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Deck Plug Tool

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  • Members
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  • LocationFort Worth, TX, USA

Several people have mentioned using hypodermic tubing to simulate decking plugs.  Some with greater success than others.  I gave it a try, first with 24 gauge (.022" O.D.) then 20 gauge (.035" O.D.).  While the 24 gauge may be closer to correct scale at 1:48, it was too small to even notice.  The 20 gauge works out to 1.68" at 1:48 scale.  Someone may want to try 22 gauge.  I sharpened the outside edge and twisted a pin in the end to eliminate any burr on the inside (per Ed Tosti's suggestion).  The burr would have caught the "plug" and pulled it out.  To stabilize the tube while tapping with a small hammer, I glued it into a hole in the end of a small piece of doweling.  I suspect occasional honing and de-burring will be required. There is a very small learning curve to get an appropriate plug appearance.  I've not tried it on darkened or oiled deck material (the plug may become invisible) but I think it works well on light colored decks.  One question:  When you cut off a piece of the tubing with nippers, you crush the end.  That means you only get two tools from a length of tubing.  How do you cut it without crushing the end?  Will a jewelers saw cut the stainless tubing?


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  • Tool_deckPlug.JPG

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A jeweler's saw will do the job.  any otheer method will deform the tube.

David B

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Ulises Victoria

Ulises Victoria
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I use my dremel and a sanding drum. A cutting disk will work too. No crushing whatsoever. 

Edited by Ulises Victoria, 03 November 2016 - 03:21 PM.

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Kurt Van Dahm

Kurt Van Dahm
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I have used the hypo needles but found this jewelers tool that a lot of plastic modelers use to replicate flush rivets on aircraft - a deck plug is close to identical in appearance to a flush rivet.  This tool is used in jewelry for setting diamonds into settings by pushing on the small tabs to trap the stone in place so they come in all sorts of sizes.  In the set shown the largest tool piece (in top photo) makes a 0.047" circle when pressed into wood all the way down to sizes I can hardly see (with my optivisor) let alone measure.  I have made impressions in Box wood w/o a problem.   


Members who attended the 2014 NRG Conference in St. Louis met John Vojtech, owner of UMM-USA and bought a lot of great tools from him.  The link below is to UMM-USA.  I am sure this can also be found at most jeweler's supply places.







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  • TREENAIL TOOL - LG s.jpg

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Hi all.
Here's my suggestion.
When I need to make tiny round shaped pieces of wood (thin plywood) or cardboard, I use the "tubes" from which the antenna of a small radio  is consisted. These tubes  give me some options in diameters.
The tip is that I make the cuts, by using a tube cutter...icon_cool.gif
I have a small one from those  that plumbers are using and if is needed I place a "pad" under the tube when it doesn't fit properly. A small diameter's rod or a toothpick inside the tube, usually supports the cutting.
This tool makes a cut around the tube by turning the tool or the tube and increasing the pressure after some turns. The final cut gives an end with smaller diameter that the rest tube, but with a kind of sharp edge that can be used as a punch tool, for light work.
I think it would worth the try to simulate your decking plugs...

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