Dowel screws are a headless fastener with a lag thread at both ends. Dowel screws are designed to be inserted into a predrilled pilot hole. The end of the wood thread is designed as a taper that is threaded all the way to its blunt tip. Dowel screws are used as wood to wood fasteners for joining two pieces of wood. This assists in keeping them permanently in their proper relative position, which generally is set apart from each other.
There are numerous ways in which a dowel joinery can be used. The guidelines below are not meant to be the end all be all for dowel screw usage, it is simply one example showcasing how dowel screws are used.
How to use Dowel Screws
- Drill Holes – Drill starter holes 1/4 inch into the wood and let the dowel screws do the rest. Find a drill bit slightly narrower than the dowel screw. If you do not make the hole narrower, the dowel screw does not have any wood to latch onto as it descends into the material.
- Clamp the Leg - For a dining room table or bar stool leg, clamp the leg in a straight up-and-down position to your portable work bench. To accomplish this, place the leg in the clamp and tighten it. Take a level up against the leg to determine if the wooden piece is plumb. Set the level on top of the leg to see if the leg is level. Drill into the leg to make the hole and wipe away any excess sawdust.
- Secure Dowel Screws - Squirt a bit of wood glue into the guide hole you just made. Insert a dowel screwdriver head in your cordless screwdriver. Keep turning the dowel screw until the final edge of the thread disappears into the wood. Let the glue set completely.
- Finish It Off - Drill a hole into the piece of furniture that goes with the leg. Twist the leg clockwise, or to the right, to tighten the dowel screw into the larger piece of furniture. Once you have all the legs in place, set the table or chair upright in its normal position.
Dowel Joinery ApplicationsDowel screws are double ended screws that are used to fasten two pieces of wood. Like typical wood to wood fasteners, they are headless, double-ended screws that have wood screw threads at both ends. Typical applications, include:
- Furniture construction
- Baluster attachment
- End-to-end joint construction
- Other wood working applications
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