HELP PLEASE on dowel joint - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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HELP PLEASE on dowel joint

Hey guys,
I am a novice woodworker and need some help on a dowel joint. I am making cabinet doors and can't seem to make a dowel joint.
I have the cabinet door frame alread glued up but have not installed the panel , it is a shaker style door. I am trying to reinforce the glued butt joints with 2- 1/4 inch dowels in each joint. I am using an older Craftsman dowel jig. I am haing no problem using the jig but when I go to tap in the dowel it is very very tight and when the dowel gets to the joint of the 2 pieces of wood it does not want to go further. I have tried a regular twist bit drill and a spade bit drill and there is no difference...same problem. Do you use a slightly larger bit then the 1/4 inch bit(same as the dowel) Am I doing something wrong? I am mounting the jig to the edge of the frame going through the 2 inch frame and trying to get through the butt joint. No problem going through the 2 inch face frame but the dowel is stopping at the butt joint??? I am haing to beat the dowel so hard it is crushing the end?? Any and all help is appreciated

Thanks in advance

Respectfully
Brian
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianj1956 View Post
Hey guys,
I am a novice woodworker and need some help on a dowel joint. I am making cabinet doors and can't seem to make a dowel joint.
I have the cabinet door frame alread glued up but have not installed the panel , it is a shaker style door. I am trying to reinforce the glued butt joints with 2- 1/4 inch dowels in each joint. I am using an older Craftsman dowel jig. I am haing no problem using the jig but when I go to tap in the dowel it is very very tight and when the dowel gets to the joint of the 2 pieces of wood it does not want to go further. I have tried a regular twist bit drill and a spade bit drill and there is no difference...same problem. Do you use a slightly larger bit then the 1/4 inch bit(same as the dowel) Am I doing something wrong? I am mounting the jig to the edge of the frame going through the 2 inch frame and trying to get through the butt joint. No problem going through the 2 inch face frame but the dowel is stopping at the butt joint??? I am haing to beat the dowel so hard it is crushing the end?? Any and all help is appreciated

Thanks in advance

Respectfully
Brian
Are you using commercial fluted or spiral cut dowels or cutting your own from dowel stock? I using your own, it sounds like you may be getting to much glue in the dowel hole and it isn't letting the dowel reach the bottom of the hole. Commercial dowels are fluted or spiral cut to give the glue a way out.

John

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post #3 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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dowel stock

John,
thanks for the reply. I am using regular dowel stck from Home Depot and cutting to size. I am just lightly coat the dowel before inserting. I don't think the glue is the problem as it the dowel fits very tight and only goes as far as the joint when I try to tap it in.

Brian
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 06:02 PM
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If they are already glued up - - - why do you want to put a dowel in them?

It won't bring anything to the party except a hole in your joint.

Older styles use doweled doors I rather suspect because it was a cheap easy way to hold the joint together while the glue was setting up. It was why we put dowels in door frames when I was making Colonial reproductions for a living - that and historical accuracy.
A draw-bored dowel will pull the joint together making the cheeks of a tenon joint squeeze up tight to the post.

Unless the purpose is ti have the dowel as a decorative flourish, I'd not bother.

And if it is a decorative flourish then ways to prevent the dowel from crushing would include
A) Use a longer dowel and cut it to length after insertion
B) Use a softer piece of wood up against the dowel when you drive it to protect it.

Last edited by Cliff; 02-17-2012 at 09:53 AM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 06:45 PM
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You could chamfer the end of the dowel with some sandpaper a little to see if that helps. I would double check to make sure the holes have good alignment too.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 07:50 PM
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if you are using dowel stock, and cutting your own, you might want to file a groove the length of the dowel, so that the glue/air this is trapped inside the hole has a way to escape, therefore letting the dowel get to the bottom of the hole. Since your dowels are so tight, the glue actually "seals" up the hole, and you create an airpocket.

To create the groove, you could use a file, or razor knife, or even a chisel. Heck you could even sand the side of the dowel, so that it has a flat side, therefore giving the air and glue somewhere to escape, and letting the dowel go fully into the hole. Also, if your holes are 1" deep on both pieces, I would probably cut the length of the dowl 1 3/4" long, just to be safe.

Hope this helps

Fabian

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post #7 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by thegrgyle View Post
if you are using dowel stock, and cutting your own, you might want to file a groove the length of the dowel, so that the glue/air this is trapped inside the hole has a way to escape, therefore letting the dowel get to the bottom of the hole. Since your dowels are so tight, the glue actually "seals" up the hole, and you create an airpocket.


The way you prepared the dowel, you created a seal, which compresses the air. Ordinarily, coating a dowel and inserting, the dowel gets scraped as it's inserted, leaving it clean by the time it's seated. The edges of the hole should be carefully wetted with glue to coat the interior of the hole. I use a gun cleaning rod and brush to reach down the hole to coat the walls.

This thread may be of some help.






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post #8 of 9 Old 02-16-2012, 07:18 AM
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It's been my experience that dowels swell up a little from humidity after sitting the store. What started out as a 1/4" dowel at the factory are usually 17/64". After using the dowel jig, I usually go back and redrill the holes to 17/64". If I still experiencing compression I often take a woodcarvers v tool and cut a groove down the length of the dowel to let the pressure out.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-16-2012, 02:52 PM
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A trick I learned was to put the dowel in the teeth of a vise and tighten slightly. Then pull the dowel through. You now have grooved dowels. Worked for me.

See Cabinetman's link above - that's where I learned it.

Last edited by wsommariva; 02-17-2012 at 03:40 PM.
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