Newbie Question - wood putty

This is going to sound really dumb but my question is this. I have been countersinking screws into soft wood - when I go to cover the screw head up with wood putty I can't seem to get it to go on smooth and complete. I kind of glob it in the hole and then use a putty knife to push across it. Doing it like this - the putty starts coming apart and up from the opposite side of the hole. When I try it the other way, it then does the same thing on the other side. I wind up wetting my thumb and going across it like that, but I know there must be a better way. Can anyone give me a litte advise on this? Thanks very much.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article <f28357d1-02c2-4976-9893-

How about dowels and a little glue? I think it's less time-consuming than putty.
S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I make a 3/8" counterbore, drive the screw, then either glue in a piece of dowel or cut a plug from a scrap of wood and glue that in place. You can buy plug cutters and a trimming saw (flex blade) from Lee Valley.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2928&cat=1,42884 http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2320&cat=1,180,42288
When you make a plug and orient the grain, they become just about invisible once sanded.
You can even buy a kit with the proper drills or just use a brad point bit http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&p2334&cat=3,41306,41330
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Much depends on the particular situation where you're using the putty. What brand is it? How big are these holes to fill? How new or moist is the putty?
Those questions aside, since I feel that all wood putty shrinks a bit upon drying, I put on a blob of putty that is more than necessary and then come back when it's dry and sand it flush with the wood. Depending on the size of the hole to be filled, I sometimes have to putty twice, letting it dry in between applications.
I suppose I take more time than many with my putty jobs, but it irks me no end to build some nice project and have an obviously visible putty job be noticeable after finishing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Over fill, let it dry, and sand when it cures. Don't use the kind that stays soft.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had the same problem on some of my projects. Last week I finally got a plug cutter from Rockler and just finished giving it a try. I was able to sink the screw head 1/4 inch below the surface, then jammed a plug in, matching the grain, and after it dried, used a chisel to pare it off smooth. Actually 2 chisels, the first to get it close, a very sharp one to do the last cut or two. Sandpaper to finish, and it looks great. Since this was my first try, it went a little slow, but after 40 or so holes, I'm getting the hang of it. What I liked was the ability to use the same wood (scraps) rather than a hardwood dowell which I think would be hard to smooth off (end grain).
Anyway, I wish I'd gotten one of these years ago! Hope this helps.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"rich" wrote:

An old boat builder's trick to make bungs.
Use a piece of 3/4" stock to make bungs.
Cut bungs 1/2-5/8 deep.
Apply masking tape to face of bung surface.
Use band saw to cut off back side of 3/4 stock to separate bungs from waste.
You can now carefully punch out bungs far enough to break tape bond with waste around bungs.
Lay tape and bungs on a flat surface, tape side down.
Bungs now stand up like little toy solders with grain aligned waiting to be plucked and used.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I too, am a big fan of using plugs, but here are a few tips to their use:
1. Get a *tapered* plug cutter. They are a more expensive, but give a much better fit. 2. After you "drill" the plugs but before you liberate them from the scrap board (with table or band saw), draw a line, with the grain, on the face of the plugs. The will help make it much easier to tell which is the narrow end of the plug as well as the grain orientation. Hint: the line goes on the inside ;-). 3. Trim the plug across the grain, i.e., the edge of your chisel should be parallel to the grain. If the grain is "diving" and you trim with the grain you can end up with an unsightly divot.
Regards,
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 18 Oct 2008 18:40:31 +0100, rich wrote (in article
<snippy>

<snipp>
hmmm-
8-3 = new emoticon for Norm?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.