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Forum topic by Brett posted 722 days ago 1506 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

620 posts in 1278 days


722 days ago

I’m building a Roubo bench and must soon begin to think about my drawbored mortise-and-tenon joints. For simplicity sake I will probably make my drawbore pegs from dowels rather than riving and shaping my own. A reference book suggests using white oak dowels for drawbore pegs. The dowels sold at places like Lowest and Home Depot are listed as “oak”. They don’t look like red oak to me, but I don’t know whether they are white oak. As beginning, I’m not always sure when I can deviate from certain details of construction. Can anyone tell me how to determine whether a dowel is made from white oak, or where I can buy known white oak dowels?

-- More tools, fewer machines.


6 replies so far

View derosa's profile

derosa

1532 posts in 1431 days


#1 posted 722 days ago

I think it is close to accurate but when I needed some white oak dowels I grabbed the whole batch and looked at which ones were the lightest color, I kept doing this till I had the 5 I needed which were probably white oak. I don’t know of a better way to tell the difference.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 1146 days


#2 posted 722 days ago

I would make sure they are riven dowels and not cut. With a riven dowel the grain runs the full length, with a cut one like you get from the box store the grain will more than likely run out at some point in the dowel. Where it runs out you are just asking for it to snap instead of bend like it needs to. You can buy riven dowels online and at some woodcrafts, never seen it in a lumber yard.

-- www.newageneanderthal.blogspot.com . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View treaterryan's profile

treaterryan

109 posts in 882 days


#3 posted 722 days ago

Every piece of Oak I have ever seen at HD or Lowes has been Red Oak. Look at the endgrain, if it has lots of OPEN pores, it is Red Oak. White Oak contains tyloses in the pores, which is like a resin filling the pores. Look up pictures on google of Red Oak endgrain and White Oak endgrain, you’ll see the difference.

-- Ryan - Bethel Park, PA

View Brett's profile

Brett

620 posts in 1278 days


#4 posted 722 days ago

I wonder if I could just buy dowels with mostly straight grain and just not use the parts where the grain is wavy or at an angle to the length of the dowel.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 1146 days


#5 posted 722 days ago

Brett,
You can try it, it might work fine. It also may break in middle of beating it in making for a fun day.
Personally, I would just buy a small piece of steel there, drill some holes in it and rive them out. Only takes a few minutes, but if you look very carefully at the grain it might work just fine.

Also, I’d bet 100 to 1 that it is all red oak there. White oak is much denser, a whole different ball game than red oak, probably closer to rock maple than red oak on a property sheet.

-- www.newageneanderthal.blogspot.com . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View Walnut_Weasel's profile

Walnut_Weasel

360 posts in 1818 days


#6 posted 722 days ago

I used store bought oak and walnut dowels. I had no problems. Don’t get caught up in ‘perfect’. Any wood that is as hard or harder than cherry should work fine. If you are worried about splitting the dowel then wax them before driving them in.

-- James - www.walnutweasel.wordpress.com

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