About Us

Monday, February 22, 2016

Canoe Building: Plugging the Holes

A few days after I installed my outwales, I went back to fill the countersunk holes with plugs.  I used cherry, the same wood the outwales were made of.  You could use darker or lighter wood for the plugs to add a nice accent to your canoe.  I got a cotton swab, rolled it in Titebond 3, then coated the inside of each hole.  Then I aligned the grain on the plug with the grain on the outwale and gently tapped the plug into place.  Again, the small details can make a huge difference!  Be sure to line the grain up.  It will look much better than haphazardly putting the plugs in.  The plugs should be cut with a plug cutter, ideally on a drill press.  The plugs have a very slight taper to them so they fit snugly into the holes, but also stick out above the surface.

After the glue had cured, I chiseled the ends of the plugs off.  The chisel will do most of the work, just be sure to work a little at a time so you don't gouge out a piece of the outwale or break off the plug underneath the surface.  About 6-10 flicks of the wrist on each of the plugs, and they were smooth and even with the outwale.  Then I repeated at the next plug until they were all done.  A light sanding with 150 grit sandpaper and the plugs blend right in.  The canoe still looks unfinished because it hasn't been varnished yet.  Now that the inwales, decks, and outwales are installed, the canoe is ready to varnish.

No comments:

Post a Comment