March 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm #407
Glen v AModerator
Plugging the Screw Heads
Swat said “I’m not crazy about all those screw heads showing on the cabinet. How else can I build this?”
Like the manual says, there are as many ways to knock together a box as there are carpenters. To disappear the screw heads, though, the easiest way is to counterbore their holes and plug them.
- Go to the hardware, craft or wood supply shop and pick up a packet of side grain wood plugs. These are typically 3/8″ diameter, but if you can find 1/4″, use those. Pick a wood that either matches (like soft maple or birch) or contrasts with (like mahogany or cherry) your cabinet.
- After drilling the screw holes with the 9/64 drill, counterbore with a drill that matches the size of the plug. DO NOT try this with just a hand held drill! You MUST use a counterbore bit (like the one shown in the manual and videos) or use a 1/4″ or 3/8″ bit in a drill press. Counterbore halfway through the wood, that is, 3/8″ deep.
- Assemble the cab as described in the manual. After assembly and before you sand anything, put a drop of glue in each screw hole and tap in a plug. (This is the same point in the process when you would stuff wood dough into the joints.) Try to set the plugs neatly flush with the surrounding wood, especially if the plug is cut from a wood considerably harder than the poplar.
- Sand, router, sand, stain, and finish the cabinet.
- Stick a piece of duct tape, masking tape or carpet tape sticky-up on a scrap of something. Stick a few plugs down onto the tape. Stain and finish the tops of a few plugs.
- When it comes to installing the little grille frame in the Percolator, you should probably NOT use the supplied 1-1/4″ long wood screws; the extra penetration into the little frame pieces will probably split them. Go to the hardware store and pick up some #6×1″ wood screws. Install the grille frame and then push a prefinished plug into the three holes.
If you want, you can VERY LIGHTLY sand the finish around the plugs, and apply an extra coat of poly to the top and sides, to blend those plugs into the surrounding wood.