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1/2" hole will not fit 1/2" wood dowel

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Forum topic by edwood1975 posted 07-31-2015 06:54 PM 1679 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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edwood1975

608 posts in 981 days


07-31-2015 06:54 PM

I’m probably going to get a lot of grief over the post, but I’m out of options… Why don’t they fit and how do I get them to fit… Also the dowels need to move into and out of the holes easily otherwise I’d just hammer them in.

The project I’m working on is an adjustable height workhorse and the adjustable tier of the workhorse has several different holes to adjust the height of this jig of sorts. Before I went to the actual horse and drilled my holes I decided to do a test run and they don’t fit…

What to do!!!!!!

Should I just use a 1/2” drill bit and see if I can widen the the hole even by a 1/16th or more

-- Ed


16 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7717 posts in 2215 days


#1 posted 07-31-2015 06:56 PM

Sand paper the dowels and use wax :)

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 868 days


#2 posted 07-31-2015 06:57 PM

Dowels are not as accurate as a bit may drill. I would put calipers on the hole and the dowel and see how far off they (the dowel, I bet) is. Id bump the hole up 1/64th. But after you measure the Dowel youll know where you should go.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3695 posts in 1405 days


#3 posted 07-31-2015 06:59 PM

Two options:
1- see if you can find a metric dowel
2- use a brass dowel
Third one would be to hammer the existing dowels through a piece of hardwood about 1/2 thick with the same drill. If the dowels are store bought, they are more likely made of soft wood and will squeeze in once travelling through the hole. Some wax afterwards should make the travelling easier.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

6916 posts in 1124 days


#4 posted 07-31-2015 07:07 PM

Chuck the dowel in a drill and sand it. A block plane works too.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7086 posts in 1788 days


#5 posted 07-31-2015 07:13 PM


Chuck the dowel in a drill and sand it. A block plane works too.

- TheFridge

This is what I was going to say. I’ve done both successfully before. Store bought dowels are rarely exactly the size that they list. In the future, it’s a good idea to bring a piece of scrap with a hole drilled in it so you can test out the dowels and find one that fits.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View edwood1975's profile

edwood1975

608 posts in 981 days


#6 posted 07-31-2015 07:17 PM



Chuck the dowel in a drill and sand it. A block plane works too.

- TheFridge

This option sounds like it would work I’ve got a drill press and excuse to use it … Thanks everyone for the ideas

-- Ed

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

2636 posts in 776 days


#7 posted 07-31-2015 07:27 PM

Sanding the dowels will certainly work. You can also go back with a 33/64” or 13mm drill bit and ream the holes out with it.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

899 posts in 2455 days


#8 posted 07-31-2015 07:37 PM

As others have said, dowels are not always very accurate when made commercially. But then again, it’s summertime and so the most humid time of year along the NA east coast, so the dowels may simply have swelled a bit. Either way, the solutions mentioned will solve the problem.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7717 posts in 2215 days


#9 posted 07-31-2015 07:53 PM

Drill a hole in some steel about 1/64th under size and persuade

the dowels to behave.

View Richard's profile

Richard

1912 posts in 2328 days


#10 posted 07-31-2015 08:25 PM


Two options:
1- see if you can find a metric dowel
2- use a brass dowel
Third one would be to hammer the existing dowels through a piece of hardwood about 1/2 thick with the same drill. If the dowels are store bought, they are more likely made of soft wood and will squeeze in once travelling through the hole. Some wax afterwards should make the travelling easier.

- mrjinx007


Most dowels I find in the big Box stores are actually Metric even though they say 1/2” or 3/4”.

And as Steve Ramsey say’s ” If you hand sand a Dowel , Don’t let anybody see you unless you wan to get some Crude Remarks” :)

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2432 posts in 1626 days


#11 posted 07-31-2015 10:43 PM

It is my belief that almost all dowels are neither the exact size or round. I expect to have to size them with sand paper.

Secondly, drilling a 1/2” hole in different woods will result in holes of different sizes. Drilling in a 2×4, will give a rough hole. You can roll up some sand paper and run it through the hole to smooth it out. Between smoothing the hole and sizing the dowel should fix things.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

4365 posts in 1903 days


#12 posted 08-01-2015 12:35 AM

What “The Fridge” said.

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

682 posts in 1079 days


#13 posted 08-01-2015 04:54 AM

Don’t know if this will work for your application, but I have had success with cutting a slot in the dowel with a bandsaw—a little less than the depth of penetration I want. this makes a somewhat undersized, but “spring-loaded” dowel—-a lot like the “Tinker Toys” you may (or not) remember.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View Richard's profile

Richard

1912 posts in 2328 days


#14 posted 08-04-2015 07:43 PM



Don t know if this will work for your application, but I have had success with cutting a slot in the dowel with a bandsaw—a little less than the depth of penetration I want. this makes a somewhat undersized, but “spring-loaded” dowel—-a lot like the “Tinker Toys” you may (or not) remember.

- jerryminer

“Tinker Toys” I do remember them .

View esmthin's profile

esmthin

77 posts in 819 days


#15 posted 08-05-2015 04:13 AM


And as Steve Ramsey say s ” If you hand sand a Dowel , Don t let anybody see you unless you wan to get some Crude Remarks” :)

Everyone’s favorite Steve Ramsey quote. :)

-- Ethan, https://instagram.com/ethan_woodworker/

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