Add a Personal Touch to your Boat by Making Custom Wood Plugs

Owning a boat is a special feeling especially if you have made one from scratch. Boats, whether big or small require wood plugs or bungs to cover the fasteners. You can either purchase them from online stores or make them at home.

The DIY Guide to Making Wood Plugs

When it comes to boat parts, it is always better to go in with credible stores such as Fair Wind Fasteners headquartered in Newport RI. Here you will get all kinds of plugs and bungs. If your boat is made from oak, you can even purchase an oak plug at economical rates. If you order in bulk, you can also avail 5% to 30% discount on their products.

If your wood plugs or bungs have worn out and you find it tiresome to order them online, you can make one at home with the right tools such as:

  • Countersink drill bits
  • Counterbore collar
  • Hex shanks
  • Plug cutters

Now, if this is your first time dealing with the above tools, you might need to know their functions. Countersinking is done to ensure that the screws sit flush onto the surface. It produces a conical hole matching the screw angle.

Counterboring refers to enlarging the openings in the hole to create a flat bottom to fit the screws flush with the surface.

First, you need to select the right drill bit to match the screws. Ensure that you adjust the cutting length of the bit. Attach the counterbore collar to the drill bit approximately ¼” over the countersink cutters.

Drill onto the wood surface till the counterbore collar touches the surface. You need to then change the drill bits so that the attachment screws fit into the holes. Ensure to clamp your scrap fence to your drill press table. Then install your plug cutter to match the size of the screw holes and drill press on medium speed.

You can either use a wood chisel or a small screwdriver to pull the plugs free. A better option would be to use a band saw. Insert the plugs lightly into the counterbore to match the holes. Once they match you can glue them in place. Gently tap them with a mallet into the holes

Trimming the Wood Plugs

Now that you have made the wood plugs, you need to learn how to trim them to be in line with the surface:

  • Take a chisel with the bevel side facing down
  • Angle it in such a way that it is parallel to the plug
  • Chisel away the excess plug so that it is a few inches above the surface
  • Choose a sander with an 80 – 100 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the plugs to make it even

During your first try, it is natural to make mistakes. It takes a lot of practice and patience to perfect your wood plugs. If your plugs are perfect, then will easily blend in with the surface after you fine sand them


Wood plugs can be made into different shapes and sizes provided you have the right tool. They are great at camouflaging screws or fasteners that can hurt you if they are visible.