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  #1  
Old 03-27-2010
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Tip request: Teak bungs on a curve, chip

Hi all,
Soon we'll be refinishing and reinstalling our teak handrails. There are 28 holes per handrail, so that's a lot of teak bungs! I've read up on installing bungs--most sources mention a sharp chisel right at the level of the surrounding wood, then sanding to smooth. So now my two questions...just looking for tips here as we are novice woodworkers at best.
  • First, as you can see in the pic below, the holes and especially those at the end of the handrails are on a curve (one of them not pictured is a pretty complex and steep curve). Will the standard chisel method work here? Would my Dremel rotary tool come in handy here? Just looking for tips/ideas, and I would prefer not to destroy our handrails when we reinstall.
  • Second, there are a couple of holes that have a chip along the edge like the one you see in the pic. Normally, for other chips, I'm using an epoxy/teak sawdust filler. But I don't see how we could use that next to a hole I don't want to fill. And if I do it after we install the handrails, I don't want to epoxy the bung in there. Should I use something else to fill these chips?

    (If it matters, we're using Cetol Natural and Gloss on the boat.)
Thanks in advance for any tips on this. We're really just learning this as we go.
Cheers,
J
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Old 03-27-2010
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I would use your Dremel tool with the small sanding cylinder attachment for most of this rather then a sharp chisel. The chisel works fine on flat surfaces but even on these it can gauge below the surface as the bung will split according to the grain direction in the bung. Using the Dremel will make it take longer per bung but you should be able to shape the bung to the contours of your rail.
As for the chips around your bung holes (did I just say that?) you could try the wood putty by Minwax that is tinted to various colors: Minwax® Wood Putty® - Rockler Woodworking Tools
They do not make a Teak colored putty but one of them should be close to your finish. Most hardware stores carry this stuff.
Your hand rails will be finished in varnish or Cetol Natural Teak, right?
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Thanks CalebD. I can see how the Dremel might give us a little more control. I'm open to anything that will work. We're going through a lot of trouble to make the handrails look good, and really don't want to screw it up in the final steps.

And yes, we're using Cetol Natural Teak, followed by Cetol Gloss...

-J
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Yes, extra control with the Dremel and extra chances to ding the surrounding surfaces if not careful. It might make sense to tape off each bung until you are comfortable using the tool.
Having done it both ways (did I just say that?) I can say that while the Dremel will take lots longer per bung it will allow you to sneak up on the shape you want.
I asked about your choice of finishes because that Minwax tinted wood putty is an interior use only product and I make no guarantees how it will hold up for external use on a boat. However, I do think that it would be an easy way to 'hide' those chips around your bung holes and once cured and covered with Cetol should last as long as the finish holds up. I also can't guarantee how well the tints in the Minwax wood putty will hold up to UV rays.
Will you put Teak Oil on these rails before finishing them with Cetol?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Yes, extra control with the Dremel and extra chances to ding the surrounding surfaces if not careful. It might make sense to tape off each bung until you are comfortable using the tool.
Having done it both ways (did I just say that?) I can say that while the Dremel will take lots longer per bung it will allow you to sneak up on the shape you want.
I asked about your choice of finishes because that Minwax tinted wood putty is an interior use only product and I make no guarantees how it will hold up for external use on a boat. However, I do think that it would be an easy way to 'hide' those chips around your bung holes and once cured and covered with Cetol should last as long as the finish holds up. I also can't guarantee how well the tints in the Minwax wood putty will hold up to UV rays.
Will you put Teak Oil on these rails before finishing them with Cetol?
I hadn't decided about oiling before finishing. I had been under the impression that if we use oil that it will cause problems trying to finish--is that not the case? What's the benefit to oiling first?

And yes, you did just say that.
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I use to use a kugihiki type flush cutting saw which I still have and use sometimes, but I recently picked up a dremel multitool which also works really well, What ever you do, avoid the chisel

The curves won't be a big deal, you'll sand bung to match and the chips wont be a big deal either, sacrafic a bung or two make some dust to mix with your binder
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okay go buy a little block plane like i linked at the bottom of this post, it will do very well knocking down the plugs. with some practice you may not even need to sand. as for what to glue the plugs in use varnish like the cetol you are using. when you glue the plugs in use some teak sanding dust to fill the crack the extra varnish that squeezes out will glue the saw dust in place

process is the following

dip the plug in cetol, tap it in place. then rub/sprinkle/pack some teak sawdust in the chip. the next day take the plane and knock the plug down to just above flush, then sand. like i said if you get good with the plane you wont need to sand ( you have lots of plugs to learn with )

Buck Bros. 6 1/2 In. Block Plane - C2 at The Home Depot

edit watch this video, you will love the plane idea after ward, you only need to watch the first min to get the idea. the rest is how to set it up for use

YouTube - How To Use and Tune Up a Hand Plane

Last edited by scottyt; 03-27-2010 at 09:45 PM.
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Instead of a dremel, which can be a PITA to use...if you had a Fein multimaster with a thin shim attached to the cutting blade, you could easily cut the bungs pretty close to flush with little trouble.
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Hey Scottyt, I was definitely impressed by how well the plane worked on the bung in the video. Would it work as well on a curved surface though? It seems to me, and I say this without having used anything like a block plane in like 25 years, that it might not be as smooth on a curve. Am I wrong?

Still looks like a cool tool either way.
-J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Instead of a dremel, which can be a PITA to use...if you had a Fein multimaster with a thin shim attached to the cutting blade, you could easily cut the bungs pretty close to flush with little trouble.
I don't have the Fein, but I have the Dremel Multi-Max, which is their rip-off of it (in addition to also have the rotary tool). I had been thinking of it as an option, but was wondering if the flat nature of the blade would make it less suitable.

Of course, it might be that I'll end up using both--the Multi-Max oscillating tool to knock it down, the rotary Dremel to deal with the curve, then sand...maybe?

And then repeat 55 times.
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