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  #1  
Old 12-12-2007
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Teak Plug Glue

I've removed my exterior handrails to refinish at home. I'm not going with varnish, but an oil-type finish. Two questions:

1. Do the new teak plugs need to be glued in or just friction?

2. The exterior handrail holes have a nut in them for the interior bolt to screw into. I probably didn't even need to remove the exterior plugs, just wasn't thinking. But should I wait to put them in after the handrails are reinstalled? Or plug up in the comfort of my shop--which means I can finish the plugs in place? Only reason I can think of to wait is if I have trouble aligning and need to see if the bolt is coming through correctly.

Tom
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Old 12-12-2007
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1. As long as the plug is deep enough, don't glue them.... just use a little varnish as you install them, then they are easy to cleanly remove if that is ever required. This requires a good match between the drilled bore and the plug cutter size.

2. Are the nuts embedded on the bottom of the rail? you want to be able to make sure that they won't turn as you install the fasteners. A bit hard to visualize just what you are working with!
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Old 12-12-2007
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I agree with faster, I believe the nuts/bolts will turn when you try and tighten them. Not only would that be unsafe but will also give you a couple of new leaks in your cabin. I would glue the plugs myself, if only to help keep out water.
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Glue

The nuts are embedded in the rail at the bottom of the plug hole, almost 3/8" down. I don't think they are going to turn because they didn't turn at all when I removed the machine screws from the inside rail.

So what I've got are matched inside and outside handrails--the insides are on the cabin ceiling (yes, I'm calling it a ceiling for my own sake here), the outside handrail is on the cabin deck. At each of the 5 supports of the inside rail behind a plug is an inset machine screw which screws through the cabin top into a nut fixture embedded in the support counterpart of the outside rail. I suspect the nut fixture digs down in to keep itself from turning--they are the same diameter as the hole, with no clearance.

When I used a small screw to "jack" and pull the plugs, they mostly came out whole but some broke apart. They weren't completely glued I'm pretty sure, but they might have had a little something in there.

I'm tempted to not glue, going with Freesail there. They fit well. My one experiment in putting one in has it stuck in there--I'll have to run a screw in to get it back out.

But Faster, what glue would you recommend, should I glue them?

Thanks.

Tom
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You've got me and Freesail confused... I said don't glue them... (smiley thing here)
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Those teak hand grips are probably secured to the deck/coachroof, with SS Tee-Nuts - which look like this:



The Tee-Nut is inserted from the exterior end of the hole, counterbored at a larger diameter to match the pronged flange and teak bung diameter. As you stated, there was no need to remove the bung, since the nut does not turn when the machine screw is removed from the interior face.

If it was me, I would bed the rail in 4200 caulk before securing the bolts, and use Titebond III waterproof wood glue at each teak bung. There should be no reason to remove the plugs in the future and this would ensure a weathertight bond..
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Sorry guys, did get you confused. I guess I'll go with a little waterproof glue--and I'll try to leave a mental sticky note to not remove the outside plugs next time :-)

Thanks all!

Tom
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I like Gorilla Glue. Apply a little moisture, it bubbles up and fills any chips/voids in the wood. It also takes varnish well and blends in with the wood. A couple plugs that fell out on my toerail were too shallow for new plugs, so mixed some fine teak sawdust with the Gorilla Glue, sanded it down and look just fine.
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Recommend not gluing or using varnish to adhere the plugs. Simply buy a tapered plug cutter and cut your own (don't buy ready-made plugs). Insert the tapered plug and and it a couple of light taps with a mallet or hammer to set it. The taper will wedge in the hole and seal it too. For shallow holes, simply cut the plug in half with a chisel so that it doesn't go in as far. Trim the plug with a chisel (being sensitive to the grain orientation so the plug doesn't split below the hole's rim). Gluing each plug will only make it harder to remove later and will bugger the hole. I've never had a tapered plug back itself out.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
Recommend not gluing or using varnish to adhere the plugs. Simply buy a tapered plug cutter and cut your own (don't buy ready-made plugs). Insert the tapered plug and and it a couple of light taps with a mallet or hammer to set it. The taper will wedge in the hole and seal it too. For shallow holes, simply cut the plug in half with a chisel so that it doesn't go in as far. Trim the plug with a chisel (being sensitive to the grain orientation so the plug doesn't split below the hole's rim). Gluing each plug will only make it harder to remove later and will bugger the hole. I've never had a tapered plug back itself out.
Good advice for nice clean holes, but if arf145 is working with anything like I had to deal with probably gonna need some help from the adhesive and filler dept. Old dried out teak is a pain.. And.. the PO had glued the plugs in, so to corroborate what you are saying, they will bugger up he hole! Some of the plugs on my cap rail were literally paper thin...Next time I sand them those screw holes will have to be replaced, but gorilla glue and siekens working well for now! Yet to see how well they handle ice and snow for the first time in my boats 30 year life
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