How to Install a Dowel Bar

Written by mark morris
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How to Install a Dowel Bar
Wood dowel bars make good hanging storage. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Wooden dowel bars make ideal hanging support for clothes and coat closets. A wooden dowel holds weight well and flexes under force, rather than breaking like plastic or bending like metal. A 1 ½ inch thick dowel bar will hold a closet full of winter coats up to 48 inches wide. The size of the 1 ½ dowel fits neatly into the hook of a standard clothes hangar.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Stud locator
  • Tape measure
  • Wooden dowel brackets
  • Wooden dowel
  • Mitre saw
  • Drill
  • Treated deck screws

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  1. 1

    Use a stud locator to find the framing studs in your closet walls. Depress the buttons on either side and run the locator over the wall. Mark each spot where the locator lights up and beeps to indicate the presence of a framing member inside the wall.

  2. 2

    Measure up from the floor to a height of 65 inches on either side of the closet. Mark the stud nearest the centre of the closet wall, at least 12 inches inside the door at this height. Choose a stud equally distant from the inside of the door frame on either wall of the closet.

  3. 3

    Drill a 1/8 inch pilot hole through the drywall into the stud behind at each marked spot, one on the right hand wall of the closet and one on the left.

  4. 4

    Position a 1 ½ inch wooden dowel bracket with its centre hole aligned with the mark on the right hand wall and the open edge of the bracket facing up so that the dowel can slip down into the bracket. Drive a 3 inch treated deck screw through the centre hole of the bracket into the stud behind. Repeat with a bracket on the left wall of the closet.

  5. 5

    Measure from the inside face of the bracket on the right wall to the inside face of the bracket on the left wall. Cut your dowel bar 1/8 inch shorter than the distance between the brackets. Use a mitre saw to make a square cut.

  6. 6

    Fit the dowel into the brackets by slipping it into the top of the bracket on either wall until it rests in the bottom of the bracket.

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