A pencil mark ensures perfect plug alignment

Have you ever cut what you thought would be a perfect plug for a counterbored screw hole, one that would blend seamlessly into its surroundings, only to see it stand out because its grain is slightly off kilter from the grain around it? To prevent that from happening, mark lines parallel to the grain direction on your plug stock, then cut the plugs centered on those lines as shown. Cut or pop out the plugs. If the plugs are tapered you will need to transfer the pencil line to the opposite end of each plug. Align that mark with the grain direction as you glue in the plug, being careful that the plug doesn’t twist as you tap it in.