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Straight dowels vs spiral dowels

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 02-05-2013 10:50 AM 1273 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


02-05-2013 10:50 AM

I figured I should christen the new joinery forum with a question.

Is there any real difference in strength between a dowel join with straight grooved dowels vs those made with spiral cut dowels?

I ask because I’ve got some fairly long cut off pieces that I want to join end to end to make another board. I was planning on using dowels. I intend to glue the makeshift board onto another board so there will eventually be an edge grain to edge grain joint.


14 replies so far

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Handtooler

1126 posts in 881 days


#1 posted 02-05-2013 01:07 PM

I suspect not, but await the answers. They’re both strong joints that I’ve used successfully.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

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waho6o9

5289 posts in 1325 days


#2 posted 02-05-2013 03:21 PM

+1 for HandTooler.

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Dallas

3199 posts in 1236 days


#3 posted 02-05-2013 03:36 PM

In some of the cutting board I’ve made I just buy dowel rod, cut it to whatever length I need and scrape a knife along it in a few places. The scrapes give room for the glue bond.
I haven’t had one come apart yet, but it could happen.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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helluvawreck

16033 posts in 1615 days


#4 posted 02-05-2013 03:50 PM

I don’t see that there wood be enough difference to worry about so long as the two dowels you were comparing were made out of the same wood and were accurately made. But I really don’t know the answer to be honest.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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a1Jim

112898 posts in 2326 days


#5 posted 02-05-2013 03:54 PM

If your concerned about strength there are much stronger joints than using dowels.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Kreegan

1452 posts in 895 days


#6 posted 02-05-2013 03:56 PM

I believe the spiral is to allow room for glue. Not really sure how successful that is. I’ve always just used whatever I have on hand.

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2493 days


#7 posted 02-05-2013 05:27 PM

Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material says that “glue joints should have a smoothness the equivalent of being sanded with 220 grit sand paper.” That’s pretty smooth. The glue itself doesn’t give much strength, it has to bond the fibers of the two pieces being joined. I just use smooth dowels and glue and they work fine. +1 a1Jim.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4496 posts in 1129 days


#8 posted 02-05-2013 06:04 PM

Scarf would be easier and stronger.

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

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Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


#9 posted 02-05-2013 08:52 PM

Can a scarf joint be achieved with a table saw or a miter saw?

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SCOTSMAN

5591 posts in 2334 days


#10 posted 02-05-2013 09:22 PM

Dallas said

In some of the cutting board I’ve made I just buy dowel rod, cut it to whatever length I need and scrape a knife along it in a few places

Oh Dallas the argument is made for a lathe in the shop. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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Rick M.

4496 posts in 1129 days


#11 posted 02-05-2013 10:34 PM

Can a scarf joint be achieved with a table saw or a miter saw?

Easily, I make them all the time. I built a very simple jig for my table saw that rides in the miter slot and has an adjustable angled fence. The fence pivots on the side closest to the blade and a series of holes on the opposite end allows you to adjust the angle. A cut off nail pins the fence into the holes. Basically it’s a small taper jig.

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

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gfadvm

11513 posts in 1439 days


#12 posted 02-06-2013 02:50 AM

I was always of the opinion that the grooves were to allow glue to escape when putting the dowel into a closed hole. Otherwise the hydraulic pressure will make them hard to install and they sometimes want to ‘back out’.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Dallas

3199 posts in 1236 days


#13 posted 02-06-2013 03:02 AM

That was my understanding also Andy

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3206 posts in 1424 days


#14 posted 02-06-2013 03:27 AM

and also my understanding Andy and Dallas. try to put a joint together with a smooth dowel that fits the hole. Add glue and push that together. Not me.

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