Recommend a source or product for filling bolt holes in reclaimed boards

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Forum topic by Lumber2Sawdust posted 06-22-2014 02:02 PM 597 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


136 posts in 1616 days

06-22-2014 02:02 PM

I am making a sliding barn-door style door for our remodeling project. I picked up some planks which are reclaimed from the floor of decommissioned semi trailers.

The wood is going to look really nice. I’m cleaning it up right now. What I’m trying to decide on is what to use to fill the holes where the wood was bolted to the trailer. On one side, the bolt heads are counter-sunk so the hole is about 9/16” diameter. On the other side the hole for the bolt shaft is about 5/16”. This is a door for a bathroom, so we don’t want to leave the holes unfilled.

I was thinking something like copper or brass rivets would look nice embedded from each side to fill the holes. Doing a quick search on Amazon brings up small rivets which aren’t large enough to fill the holes. I also found some on Amazon which were a gun-metal black and might be even nicer than copper, but were similar size – 1/16 to 1/8” diameters.

Do you have any suggestions for hardware, or sources of hardware to browse to find something I’m looking for?

8 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile


258 posts in 481 days

#1 posted 06-22-2014 02:31 PM

Drill out the holes to make them even, get some brass or copper rod, cut it a little longer, about 1/8”, than the thickness of the wood, and peen them to look like rivets.
Industrial Metals should have brass and copper in the diameter you need. A carbide saw can cut brass and copper without issue. Make sure you don’t burn your fingers holding the stuff as you’re making your cuts. B & C transferrs heat quite quickly…........ .... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View bandit571's profile


7500 posts in 1434 days

#2 posted 06-22-2014 02:38 PM

Maybe a word will do?


Shape is up to you, either a matching wood, or a contrasting wood, 1/4” deep. Can even be different on each side.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

291 posts in 1085 days

#3 posted 06-22-2014 03:17 PM

I would just drill out a clean hole and plug with dowels. either a contrasting or matching color.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


136 posts in 1616 days

#4 posted 06-22-2014 04:02 PM

Jerry, I will check out Industrial Metals. That could be an option.

Thanks for the other suggestions. I am mostly interested in a metallic option for a different look.

I didn’t mention it in the original post but I have ~ 75 holes to fill, times 2 because both sides will be done.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1586 posts in 1023 days

#5 posted 06-22-2014 04:27 PM


I don’t know if this would follow your design idea, but they are quite easy to make in whatever size you may need to cover those bolt holes.

Arts & Crafts pyramid wood plugs stained to contrast to wood finish of your choice.

...just a thought.

Best Regards. Grandpa Len
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View MrRon's profile


2985 posts in 1994 days

#6 posted 06-22-2014 05:42 PM

I’m not sure if plug cutters come in 5/8” size. If they do, I would drill a 5/8” hole everywhere there is a bolt hole; then cut 5/8” plugs from leftover wood of a contrasting wood and plug the holes. Either plane them flush or leave them proud. If not, use dowels of the wood of choice. Are the holes in a pattern, or are they irregularily located? If the latter, flush the plugs.

View bandit571's profile


7500 posts in 1434 days

#7 posted 06-22-2014 05:51 PM

Brass plate some Carriage Bolts of the right size. Add a domed shape nut on the inside.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5594 posts in 2336 days

#8 posted 06-22-2014 08:22 PM

The nicest way of doing this I have seen to date, was to use car body filler with used printer catridge black toner and fill the holes or use epoxy clear resin with the toner.Obviously mix very thouroughly first and do it wearing old clothing outside preferably LOL no white dinner suits. Then simply pour or paste it into the holes and sand back later it looked stunning try on some scrap first to make sure you like it as much as I did.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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