Button-down job

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I like to think I have a well-supplied shop, and for the most part I do. Until I don’t.

My lumber rack’s overflowing. My hardware cabinet has fasteners of every size and type. My miscellaneous parts bins are filled with miscellaneous stuff. My finishing cabinet has at least one of every finish I typically use.

But sometimes I run out.

For a current project I wanted the look of button plugs, the type that hide screws but are incorporated into the design as a visible accent. My miscellaneous parts bin has a couple drawers of flush plugs in both end and face grain in five species and several sizes, and button plugs in three species and a couple sizes.

So I thought nothing of starting a project that required a mere eight buttons. I drilled and countersunk the screws as always, grabbed the little drawer in my parts bin with the buttons, and started gluing them in until I had six of them placed… and stopped. I was two buttons short.

At this point I could have done a couple things: A) Yelled some carefully chosen adult words. B) Removed the plugs I’d just installed – which would have been a lot of work, as anyone who’s installed button plugs knows the glue sets really fast – redrilled the countersinks, and used different buttons. C) Gone over to the lathe and turned two buttons from scratch that would match. D) Called it quits for the day and resolve to buy me some more button plugs.

I didn’t want to remove/rework the existing buttons and use different ones, as it was way too much work and I didn’t want the look the different buttons would give; and turning two lousy little matching buttons on the lathe would be stupid. Even for me. So I chose options “A” and “D” as my solution. Option “A” I exercised on the spot – I’m quick that way – and I’ll take care of option “D” right after I file this blog.

Now, what are the odds that I’ll take careful inventory of my miscellaneous parts bins before I make this shopping run so I can restock anything else that’s getting low?

I think you know the answer to that.

A.J.

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