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Faux Green And Green Screw Plug Covers

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Blog entry by James E McIntyre posted 03-20-2021 08:47 PM 639 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is one of my projects I used these plugs on.

Before I bought some Gabon Ebony I would make Green and Green screw plug covers from Ironwood Eucalyptus limbs that the wind blew down on a street in my town.
This is a very hard wood with as super tight grain. I had two left and needed them for a project I’m working on. It was easier that making them from scratch.

I used the band saw and belt sander to make several dimensions for different size plugs.
This is all that’s left of the several large branches I cut up for fire wood.

I mix artist oil colors Prussian blue and Raw Umber with a touch of boiled linseed oil and turpentine to make black.

I like this method because it allows me to make the black cooler with the Prussian Blue and warmer with more Raw Umber. A Substitute for Raw Umber can be Burnt Umber.

A small amount of Prussia Blue goes a long way. Its a powerful pigment.
Other black pigments or dies can also be used.


These take about a week to dry before they can be coated with Wipe on Poly, polyurethane or what ever clear coat you prefer.
Another coat will be applied after their installed.



This it the vanity light extender I finished the plugs for.

-- James E McIntyre



11 comments so far

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4561 posts in 3468 days


#1 posted 03-20-2021 10:22 PM

That is a lot more work than I want to put into make G&G plugs. Generally, I just use walnut and either ebonize them or use ebony stain and call it good. Otherwise, African Blackwood, Katalox, or any number of other dark exotic woods give a nice dark plug that can be polished up.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1296 posts in 2413 days


#2 posted 03-20-2021 10:53 PM

Thanks Earl. Its something I enjoy doing and I ain’t got any of those woods. Not everyone has such an impressive collection such as your self. Never used walnut. Does it have a tight end grain?

You still have to stain and let dry.
My stain just takes longer.

What extra steps do you think I’m taking over yours besides band sawing which I enjoyed learning how to mill lumber from logs and mixing my own stains?

Now I have some of these so no more faux plugs.

-- James E McIntyre

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5295 posts in 2343 days


#3 posted 03-20-2021 11:07 PM

Nice dedication to perfection James, those look as good as ebony at a fraction of the cost!

I hate making these darn things, the sanding makes my wrist hurt.
I have adopted a 4-jaw mini chuck for the drill press that lets me treat it as a vertical lathe and get the contours correct. Problem still is every project requires dozens….

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1296 posts in 2413 days


#4 posted 03-20-2021 11:27 PM


Nice dedication to perfection James, those look as good as ebony at a fraction of the cost!

I hate making these darn things, the sanding makes my wrist hurt.
I have adopted a 4-jaw mini chuck for the drill press that lets me treat it as a vertical lathe and get the contours correct. Problem still is every project requires dozens….

- splintergroup

Yeah Splinter. They do almost hurt to make these. Especially the 1/2” ones that won’t fit in you hand drill for finishing on sand paper and padding.

This piece ain’t goin in that chuck.
I’ll look into you 4 jaw chuck.
Thanks for the tip.
It would be nice if you sent me a pic of it.

-- James E McIntyre

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5295 posts in 2343 days


#5 posted 03-20-2021 11:43 PM

I can’t even fit my 3/8” plug stock into my 1/2” drill…

This is the chuck I bought, its difficult to find one that
1. does not have independent jaws
2. can hold a square stock through it’s mounting hole
3. Has the ability to mount into the 5/8” chuck of a drill press.

This one has gone up in price! It more or less does what I need, but took a disassembly and deburing to get it working smoothly.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1296 posts in 2413 days


#6 posted 03-20-2021 11:57 PM

That’s a nice chuck Splinter.

-- James E McIntyre

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4561 posts in 3468 days


#7 posted 03-21-2021 12:11 PM

William Ng making G&G plugs

I also had a jig to go with my belt sander that used oversized holes in a plate, set at an angle to the belt for making larger plugs but I don’t remember where I saw the plans.

After making a bunch of plugs, I dump them in a plastic container, pour some ebony stain in, put the lid on, and shake. To get a more “natural” ebony look with ebony you can make your own ebonizing solution.

I like the look of the G&G pillowed plugs so I use them with just about any kind of dense grained wood as an accent.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5295 posts in 2343 days


#8 posted 03-21-2021 02:10 PM

I first started with the Ng approach using a drill and abrasive stack. It worked well, I did possibly 100 plugs this way, but 3/8” square plug stock would not fit my 1/2” drill chuck and not being able to center a four sided object in my three jaw chuck also made it problematic.

Going to the 4 jaw chuck on my DP made life liveable 8^)

The chuck centers and holds four sided stock perfectly, though I’m generally limited in length to about 6”.
I do the initial tip rounding with a simple jig for my drum sander. It’s similar to the Darrell Peart jig for a disc sander, but even knocking the corners off by hand would suffice.

I use the same abrasive arrangement as Ng, a 1” thick compliant pad (I use a synthetic abrasive sponge) with 120 through 2000 grit to bring the ebony to shape. A small inspection mirror is nice to have so the tip of the stock can be checked after each grit without needing to remove it from the chuck.

The chuck made this process bearable, but finding the chuck without spending $$$ was difficult. It also needed to be easily mountable in my DP with its 5/8” chuck.

The chuck I found had a female metric hole for mounting and I found a metric hydraulic union that threaded in, fit my 5/8” chuck, and had a hole so I could use longer square rods as plug stock. Cutting he head off of a proper bolt would also have worked but the M14-1.0 thread is oddball for bolts. Fortunately it seems a spindle adapter is also available now

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1296 posts in 2413 days


#9 posted 03-21-2021 08:24 PM



I first started with the Ng approach using a drill and abrasive stack. It worked well, I did possibly 100 plugs this way, but 3/8” square plug stock would not fit my 1/2” drill chuck and not being able to center a four sided object in my three jaw chuck also made it problematic.

Going to the 4 jaw chuck on my DP made life liveable 8^)

The chuck centers and holds four sided stock perfectly, though I m generally limited in length to about 6”.
I do the initial tip rounding with a simple jig for my drum sander. It s similar to the Darrell Peart jig for a disc sander, but even knocking the corners off by hand would suffice.

I use the same abrasive arrangement as Ng, a 1” thick compliant pad (I use a synthetic abrasive sponge) with 120 through 2000 grit to bring the ebony to shape. A small inspection mirror is nice to have so the tip of the stock can be checked after each grit without needing to remove it from the chuck.

The chuck made this process bearable, but finding the chuck without spending $$$ was difficult. It also needed to be easily mountable in my DP with its 5/8” chuck.

The chuck I found had a female metric hole for mounting and I found a metric hydraulic union that threaded in, fit my 5/8” chuck, and had a hole so I could use longer square rods as plug stock. Cutting he head off of a proper bolt would also have worked but the M14-1.0 thread is oddball for bolts. Fortunately it seems a spindle adapter is also available now

- splintergroup

Splinter That chuck and spindle is the way to go. I wish you told me about it sooner. I use some of the WN methods.
I start the angles off on the disc sander at approximately 22* angle just nipping of a bit off each corner then use several layers of a non slip pads I got from HF. No pants required w/sand paper of different grits to polish it up.

-- James E McIntyre

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5295 posts in 2343 days


#10 posted 03-21-2021 10:20 PM

James, the one dislike about the spindle is it is not hollow which limits the length of plug stock you can use to maybe 3” (about 1-1/4” from jaw face to spindle). This makes for a bit more waste of that ebony resource 8^)

It was a bit of work disassembling the chuck to get all the grease off and remove the burrs so it actually worked. For the price i would have expected better fit/finish. I’m glad i marked the jaw positions since they are sequenced, but they can be flipped if you need to hold even bigger parts.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1296 posts in 2413 days


#11 posted 03-23-2021 06:23 PM

EarsS doesn’t the water based solution raise the fibers on the wood?

-- James E McIntyre

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