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 6130 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Reeves

202 posts in 2067 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


661 posts in 2316 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


5779 posts in 1642 days

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

A face grain plug would be my guess.

View lew's profile


10632 posts in 2798 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

202 posts in 2067 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


113738 posts in 2620 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.

-- Custom furniture

View WDHLT15's profile


1406 posts in 1519 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 LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View bondogaposis's profile


3380 posts in 1394 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


392 posts in 1736 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

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Jim Reeves

202 posts in 2067 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 936 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


2607 posts in 2274 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


51451 posts in 2524 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


2460 posts in 1005 days

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

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

View patron's profile


13409 posts in 2384 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

1986 posts in 1965 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.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

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