for Cold Climate Housing and much more

Last Updated: , Created: Tuesday, September 14th, 1999

Working with Dowels

With the advent of biscuit joinery we may do less dowel work that we once did, but there is still the need to get that round stick of wood into a hole. When drilling the holes, use a brad tip bit, it will cut the grain cleaner on the walls of the hole and allow for a better fit with the dowel. Check your dowels, some may have dried into an oval rather than a round shape.

To line up dowel holes on opposite pieces of a joint, use dowel centres as shown in the photo. They come in sized to fit exactly into the dowel holes, and them make a line-up mark at the centre of the hole in the opposite piece.

When lining up a lot of dowels at one time, like for a ladder, barely insert them into the first hole so that they all wobble a bit and are at various heights. That will let you wiggle them into place one at a time as the opposite piece is brought slowly down.

Keywords: Woodworking, Drills, Techniques, Tools

Article 662