§ by Joel Hess on March 28th, 2008
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Here’s last week’s tip from Woodsmith online editor Ted Raife:
Whenever I use screws to assemble a project, I hide them under wood plugs. Cutting the plugs and gluing them in place is the easy part of the job. The bigger challenge comes once the glue dries — trimming the plugs flush to the surface.
For me, this is a two-step process. First, I use a small back saw to trim off the bulk of the protruding plug. Then I sand or plane the remaining portion flush to the surface. But my lack of care with the back saw often led to problems. If I tried to cut the plug too close, I would scratch or gouge the surface, making more work for myself.
But as is usually the case, a small problem had a simple solution. I dug up a scrap of plastic laminate and made a flush cut shield. The laminate shield has a hole drilled through it slightly larger than the diameter of the plugs. You place the shield over the plug flush to the surface and then saw away without worry (Figure 1). The thin shield allows you to give the plug a very close trim and all that’s needed to finish the job is a little sanding (Figure 2).
Online Editor, Woodsmith