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Removing Dowels

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Forum topic by JADobson posted 10-27-2017 03:34 PM 596 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JADobson

921 posts in 1949 days


10-27-2017 03:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: door pantry dowel removal

My wife wanted an old barn door to hang in our pantry in our kitchen. She found one but it was 30” wide rather than the required 24”. I was required to make it work. I’ve dismantled the door and found that it was held together with 5/8”s dowels with no glue. They are just long and tight and have held the thing together for a long time outdoors. My method has been to bore out these holes in the rails as far as by brace will allow and then cut the rail back to the required length. This leaves holes for the dowels exactly where they need to be to line up with the dowels in the stiles. Unfortunately on one of the rails the dowels are stuck. I have pulled and twisted yanked and all I’m doing is breaking the dowel. Any idea how one might more easily accomplish pulling these out? Thanks.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany


20 replies so far

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bondogaposis

4479 posts in 2189 days


#1 posted 10-27-2017 03:40 PM

Cut them off and drill them out.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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JADobson

921 posts in 1949 days


#2 posted 10-27-2017 04:03 PM

The point is to keep the holes so I can use them as a guide to deepen them as I’m shortening the rail.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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a1Jim

116584 posts in 3415 days


#3 posted 10-27-2017 04:06 PM

It looks like they may have nails to pin the dowels making it hard just to cut and drill out unless your able to remove the nails first.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

116584 posts in 3415 days


#4 posted 10-27-2017 04:19 PM

If their not pinned , take a thick piece of wood(2-3” thick and drill a hole just big enough for the dowel to slide loosely inside hole of the wood pull the wood towards the top of the dowel so it still has a 1/2” or so above the dowel then use a Forstner bit to drill down in the wood, this will give you a guide to drill dowel out a little at a time, make sure you keep pulling the bit out to free the chips and then continue to drill. once the guide block rest on the tenon you will need to cut a slot in the bottom of the block so it can set over the tenon. Off course you can cut the dowel shorter to save drilling time.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Loren

9631 posts in 3486 days


#5 posted 10-27-2017 04:25 PM

There’s probably a little bit of hole at the
bottom of the dowel. What if you cut off a
little of the rail at a time to get to the area
where the dowels are tapered on the other
end? You would still have guide holes.

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Rich

1982 posts in 427 days


#6 posted 10-27-2017 04:39 PM

Try a heat gun.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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JADobson

921 posts in 1949 days


#7 posted 10-27-2017 04:55 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys.
Rich – done that, no luck
Jim – no nails, and I’m not sure I follow your second suggestion
Loren – I think you may be on to something. If there is less for the dowel to hang on to it should come out easier. These go in 3 inches or so. If I cut of 2” the dowel should pull out with less effort and I’ll still have the holes. I’ll give that a try when I get home this evening.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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Loren

9631 posts in 3486 days


#8 posted 10-27-2017 04:57 PM

When cut off short you may have success
putting a screw in the dowel and using a
nail puller.

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Rich

1982 posts in 427 days


#9 posted 10-27-2017 05:25 PM


Thanks for the suggestions guys.

Rich – done that, no luck

Jim – no nails, and I’m not sure I follow your second suggestion

- JADobson

Bummer, JA. Oddball situations like yours are why I bought an old discontinued Stanley #59 doweling jig on eBay. I always thought they seemed pretty useless until I saw Tom Johnson use it in one of his videos and realized it could work in situations like yours that come up from time-to-time.

I believe Jim is suggesting a wooden block as a doweling jig, similar to what the Stanley #59 would provide.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Rick_M

10634 posts in 2218 days


#10 posted 10-27-2017 05:54 PM

I grab with pliers and turn, it’s rare that one doesn’t break loose easily which is one reason I don’t trust dowels. Actually, I think the only time one didn’t turn was when pinned by a nail. Don’t manhandle it, just start easy and work it until it slips free.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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runswithscissors

2564 posts in 1863 days


#11 posted 10-28-2017 04:27 AM

Another possibility: grip each dowel in your vise (one at a time). Drive on the end of the rail with a soft hammer or dead-blow hammer, or maybe use a block of wood as a pad. Might work, or might not.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3828 posts in 1605 days


#12 posted 10-28-2017 01:23 PM

Two ideas I can think off:
Soak the dowels with water. Looks like they have a groove that will carry it all the way down. That should expand the dowels and once they dry, they should come out.
Get a block of wood, drill two holes in it and insert it over the dowels with glue. Leave enough room between the block of wood and door so you can pry the dowels out.
Maybe combination of both if necessary.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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Lazyman

1504 posts in 1225 days


#13 posted 10-28-2017 02:24 PM

Perhaps you could just cut them shorter and then drill a very small pilot hole down the center of the dowel. The center hole will act as a guide hole for your bit and brace to drill out the old dowel.

Edit: another thought is to drill a slightly larger pilot hole that you can drive a small hex head bolt or screw into the dowel so that you can use a wrench or socket to twist the dowel to break it loose enough to pull it out.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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a1Jim

116584 posts in 3415 days


#14 posted 10-28-2017 02:48 PM

Here’s an approach that is easier to understand I hope.
Cut the dowel to about a 1/4”- 1/2” above the surface place a doweling jig(see Photo) in the appropriate size hole over whats left of the dowel then just use the doweling jig to drill the dowel out like you would if you were drilling a new hole for a dowel.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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MrRon

4495 posts in 3081 days


#15 posted 10-28-2017 06:58 PM


Here s an approach that is easier to understand I hope.
Cut the dowel to about a 1/4”- 1/2” above the surface place a doweling jig(see Photo) in the appropriate size hole over whats left of the dowel then just use the doweling jig to drill the dowel out like you would if you were drilling a new hole for a dowel.

- a1Jim


I like it!

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