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Until recently, I have not had occasion to use the wood plugs to cover the screw holes.  I found them rather difficult to use.  I applied glue to the plug and tried to "seat it" into the hole but was disappointed that it didn't go in very well.  I tried tapping it with a small hardwood block and hammer and it seemed to bottom-out but didn't sit very flush with the surface of the board.  After the glue dried, it took quite a bit of sanding to make it flush with the surface of the frame.   Is there a better way or secret to installing these plugs?

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Install the applicable dowel/plug, with a small amount of glue into the hole.

Bottom out the plug.

Cut the dowel/plug flush, using a flexible flush trim saw and give it a sanding (as needed to make smooth).

Use a filler, to fill any small voids that may appear.


I oftentimes use 3/8" dowel rod stock, insert it into the hole, 'til it bottoms out---

cut flush with the saw and finish off as described above.


I use a router to cut the plugs flush with a straight bit. Saves a lot of sanding. If you're painting over the holes you can just fill the holes with some putty and sand it flush.

I have found that if you put a few plugs in the microwave for a couple of seconds and they will fit. After they go in just put a damp cloth on them. It causes them to swell tight. It worth a try, worked for me.

I have had success while using plugs by cutting about an eighth of an inch of them with my bandsaw, I just hold the plug at the same angle as the bottom of the plug with a pair of pliers and trim it down, I also used the micro wave but still had to trim the ends flush after I inserted them


Harold I'll tail you the easyest way to do that cut them to feat the hole just walk over to the band saw and cut a 1/8" to 3/16" off the end and some glue and dry and sand I do it and it looks just as good.


Hi Harold, this is normal they are not supposed to go in all the way, they usually are tapered, just put glue on them and get them in as far as you can and let the glue dry, you can cut them off close to the surface with a little hand saw or just about anything. this will give you less sanding. personnally I just sand them down.



Thanks. That was my question too.
Thanks all; for the great tips in dealing with my question of trimming the plugs.  I've tried Ken Darga 's suggestion and it seems to work great for the situation I have on this project.  I'll do some experimenting with the other suggestions as I'm sure that they will all come in handy (possibly) for other situations. 

I cut my own plugs with a plug cutter bit on my drill press.  Make sure you use the right size counter sink for the plug you are putting in.  The plug will tap in tight with a little glue.  I use a sharpe chisel to cut the plug about an 1/8th inch high and sand to smooth

Routing plugs flush---

using a trim router is easier.

I glue them and gently tap the in and down then I use my Dremel Multi Max to first cut the plugs flush and then the sander head to sand them smooth.

I took a piece of scrap wood and used the kreg to bore about 20 holes to the depth I am using for my project. Then I added the kreg screws to replicate the exact depth of a finished joint. I fill all the holes with the wood plugs and then sand them flush all at the same time with the belt sander.


It's a quick way to pretrim them all at once to the exact size I will need. I need only to tap the board or pick at the edge of the plug for it to fall right out of my scrap board.

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