View Full Version : What is the best installation procedure for mahogany bungs in solid mahogany?
02-18-2004, 10:07 PM
I have done a search of this forum, but did not see exactly what I was looking for. I am re-assembling the seats in a 1960 Thompson, and wonder what the best way is to install the bungs to cover the Silicon Bronze screws.
I thought I would just tap them in securely, flush cut with a thin flushcut saw (laid against a manila folder to protect the rest of the surface), and then let the 6 coats of varnish hold the bung in place.
Is that sufficient, or should I apply a dap of my varnish to the bung before insertion to help it slide in and hold a little better?
02-18-2004, 10:17 PM
I tend to use epoxy to hold them in, but have successfully used varnish.
02-18-2004, 11:18 PM
And dont be forgetting to line up the grain direction. Bad form to cross the grain.
02-18-2004, 11:36 PM
If you never want to remove a bung, epoxy works great. On the other hand... just use a dab of varnish applied around the bung.
You'll likely find that trimming them with flush cutting saw will still leave them a bit proud.
02-19-2004, 06:08 AM
You'll likely find that trimming them with flush cutting saw will still leave them a bit proud That's why God invented sandpaper - and I've used hundreds of sheets in the last 2 weeks.
02-19-2004, 07:21 AM
He also invented a cabinet scraper. :D
02-19-2004, 08:09 AM
Well, mahogany plugs are one thing that I've done a million times...literally.
First makes sure that there is enough room over the head of the screw to hold the plug. That the hole is deep enough. The screw should take up most of the tapered bottom of the countersunk hole. The sides of the hole should be verticle. and at least 1/8"....... AND that you are using a flat head screw.
I preffer the 1 part "MultiBond" glue from West Marine. $8 a tube. Heres why.....you can easily remove the plug. See, the way I work...I occasionally make mistakes and need to remove what I've previously done...in order to do what I previously left out. PLUS, it dries relatively fast.
It always looks better if the plug is cut from the same piece of wood that you are plugging, because of the many different variences in wood color in the same species of wood.
Mahogany has a grain to it. The direction of the grain makes a difference when trimming the plug. Use a S*H*A*R*P chisel......Did I say sharp!?!....and it should be wide enough to go the width of the plug. (1/2" chisel for a 3/8" dia plug and 5/8" chisel for a 1/2" dia plug).
When the glued in plug has dried, and there is at least 3/8" sticking straight up, take your chisel and set it against the plug in the "supposed" direction of the grain, about midway from the surface, and whack it. It will shear off the plug top in the "true" direction of the grain.....and that will be either up from the chisel point or down towards the hole from the chisel point.
In order to trim it flat you may have to place the chisel on the opposite side and go with the grain in that direction. By doing you first whack higher, you have the room if it goes in the wrong direction.
Using the SHARP chisel, trim it flush with the surface.
This is the first job I put a green man on. If he can't master it within a day...he's gone. Most are proficient in an hour or two. Although it is simple, there are some basic things at work here. You have to pay attention to the grain and finese the chisel somewhat. Plus, all that plug whacking and you'll need to resharpen the chisel.
Good luck. :D
[ 02-19-2004, 08:16 AM: Message edited by: Allen Foote ]
02-19-2004, 09:52 AM
Allen, this was my first "real" job when I worked at a boatyard, besides bottom jobs. I was taught to do it as you describe.
I had a paper plate with a small puddle of regular wood glue that I would dip the bottom of the plug in. My boss carefully looked at all of my work and pointed out the one out of several hundred that didn't have the grain lined up. I think he was impressed, but he still had to bust my chops a little bit.
02-19-2004, 09:40 PM
John, that's the straight skinny from Allen (well all but the glue part ;) ). I didn't have enough time to go thru the whole process, but that's how I do it (mostly).
02-19-2004, 10:49 PM
Great... Thanks to all of you guys... I really appreciate all of the tips.... I am surprised how much I can learn, if I tap into the right source.!!...
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