50 PM

I agree with all the above. I’ve never had wood filler that was not, somehow detectable. Both contrasting and same wood plugs are the way to go. Just my opinion.

-- DonB

View Jim Reeves's profile

Jim Reeves

208 posts in 3017 days

#9 posted 05-22-2013 03:15 PM

Thanks everybody, all your views, opinions matter to me greatly nothing like expert opinions, information it is priceless.
Now just need to see what size to use l have only one, will go to home depot or lowes buy set to cover sizes for other projects thanks again my great friends.

-- jim

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1886 days

#10 posted 05-22-2013 03:20 PM

If you can’t find the exact right size, buy bigger – then just belt/sand them down to size, and plug those puppies.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3225 days

#11 posted 05-22-2013 03:30 PM

“Now I just need to see what size to use “

I bore my screw holes about 1/2 inch in diameter…maybe 3/8 inch for smaller screws. Just big enough for the screw head to sit below the surface. Then I cut the plugs out of matching wood to fit those holes. A small set of plug cutters is pretty reasonable or you can buy them individually.
Hope this helps.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3474 days

#12 posted 05-22-2013 04:54 PM

I agree with plugs too. It will look more professional and finished.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Tim's profile


3802 posts in 1955 days

#13 posted 05-22-2013 07:18 PM

Any recommendations on plug cutters or are they all pretty similar?

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3335 days

#14 posted 05-22-2013 07:33 PM

lowes have these now!

either as a set of three
or individually
they are slightly tapered
and snug the hole better
just don’t press the cutter to far down
and they wont break off
in the cutter

then break them lose with a small flat screwdriver
so you can still see the grain direction when gluing in

if you cut them lose on the band saw
the saw marks and the grain are at cross lines to each other
and hard to tell which way the grain is going

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2916 days

#15 posted 05-23-2013 12:27 AM

there are plug cutters and there are tapered plug cutters. I think the tapered ones will give you a tighter fit.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

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