Impossible doweling?

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Forum topic by Kindlingmaker posted 12-31-2011 02:27 AM 1422 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2656 posts in 3525 days

12-31-2011 02:27 AM

Had anyone been successful glueing tight fitting dowels in deep non through holes without the dowels being kerfed for air/glue escape?

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

10 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2674 days

#1 posted 12-31-2011 02:30 AM

Not much luck with that. Take a utility knife and cut a groove in the side or get some pliers and make flutes up the side.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


706 posts in 3272 days

#2 posted 12-31-2011 02:37 AM

Drill a hole of the appropriate size in a pice of hardwood, about an inch from the edge. Predrill and drive a screw in from the edge so that the screw pointsticks into the dowel hole.

Now drive the dowel through the hole and the screw point will score the dowel. If you want more than one relief scouring, drive the dowel through again, turning the dowel, for as many grooves as you want.

Works great if you cut your own dowels to length. Don’t forget to chamfer the ends of the dowels on a sander or pencil sharpener. Makes it easier to insert them and leaves a little space for the glue when you bottom out the dowel.


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2968 days

#3 posted 12-31-2011 02:45 AM

Best and quickest way to put a kerf in a dowel I’ve found is to stand it up and push it into bandsaw blade. Tilt it back so bottom grooves first, then bring it to vertical. Then chamfer it (stick it in chuck of drill and use sandpaper). Mind your fingers on bandsaw. You will blow out sides or force glue thru the grain if you don’t incorporate glue relief in the dowel. Be sparing with the glue, use a Q tip (cotton bud) as a glue spreader in the hole.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2360 days

#4 posted 12-31-2011 03:13 AM

Are dowels good for anything that can’t be done better and easier some other way?

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Loren's profile (online now)


10394 posts in 3646 days

#5 posted 12-31-2011 03:21 AM

Actually dowels are the preferred joint for much commercial
casework. With the right equipment, doweling is fast, strong
and the joints are dead on. No other joinery method controls
the relationship between joined parts so precisely.

If you aren’t making a hydraulic pressure issue at the bottom
of a stopped hole, you can glue a round stick into a round
hole without kerfing the stick. With a through hole, using
a smooth rod should not present a problem.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4217 days

#6 posted 12-31-2011 03:28 AM

Ditto what Loren said, Clint. Doweled joints have been tested to be generally as strong as mortise and tenon joints, and a doweling jig makes it fast and easy work.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View klw's profile


17 posts in 2359 days

#7 posted 12-31-2011 07:34 AM

Plus leave just a ‘tad’ of room at the ends so the dowel doesn’t bottom out.

-- I don't remember being absent minded...

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3743 days

#8 posted 12-31-2011 03:33 PM

I use just a small amount of glue, that will be spread down the bore when you drive the dowel in, not enough to really puddle at the bottom. You have to drive the dowels in fast before the glue has time to set up enough to grab the dowel. If the dowels fit tight, you really don’t need much glue.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3525 days

#9 posted 12-31-2011 05:01 PM

Thanks everyone! A lot of great advise! I am using dowels as part of the “art” of the project and not the joining of pieces together.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View sedcokid's profile


2732 posts in 3597 days

#10 posted 01-16-2012 03:52 AM

These are some good suggestions!!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

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