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I'm removing the teak companionway trim, handrails, etc. to acid wash and recondition. I've never removed a good teak plug and replaced with a new teak plug before. I've read the best way to remove them is to drill a pilot hole in the center of the plug and drive a small screw in the plug that will extract the plug when it bottoms out on the existing screw head. Is this the best way? Any other tricks?

I have new 3/8" plugs for when I'm putting everything back together. I assume they are held in with more than friction fit. Waterproof glue sounds too permanent. What is the correct procedure and what sealant if any is used to hold the new screw plug?
 

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Usually you want a little glue in the hole. Otherwise, expansion and contraction from humidity will pop them out.

In terms of removing I have never done it. But it sounds like you have a good plan. The plug might just split depending on how much glue was used. At the very least the plug will be out of the hole.
 

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Duplicate thread with somewhat different titles ???

Copied response from other thread...

The way you suggest should work fine but take care that you don't bugger-up the screwhead underneath as you never know for sure how deep the bung-hole actually is, in some cases.

We've simply used a woodworking scratch awl to gently pry up old bungs poke straight down in the center of the bung. Pry one direction with the grain and then pry side-to-side taking care NOT to damage the perimeter of the bung hole.

After you've done the work needed. Make sure the hole is clean (vacuum) and then seal the new bung in place by dipping the end in a little varnish (I pour a little in a pie tin wipe excess off by dragging the drips on the side of the plate). LINE UP wood grains and tap in place with a rubber mallet.
Knock ends off sticking up after its cured a bit with a sharp chisel taking care to keep the angle above the plane of the trim piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info so far.
quidam1947 - Yes, I also posted this on the Helms owners site thinking it might get different readers. Thanks for your reply.
 

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I remove the plugs with a screwdriver and hammer. Select a screwdriver with a blade just slightly smaller than the diameter of the bung. Tap it into the bung and twist. That will destroy the top layer of the bung. Continue until you get to the screw. Clean out the hole by twisting the screwdriver. Clean out the screwslot with the screwdriver. If it is a phillips head, use an awl or icepick. Back the screw out.

Definitely glue the new bung in. Everyone has their different way, dip into varnish, a couple of drops of waterproof glue, or epoxy. I tend to use epoxy. And tapered bungs are really superior. After the glue sets, carefully take off the excess wood with a chisel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great info and several techniques to try. The trim is only 5/8" thick, so I can't imagine the bungs are that deep. I wanted all this info before I did a trial & error. Can't afford the error.
 

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Using the drill and screw method works best on plugs that were not seriously glued in. For this reason I'd recommend against using epoxy to "glue" the plugs back in. Using the proper drill bit/plug cutter combo will result in a tight friction fit that can be aided with some varnish.

A possible exception to this would be when the piece/plug is too shallow for surface friction to hold it in place... then you'll have little choice but to glue it in place.

As for the excess exposed plug after replacement; observe the grain and knock off the bulk of it with a sharp chisel ( start at the low part of the grain line so it breaks off proud, not down into your plug hole) and gently use a cheesegrate rasp to nearly level it off. Then a sanding block for the last bit.
 

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Hi guys.... I've been gone for a while... virtually sailing the Volvo race and building some furniture.....

An alternate is to cut your own teak plugs using a tapered plug cutter. orient the plug with the grain, and give it a solid smack with a mallet. The taper will fill any gouges made by the awl or screwdriver when removing the old plug. I do not use any sort of "glue" on my plugs and have never had one pop in 20 years. But any finish that you apply will help secure the plug.

Use a chisel or block plane when paring the plug, but be careful to look at the grain first. If it's "pointing" into the hole, pare from the other direction. Otherwise, the plug could break off below the level of the surface being plugged. Ugly and unprofessional. Sand to finish.

Teak is dimensionally very stable because of it's oily nature. Thus, there is not much wood movement due to expansion and contraction (+/- 0.6%). Plugs don't pop due to expansion/contraction, IMHO. It's because they were too small to start with, not tapered, and been worn down due to repeated scrubbings, IMHO.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Hi guys.... I've been gone for a while... virtually sailing the Volvo race and building some furniture.....

An alternate is to cut your own teak plugs using a tapered plug cutter. orient the plug with the grain, and give it a solid smack with a mallet. The taper will fill any gouges made by the awl or screwdriver when removing the old plug. I do not use any sort of "glue" on my plugs and have never had one pop in 20 years. But any finish that you apply will help secure the plug.

Use a chisel or block plane when paring the plug, but be careful to look at the grain first. If it's "pointing" into the hole, pare from the other direction. Otherwise, the plug could break off below the level of the surface being plugged. Ugly and unprofessional. Sand to finish.

Teak is dimensionally very stable because of it's oily nature. Thus, there is not much wood movement due to expansion and contraction (+/- 0.6%). Plugs don't pop due to expansion/contraction, IMHO. It's because they were too small to start with, not tapered, and been worn down due to repeated scrubbings, IMHO.

Just my 2 cents.
Thanks! Those are some valuable cents that will save me a lot of grief! I have even just printed off this post to take to the boat for the next project. Replacing the countertop will require I remove and replace all of the teak in the galley.
 
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