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 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
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.
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
Anyway, I wish I'd gotten one of these years ago! Hope this
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.