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Plug cutter for pocket hole joinery?

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Eric The Viking

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Rutlands have one on offer this w/e.

It looks like a nice, if rather dangerous, bit of kit, but before I splash out dosh...

... if you want real invisibility, you surely need to match the angle the pocket hole jig has to the grain of the workpiece.

In turn that probably means making a big enough block, with two parallel faces squared off at that angle, so the plug cutter can be started square to the stock (and I wouldn't dare use it in any sort of handheld drill!

So has anyone got one, if so how do you prep the stock to cut the plugs from, and is it worth the bother (for you, I mean)?

Ever curious,

E.

PS: I suppose I could tilt the drill press table, but it's getting messier by the second!
 

OPJ

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I ordered one of these a few days ago and I assume it's what's waiting for me at the Post Office right now. I'll hopefully be able to have a play with it later (in my pillar drill!) and will be able to let you know what I think.

One alternative method I've seen is to used 3/8in dowels to fill the holes. Obviously, you're not likely to get a good grain match and even then, you've still got the issue of sourcing or preparing your own imperial-sized dowel stock.

I agree with what you're saying on the angles. I'll try it both ways but I also had the intention of making a bevelled fence.

I need to complain to Rutlands because, only days after placing my order, they've slashed £5 from the price!! :x
 

studders

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I bought the Veritas 3/8 dowel cutter to make my plugs. It's adjustable for a good fit and can do pretty much any length within reason. There is the problem that you have end grain as a finished edge but, so long as the colour is right, I've not yet found that too much of a problem.
Might give the Rutland one a go just to see if an invisible plug is possible.
 

OPJ

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Sorry, I meant to get back to you on this last night!

So far, I'm very impressed by this bit (it is, essentially, a dowel cutter). It didn't feel very sharp to the touch but it cut through pine and a red hardwood I had (both with and across the grain) without any burning or difficulty. It produces plugs up to 75-80mm in length and they do fit snugly in the pre-drilled pocket holes.

Kreg's own pre-cut plugs have tapered ends, which account for studders' suggestion that end-grain would otherwise be on show. It's great for making short lengths of dowel. I just wonder whether it would be even better (in situations where a clear finish is required) to buying long lengths of 3/8in dowel and then to cut and taper the ends on the bandsaw with a jig...

I did take some photos but, everything's in a mess at the moment. I'll see if I can add them some time later. Hope this helps in the mean time.
 
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