I have purchased a 3/16 telescoping brass tube, filed teeth in one end, and started cutting plugs from rosewood. The plugs are coming out 3/16 long. Is it possible to cut plugs that will be longer? I haven't changed the speed on the drill press yet, but I'm wondering if changing the speed will give a longer plug.

Looking forward to your advice.

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I presume the plug breaks off at about that depth, yes?  Depending on diameter, that may be about all you can expect because of friction of the cut plug inside the tube.

 In order to avoid that problem, you could solder up a very short section of the desired diameter into the end of the next larger size.  Then, file it down until there's less than 1/8 left, and file teeth in the end, which by then will be double thickness for a tiny bit more than enough length to make teeth.  As the plug is cut, it will clear the inside without rubbing.

Hi Frank! Yes, the plug breaks off at that depth. I'm gonna give it a go tonight. Thanks much for the help. BTW, I hope things are going well with your heart health. I had a scare with mine a couple of weeks ago and now it's on to an even more healthier lifestyle and diet.

Try setting the teeth. That will give you the clearance you need

Slower speed would be better, of course, and some lubrication (which you can wash out later) would also be a good idea. Another approach would be to a) use steel tubing rather than brass, and b) pein the teeth in a bit after you cut them. This means the diameter of the plug you're cutting will be reduced slightly, but it affords some clearance inside the tube, rather than even friction inside and out. Even if you were able to run that tube drill in an inch, you'd still have the issue of removing the plug from inside it. Ouf.

There must be a 3/16" tenon cutter out there somewhere!

Plan C: make a simple jig to route the pins. It would involve a lot of waste, but you could get easily a 3/4" plug.

Hi Paul! Your solutions and comments are great. I'm going to work with them also in the next couple of days. I do have a plan X but it is outside the focus and intention of my post. I really appreciate the comments and solutions that you and everyone else write. I helps me to try to think outside the box more.

Have you considered doing something completely different, such as using a lathe to turn the pieces, or even better, a dowel maker?

Just throwing ideas out there, I have no idea what kind of stock you are using, or how many of these things you are making...

Hi Mark! Yes, I have a mini lathe and that is plan X. Thanks for the link to the dowel maker-that something I have not seen before.

Do you know the trick where you use an open-end wrench as a caliper when you turn a dowel? That has saved me a lot of time in the past. I saw a guy do that at the local wood-turning club during a good practical demonstration.

Hello again! I'm sorry to say I am not. Would you mind describing it?

It's really simple - you get an open-end wrench that is the size of the dowel you need. You turn your piece close to the size you want, and then use the wrench to measure the size as you get down to the final diameter you want.

I found a good illustration -

It really makes the job a whole lot easier. I had to turn some 1/2" plugs to fills some terrible tuning peg divots in an old banjo, and using the 1/2" wrench made it very easy to know when I was down to the exact diameter. You can use it when the lathe is turning - it won't catch, and won't go around until it's just right.

Thanks Mark! I'm going to try this also some time this weekend.

I found this plan for a dowel making jig.


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