use of cross dowels

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Forum topic by Danpaddles posted 06-06-2012 10:21 PM 4740 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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573 posts in 2306 days

06-06-2012 10:21 PM

I am helping an older lady rebuild (assemble?) a light table. It is a nice finished oak frame, originally held together with cross dowels and long screws. Think of the drafting table you used in high school (if you are as old as I am-).

Ref. this Rockler product-

But- the holes on her unit require about a one inch dia. dowel. Or should I say- they are about an inch dia. The cross holes are about 3/8 inch dia.

Do you think a smaller dowel could still have enough holding power, sitting over to the edge of the hole? Or should I keep looking for a larger cross dowel? Not sure where else I can look- I have just about exhausted the ‘net.

thoughts? Should I march ahead with the smaller dowels? I could maybe shim out the hole with fender washers.


-- Dan V. in Indy

8 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2571 days

#1 posted 06-06-2012 10:25 PM

Maybe use all thread and double nut it, if I understand your situation correctly.

View bondogaposis's profile


4719 posts in 2345 days

#2 posted 06-07-2012 12:02 AM

Look for bed bolts. Here.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2306 days

#3 posted 06-07-2012 12:42 AM

Bondo- right idea. Wrong size. That is just a little too large. If I were starting from scratch, I might use something like that.

these guys are 3/8 dia.-

but they will sit in a hole with 15/16 dia.

Now that I think on it- I might just buy a package of the little ones and try them. Only out 5 bucks if they don’t work, and hey, it is always fun to go to Rockler, any excuse works.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2973 days

#4 posted 06-07-2012 01:11 AM

I don’t know the cost or shipping, but it appears that these may work for you. Page H-5_
Another option might be, to just use a square nut. My old work bench top is put together this way.
wherever strong
right angle joints are required. Fastener
applies even, controlled pressure,
creating a strong joint that can be
quickly assembled or disassembled.
Installation requires drilling one hole
for bolt and one hole for cross dowel.
Dowel is electro-plated steel. 1” Ø x 1-
1/4” L with 3/8” – 16 cross thread.
Cross dowel only 1” O.D. x 7/16” I.D.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3328 days

#5 posted 06-07-2012 08:02 AM

Hi Dan. Another solution would be a hardwood cross dowel sized to fit the hole and threaded to accept the bolt. I have used wooden cross dowels in my homemade outdoor furniture with wood screws and they have held up perfectly over many years. I do use 8mm unglued dowels on either side of the screw to keep the joint aligned and add strength. The wood screw can be countersunk and plugged for looks.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MrRon's profile (online now)


4761 posts in 3237 days

#6 posted 06-07-2012 04:52 PM

What you can do is take a piece of dowel that fits the hole; drill a 10mm (13/32”) hole through the end of the dowel for the xdowel; crossdrill a 5/16” hole through the dowel for a 1/4” machine screw

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Mainiac Matt

8029 posts in 2322 days

#7 posted 06-07-2012 05:14 PM


-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2306 days

#8 posted 06-08-2012 01:07 AM

The square nut looks like the best bet. And the cheapest.

Thanks all who replied.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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