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Plain&PreGluedDowelPinFAQ

Howdoyoudeterminewhatsizedoweltouse?
Thelengthofthedowelisgenerallydeterminedbyhowmuchdowelcanbeinsertedintotheshortest
memberofthetwopiecejoint.Twicethislengthisacommonruleofthumbfordeterminingdowel
length.Forexample,ifyourshortestmemberis1thickandyouknowyoursafestdrillingdepthis3/4,
thena11/2dowelshouldbeused.A11/2lengthequatestotwotimesthe3/4thickness.Thelonger
thedowel,thegreatertheholdingstrength.

Asimilarprocedurecanbeusedtodetermineaproperdiameterforthedowel.Generally,thediameter
ofthedowelshouldbenogreaterthanhalfthethicknessofthestock.Forexample,ifthesidepanelis
1thick,thenyouwanttouseamaximum1/2dowel.

Incorrectholedepthordiametercreateimproperdoweljointsbytrappingglueorwateratthebottom
oftheholewhichisnotproperlydistributedaroundthedowel.

Howdeepshouldadowelpinbeinsertedtobemosteffective?
Thelongerthedowel,thegreaterthestrength.Theidealjointhasthedowelholematchthelengthof
thedowelonbothendsallowingthedoweltobeinsertedtothebottomofthehole.Toavoidblowout
onsidepanels,asmallvoidof2mmor5/64,isoftenleftasinsurancetocollectexcessglueorwaterin
additiontoallowingforvariationsindowellength.This2mmgapisleftonthethinnestofthetwo
panels.Keepinmindthatanyvoidsleftinthejointwillonlyweakenitsstrength.Trappedglueorwater
mayalsobleedthroughanddiscolorsurfaces.

Whatwouldcausedowelstobelooseintheholes?
Dowelsarelooseforoneoftworeasons.Eitherthedowelsaretoosmallortheholesaretoolarge.An
8mmbitdoesnotguaranteean8mmhole.Doesthebitturntrue?Hasitbeensharpened?Aretheyin
tolerance?Additionally,an8mmbitdrilledintoparticleboard,MDF,plywoodorsolidwoodwillgiveyou
fourdifferentfinishedholesizes.Somewillbebiggerandsomesmaller.Dowelpinsshouldalsobe
checkedwithawellcalibratedmicrometer.Dowelpindiametertoleranceshouldbe+.005".

Whatarethemainfactorsinfluencingadowelsstrength?
Dowelsmadefromonlyhardwoodsarecritical,particularlywhenhighshearstressispresent.Dowels
shouldnothaveanyloosefibersorroughsurfaceswhichwoulddiminishtheabilityoftheadhesiveto
bondthedoweljoint.Dowelpinmoisturecontentshouldbebetween6%to8%.Highmoisturecontent
cancreateanoversizeddowelwhichmaycausepanelsplitting.Dowelshrinkagemayultimatelyresult
asthedoweldriestolowermoisturelevelscreatingdowelorgluelinefractures.Lowmoisturecontent
willoftenresultinanundersizeddowelwhichdiminishestheabilityoftheadhesivetobondthejoint.
Doweldiametertoleranceshouldbeheldwithin+.005"whichaccountsforthemachiningprocessand
moisturefluctuations.

ArePlainorPreGluedDowelsbetter?
Aproperdiameterdowel,inaproperdiameterhole,appliedbyanautomaticmachinewillproducea
strongerjointwithapreglueddowelthanwithconventionaldowelsandglue.Thisoccursbecauseglue
appliedbyanautomaticmachinedoesnotcoattheentirecircumferenceofthehole,comparedtowater
whichtendstocompletelycoattheholeduetoitslowerviscosity.

Anytimeanimproperfitoccursbecauseofthedowelortheboring,aconventionaldowelandgluewill
produceastrongerjoint.Theprimaryreasonisbecauseapreglueddowelwillnotfillanyvoids.

WillPreGluedDowelsorwaterdamageourpanels?
PreGluedDowelsandwatercandamagepanelsiftheyarenotusedproperly.Generally,theproblem
doesnotmanifestitselfinsolidwood.Youaremorelikelytoseeitinplywoodpanels.Ifthedepthofthe
holeandthelengthofthedowelareproper,thenthereisnovoidlefttotrapwater.Ifholesaredrilled
deeperthannecessary,aplaceisprovidedtotrapwater.Thiswatermaythenbleedthroughtothe
surface.Topreventthispossibleoccurrence,onlytwothingsarenecessary:properholedepthand
properdowellength.Ifusedproperly,youshouldnotexperienceanydiscolorationproblems.

WhatpressureisrequiredforPlainandPreGluedDowelPins?
Generally,1020psiisallthatisneededforwatertoactivatePreGluedDowels.Ifyouhavebeenusing
glue,youmayneedtodecreasethetimethatthegluevalveisopentoavoidinjectingtoomuchwater
intothehole.Whenusingplaindowelpins,agoodruleofthumbwithglueisthehigherthepressurethe
better.Higherpressureswillhelpthegluenozzlescleanthemselves.Whentheyarekeptclean,theywill
performmuchbetter.