Project002, Step Stool: what size dowels? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-11-2013, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Project002, Step Stool: what size dowels?

i'm planning my next beginner's project and have the idea drawn out. it will be a step stool for my son who currently uses a POS plastic folding step stool that's past it's prime. i'm gonna use some basic solid wood like pine in 1-inch thickness for all the sides and crossmember.

my last project i simply glued & screwed. this project i want to try wooden dowels exclusively. my question is: what size dowel would i use when going into 1-inch thick wood? also, what type of drill bit works best with boring out these holes?

all help is greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-11-2013, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofbuster View Post
i'm planning my next beginner's project and have the idea drawn out. it will be a step stool for my son who currently uses a POS plastic folding step stool that's past it's prime. i'm gonna use some basic solid wood like pine in 1-inch thickness for all the sides and crossmember.

my last project i simply glued & screwed. this project i want to try wooden dowels exclusively. my question is: what size dowel would i use when going into 1-inch thick wood? also, what type of drill bit works best with boring out these holes?

all help is greatly appreciated!
My grandson and I just put together this little folding stool. Only screws are the ones visible holding the seat and stretchers. Pivots are all 1/2" dowels. Thought about using dowels instead of screws but I wanted this to be mostly his project, I just did the table saw and router work.
Best drill bit is probably a forstner but I used a brad point on this project.
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John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood

Last edited by jschaben; 02-11-2013 at 11:29 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-12-2013, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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that's awesome, John!
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-12-2013, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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well, i messed up buying supplies and tools. i bought a long hardwood dowel in 3/8" diameter and then a 3/8" forstner bit and well, the fit ain't so tight. i tried the next size down bit i had which was an HSS 5/16" and the fit felt too tight and i was blowing the dowels up trying to seat them. this was all in scrap wood so my project wood is still in tact. i'm lost now. do i get the fluted 3/8" dowel pins (assuming they're slightly oversize, or is there a size of bit that juusssst right? or, do i just hammer away b/c the dowel will be cut anyhow? and finally, when we're talking 'dowels' in joining two pieces of wood, are we talking what i got (long wooden rod) or those pins i use to put pre-packaged furniture together? thanks for the tips.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-12-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sonofbuster View Post
well, i messed up buying supplies and tools. i bought a long hardwood dowel in 3/8" diameter and then a 3/8" forstner bit and well, the fit ain't so tight. i tried the next size down bit i had which was an HSS 5/16" and the fit felt too tight and i was blowing the dowels up trying to seat them. this was all in scrap wood so my project wood is still in tact. i'm lost now. do i get the fluted 3/8" dowel pins (assuming they're slightly oversize, or is there a size of bit that juusssst right? or, do i just hammer away b/c the dowel will be cut anyhow? and finally, when we're talking 'dowels' in joining two pieces of wood, are we talking what i got (long wooden rod) or those pins i use to put pre-packaged furniture together? thanks for the tips.
Forstner bits are generally dead on so I gotta believe the dowel is undersized. When I run into that, I use polyurethane glue (the foamy gorilla glue). It expands about 5x volume and will fill small gaps. Any foam out will just scrape off with a knife/chisel/whatever when dried or wiped off with a cloth moistened with paint thinner. Suggest using gloves, if you get any on your skin it will take about a week to wear off.
This is a reasonable alternative for a paint project but finishing may be problematic if it is a stain project.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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