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Bow plugs and wedges


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I use my 1" Hock knife. Mine is a single bevel, but I used a double bevel for years. It may seem overkill using a big knife for small plugs, but I find that I have better control over the cuts than I did with an x-acto, chisel, or smaller knife. It comes down to personal preference, what works best for you. However, the key is, regardless of blade type, a shaving sharp edge. I have once severely cut my thumb and earlier today, actually, almost did it again, because my knife was not sharp enough. The first time was an x-acto knife and the second my Hock. It's always an "I know better to be doing this with a dull knife" moment that comes from being in a hurry, for me.

People will argue the merits of single vs. double bevel for plug cutting, but I personally don't believe it makes a difference. If you are skilled with one over the other, then you will be able to control your cuts and make a good plug. Another reason behind using the big knife is that I always tended to chop/push with the x-acto or chisel, whereas the size and angle of the bigger blade intuitively causes me to slice.

Hope this helps.

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What do you use to cut your bow plugs and wedges. i've tried exacto knives, exacto saws, chisels.Nothing seems to be easier than the others for me.

I use poplar - a fairly homogenous wood, already cut to the appropriate size stick(s) - slice off an individual wedge or plug with a razor saw, then I rough them out on a 1 X 30 belt sander, and trim the final bit with a file or a very sharp knife (#11 Xacto works well for me)

Easily 90 % of the grunt work happens very quickly with the belt sander - the guy that taught me used a bench mounted disc sander.

Would some photos help?

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I use a double-bevel Hock 3/4 inch wide knife blade with no handle. I elevate the plug material off my work bench on a small wood block, holding it firmly on the block with my left first finger and holding the blade in my right hand. My plugs are red (soft) maple and my wedges are basswood.

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I use a small no-set saw from Harbor Freight (flush-cut japanese saw) and a Stanley utility knife. I start with a 4" to 12" long stick, saw the correct angle for the bottom of the plug, shave down the sides of the stick to match the sides of the plug hole with the utility knife, mark the stick at the right depth and angle for the plug hole then saw to length with the saw.

In other words, I shape the end of the stick to fit into the mortice. Then I push the stick into the mortice to mark the angle and then saw the plug off of the end of the stick.


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