Messages Archive

question for flat grain plug users

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
When I read about using flat grain plugs it seemed reasonable to accept that screws would hold better in flat grain. But I could not figure out how one whittled a tapered plug with flat grain orientation to fill the tapered screw hole, and I still don't.

Then I got to thinking, why should a screw hold better in a hole plugged with flat grain vs long grain? Then I got to thinking some more, there are two failure modes, maybe three. The screw could loosen by whatever magic screws use to loosen, they could pull out or they could wiggle and enlarge their hole. I think I have seen all but the pull out in house hinges, so pull out is maybe rare failure for a furniture hinge screw? Thinking some more I don't think fixing a loose screw in a 5/8" thick pine door frame has much to do with relocating a screw hole for a hinge in a hardwood cabinet.

It is easy to saw a square plug the size of the screw hole maximum diameter and whittle it round and tapered. I don't know how to make a tapered flat grain plug. Unless someone has data to show that screws behave substantially better in flat grain coupled with a means of plugging a tapered #4 or #6 screw hole I'll stick with what I have been doing.

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