What are other dowels used for?
Outside of woodworking, dowels have a number of different uses. All of them are similar to the uses of dowels in wood joinery.
Metal dowels are used to ensure alignment of parts in cameras, microscopes, valves, engines, moulds and surgical equipment.
Ceramic dowels are used to hold dental implants in place.
Plastic dowels are used to support tiers on wedding cakes. Wooden dowels and drinking straws can also be used for this purpose.
In construction, steel dowels are used to help joints between slabs to bear weight, and to keep them in alignment.