What are dowels made of?

 
     
     
 Shop for Dowels 
     
     
 Wood used for making dowels 

Dowels are usually made of wood. It's possible to use any type of wood to make a dowel, depending on the colour and resilience of wood that you need for your project.

 

For more information, see: How to choose a dowel.

 
     
 Image showing dowel rods and dowel pegs to illustrate the different kinds of dowels available for dowelling projects 

They can be bought as pre-cut pegs of a uniform size, usually made from beech or birch, or as long rods, which allows the DIYer to decide how long their individual dowel pegs will be. These rods are available in a wide range of diffferent types of wood.

 
     
   

Why are some dowels made of dried wood?

 
 Humorous image of a dowel made of dried wood 

When checking what species of wood a dowel peg is made out of, you may notice that some are listed as 'dried'. It is never compulsory to use dried dowels, but they can be handy for use in furniture making.

 
     
 Image to show that dowels made of dried wood can expand when they absorb moisture from glue 

This is because dried dowels absorb moisture from glue, which makes them swell and increase in size. 

 
     
 Image showing a t-butt joint reinforced with tightly fitting dowels 

When used to make wood joints, this ensures that the dowels fit tightly and the joint is strong.

 

For more information, see: How to use dowels to make wooden joints.

 
     
   

Other materials for dowels

 
 Metal dowels for use in construction of machines to aid location between two different machined parts 

Dowels can also be made of metal, plastic or ceramic, depending on their intended use.

 

For more information, see: What are other dowels used for?

 

 
     
   Wonkee Donkee makes a dowel joke 
     
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