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Forum topic by Julianos posted 877 days ago 1051 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Julianos

7 posts in 902 days


877 days ago

I am building a bookshelf that uses both dowels and grooves in the assembly. The dowels join 3/4” boards at right angles. The grooves join 1/2” vertical boards to 3/4” horizontal boards. All joints bear vertical loads.

I seem to have found a consensus indicating that 3/8” diameter dowels would be appropriate. Those sources also recommend using a dowel that is twice the length of the depth of the hole in the thinner piece of wood. So, even assuming that I bore a 3/8” deep dowel hole, that makes for a really short dowel.

Any help with this would be appreciated.


7 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2181 days


#1 posted 877 days ago

I’m not that found of using dowels ,I’m wondering why you can’t just use glue in dados.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View souichiro's profile

souichiro

369 posts in 1949 days


#2 posted 877 days ago

I would think that they might be talking about twice the thickness of the thinner piece of wood, which might be seen as the depth of that hole. So joining the two 3/4 pieces would use 1 1/2” dowel length, with a 3/4” hole in the end grain of the right angle board. And if you groove (dado) 1/4” deep into your 3/4” horizontal board, and then glue and dowel the 1/2” board into the slot, then this would be a 1/4” diameter dowel that is 1” long. The dowel would be half the thickness of the end grain board, and twice the thickness of the depth of the hole in the other. Does that make sense?

Also, I would cut the dowels about 1/4” or so long. Then glue and pound them in place. After the glue dries then saw off the dowel flush. You can get them pretty nice looking after they are cut and planed/sanded.

Good luck! And sorry if I completely missed the point here :)

-- Dale, Oregon

View crank49's profile

crank49

3343 posts in 1575 days


#3 posted 877 days ago

If by grooves you mean dados, why would you add dowels? Shelves are supported in dados all the time, without dowels.
In any case, I think a 3/8” dowel is too large for endgrain installation in a 1/2” board.
As far as the length, I think that ratio you mention would be the minimum length that would provide the full strength potential of the dowel in question. Nothing says it can’t be longer.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Julianos

7 posts in 902 days


#4 posted 877 days ago

Jim, I’m working from plans. They are admittedly vague on this topic, though.

Souichiro, if I use a 1 1/2” dowel and drill a 3/4” hole in the end grain, the other hole will go through the horizontal board. Or am I misunderstanding your suggestion?

Crank, Sorry, I was unclear. There are three vertical pieces between each shelf. One of them is a half inch thick. That piece is fitted with dados in the horizontal shelves above and below. The other two vertical pieces are three quarters of an inch thick and joined to the horizontal shelves with dowels. So the dowels are only used in the three quarter inch vertical to three quarter inch horizontal joints.

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souichiro

369 posts in 1949 days


#5 posted 877 days ago

I’d say 3/8” dowels that are 1 1/2” long. ~if~ you doweled the 1/2” material it should be a 1/4” dowel that is 1” long. But these aren’t really needed if the dado is glued, although it doesn’t hurt.

-- Dale, Oregon

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Loren

7270 posts in 2252 days


#6 posted 877 days ago

”Those sources also recommend using a dowel that is twice the length of the depth of the hole in the thinner piece of wood. ”

The depth of the hole has no specific correlation with the
diameter of the dowel. When doweling both sides of 3/4”
material, a sensible approach is to drill the holes 5/8” deep,
but staggered on each side. This way more dowel penetration
is possible.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Julianos's profile

Julianos

7 posts in 902 days


#7 posted 877 days ago

The vertical pieces are not vertically aligned, so I am not drilling both sides of the 3/4 horizontal. The reference to 5/8” is most appreciated, though. I had assumed that drilling to within 1/8” of the opposite surface would be inadvisable. Thanks.

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