I am sometimes surprised at how slowly I can learn simple stuff!
When I started using my plug cutter, I cut plugs 1/2" or so long, drove them
in, and then cut them off. After a few times doing that, I realized it was
taking a lot of time and not always doing well. Now, I've started cutting
my plugs from stock resawn from scraps of the material I'm filling, or a
contrasting material if you like. I make sure the plug stock is thinner
than the hole is deep, put some glue in the hole, and tap the plug down
flush. When done carefully, no sawing or sanding is needed and one can even
do a pretty good grain match. If you use prefinished scrap to make the
plugs, you can even avoid finishing after plugging. A good example of when
this pays is my recent stairway. I prefinished all the wood before even
doing the cutting. That made it easy for my wife to handle on the sawhorses
and fast to get the varnish applied. After sawing, I put some varnish on
the end grains.
I still leave the plugs a little long if I'm plugging early in the building,
then let the belt sander eat them down.
The "plugs" used to cover screw heads are called bungs and they are cut from
the face of a board. Plugs would be made from dowel and would expose end
grain. In the boat shop, the hundreds or thousands of bungs in the planking
are cut with a sharp chisel, one blow about 1/16 high and the next one nice
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