Making my own dowel pins? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-24-2013, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Making my own dowel pins?

I need some 1/4x2" dowel pins. Apparently they are no longer available.

I went through my stock of dowel rod and found one that was actually pretty round and cut 20 pins.

Commercial pins have fluted or spirals, presumably to absorb extra glue. As long as I am not sloppy with the glue, is there any reason my homemade pins will give me a problem?

Any advice here would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-24-2013, 01:08 PM
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The slots/grooves in commercial pins are to allow air or excessive glue a way to get out as the dowel is driven in. Without such relief I've see many dowel joints split the wood with hydraulic pressure when put together, or at least force excessive glue out through the open grain. If you can cut a single slot down the side of your dowels you'll find they don't have the same problem.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-24-2013, 03:19 PM
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I agree with "4DThinker", I have used a metal hack saw to cut thin kerfs in the length of the dowel, at least one or two. Put the dowel in a vice and make a couple passes with the hack saw. You can use a pencil sharpener to put a bevel on the ends. Like "4D" said, the hydraulic pressure of the glue in the hole being compressed by pounding the dowel in, can cause a blow out in the wood grain, which can be quite astonishing.

Here is a link to 2" x 1/4" dowels, so they are available...
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-24-2013, 04:56 PM
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I have repaired and re glued several chairs where the joints have failed. In most cases the dowels have broken, causing the joint to fail. In recent repairs I have been using steel all thread in place of wooden dowels with good results. The all thread is glued in with Titebond. I recently did a test to see how hard it would be to pull the all thread straight out. The all thread is in the block 1 and 3/8" . I tightened the nut and washer until joint failure. The washer deformed and the top of the block was compressed and finally the block cracked but the all thread did not pull out.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-24-2013, 06:50 PM
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The fluted dowels are a fairly recent offering, as I don't recall seeing them until the 70s. Before that, most WWrs drilled a little deeper and created a glue pocket to accept the excess glue. Same way with my mortises.
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