Shrinking wooden pegs. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-23-2014, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Shrinking wooden pegs.

Hi,
I am newto this site.
my current challenge is making 2 Adirondic chairs out of white oak with no metal fasteners. I will use pegs and Titebond III.
My question is: What temp and how long do I put the pegs in the oven to shrink them to insert in to holes? Then the mositure of the glue and surrounding room will swell them and make the. tight?
Thank you,
Sparkchaser
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-24-2014, 06:57 AM
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I wouldn't heat them. I think excessive heat would damage the cellular structure of the wood and mild heat would do nothing. I would make the peg the same size as the hole and glue them in.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-24-2014, 09:50 AM
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Drill the hole the same size as the dowel. Lots of glue in the hole, (experience will tell you how much). Take a piece of wire and run it around inside the hole to distribute the glue. Cut the dowel a little bit longer than the depth of the hole, (Use the wire to measure depth if not using a depth stop).

Important - use a rasp to put a small flat on one side of the dowel or a hack saw/coping saw to cut a spiral around the dowel to allow excess glue to escape as the dowel is driven in. Put a thin coat of glue on the dowel. . Here's where the experience comes in - with the correct amount of glue, there is just a small amount of squeeze out. Wipe glue off, and sand dowel flush when glue has dried

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-24-2014, 10:42 AM
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Different types of dowels:

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The one on the far right is ready to go and will expand in the joint from the glue moisture.

The one on the far left is usually cut from long dowel stock and is classic for starving the glue joint (tight fit and all the glue between dowel and hole is squeezed out, making for a weak joint). You can condition them though, to solve the problem, by roughing the surface.

Agree with Steve, no oven.

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-24-2014, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for sharing there expertise. The premade ones would be quicker. I could cut them short and the use a oak plug.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-24-2014, 03:39 PM
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I use lots of dowel pegs like the RH fluted one in Willem's post. 1/4" and 3/8".
Bag of 100 1/4" x 2" was $6 if I recall.
Cut off the exposed knob with a flush cutting dowel saw (Lee Valley).

When I use regular dowel, I clamp it in a vise and rough it up with a rasp.
Sand that back and rough it up again so the joint isn't starved for glue.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 08:19 AM
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If the joints you're pegging are mortise and tenon, you could skip the glue entirely and go with drawboring (or keep the glue, knowing that it won't make much difference). I find it hard to remember which way to offset the hole in the tenon, but when it's right it's just about the strongest joint there is.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 08:35 AM
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Here ya go

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post #9 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkchaser View Post
Hi,
I am newto this site.
my current challenge is making 2 Adirondic chairs out of white oak with no metal fasteners. I will use pegs and Titebond III.
My question is: What temp and how long do I put the pegs in the oven to shrink them to insert in to holes? Then the mositure of the glue and surrounding room will swell them and make the. tight?
Thank you,
Sparkchaser
On smaller items like that I use the microwave on a setting that allows the wood to about 200F and it doesn't take long to reduce the moisture from say 12 % to 2 %. I check moisture content frequently with a small scale that weighs in grains. New handles for old tools never have a tang come loose when fit like that nor do the ferrules.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
I use lots of dowel pegs like the RH fluted one in Willem's post. 1/4" and 3/8".
Bag of 100 1/4" x 2" was $6 if I recall.
Cut off the exposed knob with a flush cutting dowel saw (Lee Valley).

When I use regular dowel, I clamp it in a vise and rough it up with a rasp.
Sand that back and rough it up again so the joint isn't starved for glue.
I could be wrong but this is what i have always been told and done in practice.
Dowels and pegs are 2 different animals.
Dowels have the grain running length-wise for strength are used for joinery.
Pegs are cut from a board on a drill press with a "plug-cutter" perpendicular to grain direction and used to hide screws, etc.
They can be from a different species for decorative purposes or selectively matched by color with grain orientated to make them virtually invisible.
I once used dowels as pegs and found it difficult to finish sand the end-grain down flush without "dishing in" the surrounding wood.
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzguy View Post
I once used dowels as pegs and found it difficult to finish sand the end-grain down flush without "dishing in" the surrounding wood.
Did you sand by hand, or use a sander?

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 02:32 PM
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bzguy: I'd call those wooden cover-ups "plugs". A few of my wood carvings needed 2" screws in assembly. . . . . so I made a decorative pattern of "plugs" and nobody is any the wiser.

All the other things are pegs to me. Some are short and ready made, some come in 48" lengths!
Right now, I have to figure out how to drill 4"+ x 3/8" holes in predictable directions. 7 failures out of 8 tries.
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post #13 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillemJM View Post
Did you sand by hand, or use a sander?
I belt-sanded them flush, wanting to use something with a flat platen.
It was finish sanding the belt marks out with an orbital that caused the slight "dishing".
Amateur mistake years ago, I never use dowels for plugs, they look wrong even if you get them perfectly flat.
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
bzguy: I'd call those wooden cover-ups "plugs". A few of my wood carvings needed 2" screws in assembly. . . . . so I made a decorative pattern of "plugs" and nobody is any the wiser.

All the other things are pegs to me. Some are short and ready made, some come in 48" lengths!
Right now, I have to figure out how to drill 4"+ x 3/8" holes in predictable directions. 7 failures out of 8 tries.
Yes, i googled woodwork pegs and I think I've been misled by someone who taught me pegs were plugs.
Although I've never seen 48" lengths sold as anything but dowel.
The comment below by the OP lead me to believe he wanted them to match/blend in.
Quote......Thanks everyone for sharing there expertise. The premade ones would be quicker. I could cut them short and the use a oak plug.
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 06:44 PM
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Of course you're right. I buy a 48" peg aka a dowel. You ever used the entire 48" as one peg? Me neither. For the skinny stuff, I hammer in lengths of bamboo BBQ skewer.
I get the screw holes done then use a 3/8" Forstner to drill the pit for the cover plug. Don't even bother to glue that in place. Just tap it in flush = done.

I know that there's some sort of drill bit so you can cut plugs out of matching wood
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post #16 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
Of course you're right. I buy a 48" peg aka a dowel. You ever used the entire 48" as one peg? Me neither. For the skinny stuff, I hammer in lengths of bamboo BBQ skewer.
I get the screw holes done then use a 3/8" Forstner to drill the pit for the cover plug. Don't even bother to glue that in place. Just tap it in flush = done.

I know that there's some sort of drill bit so you can cut plugs out of matching wood
Matter of personal taste I guess but after learning about plug-cutters I never use dowel/pegs to cover screws.
The end-grain is hard to sand, looks out of place.
If you like them obvious for contrast, I suggest plugs cut from another different color species, they are much easier to sand.
The "drill bit" you speak of is a plug cutter, I have a set of 4-5? different sizes.
If you're going to invest in them don't buy the one toothed black Vermont American, they do a terrible job.
My plug cutters have 4 teeth, cut nice clean plugs.
If species/color is matched and grain orientated right, plugs disappear.
Dowels are of course indispensable for other applications like joining.
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post #17 of 19 Old 03-25-2014, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
I know that there's some sort of drill bit so you can cut plugs out of matching wood
Yep, Plug Cutter Bit Sets . Boat builders use them often
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-26-2014, 09:47 AM
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shrinking wooden pegs

Recently I built a pair of doors using pocket screws, & found that heating the kreg pegs for 30 sec in a microwave helped setting them. I used West epoxy in the holes also & they were sanded flush & finished. Also, when I cut my own straight plugs, I cut them in batches, leave them in the board till I need them. The radius of the plug is sufficient to start them in. I also use varnish (if the plug & screw might have to come out later) or in the case of boat bottoms, the plugs are dipped in epoxy. Experiment, & have fun! Gayle
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-26-2014, 03:21 PM
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In my wood carvings, I tend to think of the wood plugs as a contrasting feature. Mostly western red cedar, I think that a pattern of birch plugs looks nice in the much darker WRC. I'll never get a perfect match, it will always look like a plugged hole so I might as well make something of it. I'll leave it up to the viewer: was it pegged or plugged? Same with copper and abalone shell inlay = I can hide a multitude of sins under that stuff, too.
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