You guys know I LOVE my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig. I use it for nearly every furniture project I build, but those little oval holes left behind aren’t very attractive. Having a background in mortise and tenon joinery, where the joints are hidden, I cringe when pocket holes are visible on a finished project. I do my best to design projects, so the holes are hidden, but now there is a great way to deal with these little ovals. Today I’ll show you how to make your pocket holes virtually disappear and your DIY projects look more professional with a pocket hole plug cutter!
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How do you deal with those little oval pocket holes in your projects? For the furniture projects I design, I do my best to make sure the pocket holes are hidden. I either position the pocket holes on the back or underside of the piece or have them covered by other components of the piece. But sometimes visible pocket holes are unavoidable.
For painted projects, I fill the holes with Ready Patch. But for stained projects, Ready Patch isn’t an option. Kreg makes pocket hole plugs, but often times they don’t exactly match the wood I’m using for my furniture project. Now there’s a way to make plugs at home with the Kreg Pocket Hole Plug Cutter!
The plugs are cut from leftover scrap wood from your furniture project, so the plugs will exactly match the wood of your project. With a pocket hole plug cutter, your pocket holes nearly disappear, you’ll take your furniture building to the next level and make your DIY projects look more professional. This a “gotta have it” tool for the DIYer!
How to Use a Pocket Hole Plug Cutter
Step 1. Assemble the Plug Cutting Bit.
Slide the stop collar on the plug cutting bit and tighten the set screw with the enclosed Allen key.
Step 2. Remove the pocket hole drill guide from your Kreg Jig and replace it with the plug cutter guide block.
Step 3. Insert the plug blank (the wood you’re going to cut plugs from) into the jig. Remember to use leftover scrap wood from your project, so the color and grain match your finished project. Note: plugs cut with the grain will chip less and plugs cut across the grain will tend to chip more.
Step 4. Insert the plug cutting bit in the plug cutter guide block until it hits the plug blank. Slightly raise the drill bit and bring the drill up to full speed.
Then gently lower the bit to the blank and start cutting the plug.
Step 5. After the plugs are drilled, they will need to be cut free of the plug blank.
Using a Kreg Multi-Mark, draw a line 3/16″ in from the edge.
Apply painter’s tape to the plugs to keep them in place while cutting.
Step 6. The plugs can be cut with a band saw, jig saw, scroll saw or hand saw. I chose to cut mine with my band saw. I set the table of the band saw to 15 degrees.
Then cut along the line.
Now the plugs are free from the blank.
To remove the plugs, simply remove the tape.
The plugs are now ready to use. Remember to choose plugs that match the grain pattern of the surrounding wood.
To Use the Plugs
Apply glue to the plug and insert the round end of the plug into the pocket hole and press into place. If you’re planning to stain your furniture project, be sure to use a wood glue that’s stainable. Then sand the plug flush.
If you have any gaps around the edges of the of the plug you can easily fill them with a DIY wood filler. My DIY wood filler recipe is made with sanding dust from the furniture project I’m working on, so the filler always perfectly matches the wood color of my project.
Recently I’ve received several messages on the pocket hole question page from DIYers who were running into an issue with their pocket hole plugs. After drilling they noticed the edges of their plugs were chipped or jagged. What causes pocket hole plugs to become chipped or jagged?
There are a few reasons pocket hole plugs become chipped, but with a few simple tips, we can reduce the chances of jagged edges. Skate over to the 9 secrets I use to reduce chipping and make the best pocket hole plugs.
Thank you for stopping by to check out my plug cutter. How do you fill your pocket holes? Share your ideas with me in the comments.
Oh, and if you found this information helpful, would you please pin it to Pinterest? I would really appreciate it!