How to Glue a Dowel Joint

Written by leslie rose
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A dowel joint is a cylindrical piece of wood. A dowel joint is made to connect two parts of a structure (referred to here as side A and side B), usually also made of wood. Dowel joints are meant to hold together the two sides of the structure by acting as a connector. A hole is drilled into each side, and the dowel is inserted into each hole until the two sides are touching. Dowel joints are often used in prefabricated furniture.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Dowel joint(s)
  • Sand paper
  • Paper towel or rag
  • Wood glue

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  1. 1

    Gently insert the dowel into the appropriate hole in side A. If the dowel meets with much resistance, or will not go in at all, it is too large for the size of the hole. In this case, do not stick the dowel in so far that it cannot be removed. Remove the dowel before it becomes stuck. Sand the dowel and try again. It should not be difficult (or too easy) to insert the dowel and then remove it from the hole.

  2. 2

    Insert the dowel into the corresponding hole in side B. Repeat the procedure in step 1 to ensure a good fit that isn't too loose or too tight.

  3. 3

    Remove one end of the dowel from either side A or Side B, and squeeze a drop of glue onto it. The glue should cover the tip of the dowel. If glue has been provided with the furniture kit, that is the glue that should be used. Otherwise, wood glue should be adequate.

  4. 4

    Insert the glued end of the dowel into side A. Use a rag or a paper towel to wipe any excess glue oozing around the dowel.

  5. 5

    Squeeze a drop of glue onto the end of the dowel sticking out of side A. The glue should cover the tip of the dowel. Insert this end of the dowel into side B. Side A and side B should now line up and touch.

  6. 6

    Use your paper towel or rag to wipe off any excess glue.

Tips and warnings

  • If multiple dowels are to be used to hold together two sides, all dowels must be inserted into side A before attaching side B.

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