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Old 12-18-2011, 07:54 AM   #1
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Teak Dowel?

I'm trying to find a teak dowel, 5/16" or 3/8". The only ones I have found on the web are in quantities of hundreds, just need one. Any ideas? Could I substitute mahogany or another hardwood? Drilling out screws and need to glue something in there for a re-drill and screw.


-- Edited by Keith on Sunday 18th of December 2011 08:58:10 AM
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:01 AM   #2
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RE: Teak Dowel?

How long a dowel do you need? If you need short ones you can make your own with a home made dies and some ripped bits of teak just slightly larger than the die. When you make the die, drill several holes in staged sizes to make it easier.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:10 AM   #3
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RE: Teak Dowel?

Keith - Tom found some at West Marine in quantities of 10.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:25 AM   #4
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RE: Teak Dowel?

Only 1/2-3/4". I'll check my local WM. Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
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RE: Teak Dowel?

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Keith wrote:
Could I substitute mahogany or another hardwood?

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******* That's what I would do....if you plan on staining them, the color will never completely match the surrounding wood, even if you used teak dowels.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:08 AM   #6
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Teak Dowel?

Are you guys talking about dowels or plugs?

*

If it's plugs for a teak deck you just buy a plug cutter and snag a piece of scrap teak then make what you need.


-- Edited by RickB on Sunday 18th of December 2011 11:10:47 AM
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #7
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RE: Teak Dowel?

It sounds like you want plugs to put in the hole and then redrill and put screws back in? If so, then you want cross grain plugs not dowel which will give you very little strength from the screws pulling out again. As said above, a plug cutter on a drill press and make your own, or buy plugs at a marine or woodworking store. There are a lot of woodworking sites on line which are typically cheaper than marine stores. I've used mahogany plugs in teak and with the proper staining you can't tell the difference.

Ken
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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Teak Dowel?

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Keith wrote:
Could I substitute mahogany or another hardwood? Drilling out screws and need to glue something in there for a re-drill and screw.
*If it's for exterior use I would use only teak.* Mahogany or other woods do not have the oil content of teak and plugs made of them will not last as long as the surrounding teak in an exterior application. For example only teak plugs should be used in a teak deck or to cover the screws attaching teak handrails.

If you are talking about an interior applicaion then other woods should work okay if they are the color you want.* You can buy small bags of ready-cut teak plugs in various sizes at places like West Marine, Fisheries Supply, etc.* Fisheries Supply also sells small bags of mahogany plugs, oak plugs, etc.


-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 18th of December 2011 07:45:05 PM
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:39 AM   #9
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RE: Teak Dowel?

Good point about dowels being end grain and plugs cut out of boards matching the surface grain and having more strength. If they will show, orient the grain to match the existing when you glue them in.

There is a special saw for cutting the plugs flush without damaging the existing surface. The teeth have no set. Harbor Freight sells a cheap version.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:04 AM   #10
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RE: Teak Dowel?

Quote:
Keith wrote:
Drilling out screws and need to glue something in there for a re-drill and screw.
*This is beginnng to sound less like a deck. It really would help to provide a full explanation of the project.

If it is a piece of paneling or furniture or similar and there is a teak plug that covers a screw that holds something together and the screw hole is wallowed out and you can't just use a larger screw then drilling out to fit and glue a dowel in place in order to drill a pilot for a new screw is the way to go. If the screw is not visible because a plug is placed above it, any hardwood dowel will work and it should be hardwood dowel.* The plug that covers the screw should be teak.

Placing a screw into a teak plug is a lost cause, the grain runs the wrong way to provide any holding power at all. The plug is cosmetic only, a dowel is structural.

It works better to use a very sharp chisel to nip the plug than to use a saw since chances are good the saw will also cut the wood base. A chisel cuts clean and close so that a minor sanding will level it perfectly.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:42 AM   #11
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RE: Teak Dowel?

Dowel not only doesn't match the grain, but it is weaker when screwed into. Drive a screw into the end of a 2x4 and one into the side, then take your claw hammer and pull them out. The end grain screw will come out much easier. Don't take my word for it, try it. Why do people go to great lengths to dovetail a box together, put step joints on them and all the other work? Because screwing into end grain wood is not as strong.

When you're plugging to re-screw, the plug might need to be deeper than the plugs you can buy. For example, if the old screw was 5/8" into the wood you want to drill your plug hole to the bottom of the screw hole, 5/8" in this case. The bag of plugs you buy will probably not be longer than 3/8". So you'll want to double plug. Carefully flatten both ends of the first plug by sanding as needed, use a little epoxy on it and slide it in. Then take the second plug, with at least one flat end, epoxy it and slide it in to make contact with the first plug and tap gently to seat them both in the hole. Clean up the overflowed epoxy, stain and finish as needed.

If you have an ovaled hole, maybe the screw backed out and bent over or whatever, instead of using one large plug use two or more plugs, "stepping" them. This also works with smaller non structural cracks. Start at the end and make your first hole, plug as needed. Then move over 2/3 the diameter of the plug and make your next hole. This hole will cut away part of the 1st plug. Epoxy plug #2 in and continue stepping as many plugs as you need. If you're repairing a fairly long crack in a board you don't want to replace, you can even make patterns. Start at both ends and work towards a final plug in the middle. Use two different sized plugs, alternating, etc.

Another tip. If you are not refinishing the entire piece, just repairing a hole here or there, before you drill put a wide piece of masking tape over the bad screw hole, then do your drilling thru the tape. Now you have a perfectly masked hole to clean the excess epoxy off. This makes your spot refinishing much easier.

If you epoxy the plug into the hole (drilled to correct size for the plug of course) the epoxy bond is stronger than the wood, so it's not going to give. The grain running sideways, as is the grain in the rest of the piece you're repairing, will be as strong as it originally was, and look, depending on the plug and the skill that it was installed with, almost as if there was no repair.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:13 AM   #12
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Teak Dowel?

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RickB wrote:

It works better to use a very sharp chisel to nip the plug than to use a saw since chances are good the saw will also cut the wood base. A chisel cuts clean and close so that a minor sanding will level it perfectly.
*Most of the time.* However a chisel, even a very sharp one, will occasionally cause a plug to shear off at an angle with the lower end of the angle below the level of the surrounding wood.* For this reason I always set the chisel to cut the plug slightly higher than the surrounding wood and then finish sand the plug flush with the surrounding wood.* And the plug should be chiseled off always in the direction of the grain, never against it.


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 19th of December 2011 10:14:28 AM
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:49 AM   #13
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RE: Teak Dowel?

Quote:
Marin wrote:
For this reason I always set the chisel to cut the plug slightly higher than the surrounding wood and then finish sand the plug flush with the surrounding wood.* And the plug should be chiseled off always in the direction of the grain, never against it.



-- Edited by Marin on Monday 19th of December 2011 10:14:28 AM
*That is also how I was taught. I made a piece of 3/4 plywood that one of my sanding belts fits over. That is my sanding block.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:46 AM   #14
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RE: Teak Dowel?

"drilling out screws" Hmmmmmmm

Sounds like you need teak "bungs". I'll bet the best source would be found in Wooden Boat magazine. When you install the bungs orient the grain of the bung w the grain of the parent wood. When you chisel off a bung high notice which side of the bung is low (the grain is frequently not straight/level) and then finish chiseling on that side so one side won't be lower than the parent wood creating a depression. I wonder what Marin means "in the direction of the grain, never against it"? Does the grain of a tree go up the tree or down Marin?
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:10 AM   #15
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RE: Teak Dowel?

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nomadwilly wrote:I wonder what Marin means "in the direction of the grain, never against it"? Does the grain of a tree go up the tree or down Marin?
*When you put in a plug ("bung" is an old-fashioned word that not even the manufacturers use anymore) the top of the plug will have a visible grain orientation. These lines are almost always very obvious.* If you chisel across this orientation--- in other words the sharp end of the chisel blade is parallel to the lines of grain and your mallet strike is 90 degrees to the alignment of the grain--- the plug will most likely break off with part of it below the level of the surrounding wood.* That is what I mean by chiseling against the grain.*

If you chisel the excess plug off in the direction the grain is running-- the end of the chisel is perpendicular to the lines of grain and your mallet strike is in the direction the grain is aligned--- it will cut off cleanly.* Which direction you cut when you do this doesn't matter, it's only important that the blade cut through the wood moving in the same direction that the grain is aligned to.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:02 PM   #16
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RE: Teak Dowel?

OK good Marin it looks like we're on the same page. However I think wood boat people use the word bung always. It's just plastic boaters that use the word plug because they just do'nt know the proper word. Keith can prolly confirm this. But I believe you (Marin) have already gone a long way to confirm this. When you say manufacturers I wonder if you mean boat manufacturers or bung manufacturers. I think bung is the correct word and I'll bet furniture manufacturers use the word bung also. Have I bunged this up satisfactorily?

Eric
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:10 PM   #17
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Teak Dowel?

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nomadwilly wrote:
OK good Marin it looks like we're on the same page. However I think wood boat people use the word bung always. It's just plastic boaters that use the word plug because they just do'nt know the proper word. Keith can prolly confirm this. But I believe you (Marin) have already gone a long way to confirm this. When you say manufacturers I wonder if you mean boat manufacturers or bung manufacturers. I think bung is the correct word and I'll bet furniture manufacturers use the word bung also. Have I bunged this up satisfactorily?

Eric
All the packages and bulk bins I see of wood plugs at places like Fisheries Supply, LFS, etc are labeled "plugs."* The only place I have ever seen the word "bung" is from a few people on this forum.* Even on the GB owners forum, where a fair number of the boats are wood, their owners talk about "deck plugs", not "deck bungs."* I think the term "bung" is technically correct, but from everything I read and see, it's a dead or near-dead term.


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 19th of December 2011 01:12:24 PM
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:12 PM   #18
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RE: Teak Dowel?

Quote:
Marin wrote:*For this reason I always set the chisel to cut the plug slightly higher than the surrounding wood and then finish sand the plug flush with the surrounding wood.**
Hence the comment "... clean and close so that a minor sanding will level it perfectly."

And regarding*someone else's*advice to put a screw in a 2x4 and pull, fair enough but make sure the 2x4 is made of hardwood.*
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:13 PM   #19
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RE: Teak Dowel?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:*Have I bunged this up satisfactorily?
Eric
*Actually no you haven't.* Keep in mind that a bung is what is in the hole on a wine or whisky barrel made of wood and a Keg of beer which is made of AL.

Now I think we have done it.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:24 PM   #20
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RE: Teak Dowel?

After having too many plugs slice off at an angle with one edge below the level of the surrounding wood even with the chisel set a bit above the surrounding wood, I generally no longer chisel plugs off at all. Instead I sand the bulk of the excess plug down with 80-grit on a rubber sanding block which takes less than a minute and then sand it flush with finish paper. This eliminates completely the risk of having part of a plug end up lower than the surrounding wood which then means removing the plug and starting over. The only times I use a chisel anymore is if there is a lot of the plug standing proud of the surrounding wood, and then it's only to "take some off the top" so I don't have to sand as much. After replacing many hundreds of deck plugs as well as a lot of interior plugs in the course of reworking or installing components, this is the method that has worked out to be the best for us.
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