Toe Rails Plugged

Toe Rail plugs on Aeon


(to start of project)

While epoxy cures on the rails, all the screw holes can be plugged. Yet another step.

I thought you could buy ready made plugs in various sizes and woods, but apparently that’s just not done. Instead, you buy a set of plug cutting bits. To do it properly, you cut the plugs from the same wood, and then align the grain pattern as they’re inserted.

I saved the cutouts from the scuppers as they dropped to the floor, numbered and set them aside. Then cut plugs from those for the nearest holes.





The plugs came out a tad wider than the holes and didn’t quite fit – either the cutter or the countersink bit must be out of spec – and driving them in too hard split the wood (always good to test these things on scrap first). Had to do a bit of sanding on the rails and holes to clean them up, then sanded a bit more taper in the tips of the plugs. After that all was good.

Many builders use varnish to glue in the plugs, the idea being a little solvent will loosen them later if you need to remove the screws. I used epoxy to glue and seal them. If these rails need to come off, drilling out the plugs will be the least of my problems.




In this photo, you can see one of the scarfs to the left.








That was Tuesday. Last night the excess was trimmed off, and T helped sand them flush. Most of the bumps were sanded out, too, and everything cleaned up.















I have to say, after a year of looking at the boats without them, the Toe Rails look a bit odd at first. It’s taking some getting used to. Each time I go down in the basement, though, they look better, so maybe they’ll be alright. They feel good, anyway. It’s nice to put your hand on them and get a grip through the scupper. It just feels right.


melonseed skiff, mellonseed skiff, melon seed, mellon seed   


4 Replies to “Toe Rails Plugged”

  1. Nice job as usual Barry! I agree the toerails are a high profile item on a small boat, but when the rig is up, they will diminish to their proper perspective. Don’t mean to make too much more work for you, but a diminutive half-round to cover the deck planking edge would look real sharp and outline that pretty shear just right.

    Friday, May 13, 2011 – 03:36 PM

  2. Thanks Doryman.

    No extra work at all (from you, anyway). You have a good eye. There’s a half round rub rail already planned.

    The little bit of extra work will come from a 1/4″ by 1.5″ flat backing piece that will go behind that. With luck, the two will look almost like a single compound moulding piece.

    Friday, May 13, 2011 – 08:26 PM

  3. And then you can do what Roger Allen did to his. Paint the whole thing white. I’ll send the old e mail to remind you what his looked like when he was almost finished.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 – 06:29 PM

  4. Not me! I can’t bear to cover up all that pretty wood. The plan all along has been to paint just the outside of the hulls, and no more. Even that may require strong drink. In fact, a strong drink sounds pretty good just thinking about it.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 11:26 AM

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