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How I Make Ebony Greene And Greene Screw Cover Plugs, Or Epic Fail.

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Blog entry by James E McIntyre posted 04-11-2021 08:48 PM 916 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m making some Arts and Crafts style TP holders and a towel bar that require 12 Greene And Greene screw plug covers.


The 3/8” + ebony blanks are cut at the band saw and sanded to about 1/32” over 3/8” on the belt sander.
They will not fit into a 1/2” chuck.

I made a holder out of Cumaru on the band saw that fits into my 1/2” drill chuck and holds the blanks with a set screw.

Slightly sanding down the corners at a 30* angle to make it easier to sand the plugs with the drill and jig.

This step will eliminate a lot of the sanding.


Using several layers of HF non-slip padding under the sand paper to help round over the plugs.
Starting with 100 grit working up to 1000 grit.

I finish polishing them with honing compound. I’m glad that helper cat left.


After drilling a 3/8”hole at the drill press where the plug will go I use an old 3/8” mortise chisel which I keep sharp to cut the square hole for the plug then clean it out with a 3/8” chisel.


I push the rounded part of the plug into the square mortise and mark around it adding about 3/32”s to that line so the plug will sit proud of the surface of the wood.

Cutting the plugs with a bench hook and Japanese pull saw.
Each plug and mortise are different and have to be numbered on the bottom of the plug and at the rear of the mortise to match.


Art and Splinter showed up at my shop door and startled me and I leaned on it.
Oh crap! It broke! Only got to make 4 plugs with it.

When I was making this jig from 3/4” stock I kept thinking I should make it from 1-1/2” stock which I have, to allow for thicker walls.


Even the little blue pill can’t save this jig.
Now I’m back to sanding by hand until I figure out how to make this jig stronger.
The green awl in the photo is for tapping the plugs out from the rear.
I was just kidding about Art And Splinter. They are always welcome at my shop. (8^)

-- James E McIntyre



14 comments so far

View DevinT's profile

DevinT

834 posts in 53 days


#1 posted 04-11-2021 08:57 PM

I love that your cat helps

-- Devin, SF, CA

View JimYoung's profile

JimYoung

407 posts in 2674 days


#2 posted 04-11-2021 08:58 PM

Neat idea, looks like you need a friend with a machine shop.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1271 posts in 2379 days


#3 posted 04-11-2021 09:20 PM



I love that your cat helps

- DevinT

Thanks Devin. Yes cats are always trying to help. Especially when hungry or need a brushing.

-- James E McIntyre

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1271 posts in 2379 days


#4 posted 04-11-2021 09:23 PM


Neat idea, looks like you need a friend with a machine shop.

- JimYoung

Thanks Jim. A friend with a machine shop would be great. Would have them made in several sizes patent it and sell Them.

-- James E McIntyre

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4463 posts in 3435 days


#5 posted 04-11-2021 11:35 PM

What if you drill a screw partially into the end of the 3/4” plug stock and then put the screw into the drill chuck? Otherwise, mount the plug stock in your vise and use sand paper to buff it like you would if you were shining your shoe? I also put PSA paper on a soft mat and hold the plug stock like a pencil and “scribble”, moving it around, side to side, front to back, stopping to check progress and change the way I’m holding it. I switch paper from 150 to 220, and so on until it is 800 grit or higher.

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

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5141 posts in 2309 days


#6 posted 04-11-2021 11:37 PM

Good idea there James!

One method I tried that worked just “ok” was similar to what you are doing.

If a 1/4” short extension will fit into your drill, try finding a 1/4” drive socket (that will hold your plug stock (8 point socket, the 12 pointers are a tad too loose)

Next time Art and I drop in unannounced, we’ll just bang real loudly on the windows and doors first 8^)

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1271 posts in 2379 days


#7 posted 04-11-2021 11:52 PM


Good idea there James!

One method I tried that worked just “ok” was similar to what you are doing.

If a 1/4” short extension will fit into your drill, try finding a 1/4” drive socket (that will hold your plug stock (8 point socket, the 12 pointers are a tad too loose)

Next time Art and I drop in unannounced, we ll just bang real loudly on the windows and doors first 8^)

- splintergroup

It’s all your fault Splinter. Lol. Watch out for the guard cats.

Won’t there be play in the socks. I’ll try it. I’m using 3/8” blanks. Which I make over sized to allow for over sized holes. I’ll try the Metric sizes.

You could weld the socket to the extension or I could epoxy it.

Thanks for the ideas.

-- James E McIntyre

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1271 posts in 2379 days


#8 posted 04-11-2021 11:58 PM


What if you drill a screw partially into the end of the 3/4” plug stock and then put the screw into the drill chuck? Otherwise, mount the plug stock in your vise and use sand paper to buff it like you would if you were shining your shoe? I also put PSA paper on a soft mat and hold the plug stock like a pencil and “scribble”, moving it around, side to side, front to back, stopping to check progress and change the way I m holding it. I switch paper from 150 to 220, and so on until it is 800 grit or higher.

- EarlS

Thanks Earl. I’ll give it a try.

Now I’m back to the manual method that you suggested, until I get this perfected.

These would be great if I could get them cast w/cast iron in different sizes.

-- James E McIntyre

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5141 posts in 2309 days


#9 posted 04-12-2021 03:36 PM

The “play” in the extension/socket connection is what makes it just “ok”. Good idea about epoxy to stiffen the two up.
I’d also use a deep socket for a better fit.

No way I’ll ever go back to the pencil scribble technique, my wrist hurts just thinking about it 8^)

Before I went to the 4-jaw chuck for my DP, I’d chuck up the plug stock in the 3-jaw. It takes a bit of fiddling to get the part reasonably centered and secure (still better than by hand!)

A good jig like Andy’s can also help.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1271 posts in 2379 days


#10 posted 04-12-2021 03:56 PM


The “play” in the extension/socket connection is what makes it just “ok”. Good idea about epoxy to stiffen the two up.
I d also use a deep socket for a better fit.

No way I ll ever go back to the pencil scribble technique, my wrist hurts just thinking about it 8^)

Before I went to the 4-jaw chuck for my DP, I d chuck up the plug stock in the 3-jaw. It takes a bit of fiddling to get the part reasonably centered and secure (still better than by hand!)

A good jig like Andy s can also help.

- splintergroup

Thanks again Splinter. And for the link to the jig.
I wish he showed the finish plug. Is the plug produced on it rounded symmetrically on all sides? I looks like it could be looking at the top of the jig.

I just looked at the comments on the post and Andy says the radius on the top of the jig makes a perfect plug.
If I were to make the jig I’d make it so the plugs had a slight fat belly or a more prominent look.


There’s old William Ng making his 1/4” plugs on my iPad in the background. 8^)


The oversized 3/8” blank fits into a 1/2” socket and I have a socket extension from HF fits into my drill. A small cloth will snug up the blank in the socket.
I’ll give it a try and report back.

-- James E McIntyre

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5141 posts in 2309 days


#11 posted 04-12-2021 04:30 PM

I almost made this jig but got held up as Ng (supplier of the bit) had no stock.
I have the fingernail bit, but no guide bearing. It wasn’t until later I realized I could just borrow a shaft mounted bearing from another bit and make the jigs template guide fit the bottom to follow the bit.

Anyway, never got a round tuit.

For “fattening” the plug, you’d need to try a shorter fingernail bit (I believe Whiteside makes one which I may actually have, or plenty of other mfgs). With any of these bits you’d need to try a shaft mounted guide bearing and adjust the template position (and perhaps depth to compensate for the different bearing diameter).

Plenty of “bullnose” and round bits available for even more round profiles.

View mafe's profile

mafe

13189 posts in 4176 days


#12 posted 04-14-2021 01:11 AM

Clever!
It was a joy to see your methods.
Clever to use a mortice bit for the holes.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1271 posts in 2379 days


#13 posted 04-14-2021 02:40 PM

Thanks Mads.

-- James E McIntyre

View mafe's profile

mafe

13189 posts in 4176 days


#14 posted 04-14-2021 07:27 PM

;-)

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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