Dowel plug question


Just finished 5 oak thresholds leading from new laminate flooring to different rooms with different floors. Yes, cut, beveled, rabetted, chamfered, rounded, stained and drilled for screws and counterbored for dowel plugs. PROBLEM: I guess my 3/8 forstner bit is not 3/8ths. My 3/8" oak dowels (plugs) fall out if I turn the boards over. What should I do? Soak the dowels in water? Glue them in with oak sawdust (did manage to sweep some)? All suggestions appreciated.
Ivan Vegvary
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Get a snug-plug cutter. You can get one that will cut a nominally 3/8" plug, but it will be tapered such that the thickest part is slightly larger than 3/8", and you can cut them out of a strip of oak similar to the ones you used for the thresholds. If you do it right, you can match the grain well enough to barely even notice the plug. Should be about $15.
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Ivan Vegvary wrote: > Just finished 5 oak thresholds leading from new laminate flooring to > different rooms with different floors. Yes, cut, beveled, rabetted, > chamfered, rounded, stained and drilled for screws and counterbored for > dowel plugs. > PROBLEM: I guess my 3/8 forstner bit is not 3/8ths. My 3/8" oak dowels > (plugs) fall out if I turn the boards over. What should I do?
Get a plug cutter and a scrap piece of oak used to make the treads, say 3/4" stock.
Using plug cutter, cut plugs about 1/2" deep using a drill press, then cover surface with a piece of masking tape.
Use a band saw and cut 3/4" stock forming two, 3/8" thick sections.
Use the masking tape to pull the plugs away from the scrap.
You now have a group of plugs, all with the grain aligned the same way.
Use varnish as the glue to hold the plug in place after tapping in place.
BTW, be prepared to redo the counterbores in order to match the plugs.
Lew
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*slaps forehead* Duh..
I come here for a reason.
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More than likely your dowels are not 3/8 but some metric approximation (try 9.5 mm). Full size imperial measuring doweling is kinda like hens teeth.
Others have suggested cutting your own snug plugs. That works, I've used the Veritas ones and the fit is great. Match the grain, tap it in (I use a bit of Titebond, but varnish should work), cut it off with chisel or flush saw, and you're done.
Regards.
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You could get some 1/2" oak dowel and sand it down until it fits and make new plugs out of it.
Lee
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Or use a 3/8" dowel cutter on the 1/2" dowel.
Lee Gordon wrote:

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Of course I am not sure, but my guess would be that your Forstner bit is indeed 3/8" and that the dowels were store bought and not a true 3/8". I prefer to make my own plugs, using a plug cutter readily available from many suppliers. It makes matching grain and color easier when you cut your own plugs from the same stock as the threshold and you won't have to worry about offshore estimations of tolerances. If you are committed to using the existing plugs, I would create a paste composed of the finish and the swarf from the cutting of the threshold, and push that mixture into the voids, after the first coat of finish is applied.
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