Why is dowelling beneficial?
While it's possible to just glue two pieces of wood together to make a joint, there are multiple benefits to using dowels to reinforce them. These are listed below.
Dowel joints are strong and can withstand a lot of pressure without breaking.
Various tool manufacturing companies have conducted tests to see just how strong dowel joints are in comparison to other methods of joinery.
According to those tests, dowel joints and mortise and tenon joints came out as the strongest types of joint.
Joints that use multiple rows of dowels are sometimes referred to as reinforced dowel joints. These were found to be stronger than homemade mortise and tenon joints.
If set up accurately, a dowel joint will ensure that you can only join your pieces of wood in perfect alignment, guaranteeing a neat result.
Once a dowel joint is formed, it cannot slip, as the dowel pins hold it firmly in place.
For this reason, dowel joints are used when making pieces of furniture that rely on frames, such as shelves and cabinets, to ensure accuracy during construction.
Dowel joints are quick to prepare and assemble.
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When using a dowelling jig, this process becomes even faster.
Dowelling jigs are plastic or metal tools designed to act as templates that allow DIYers to accurately find the centre line of a wooden edge and drill evenly spaced dowel holes without having to use a measuring tape.
For more information, see Dowelling jigs
Mortise and tenon joints, the direct competitor to dowel joints in terms of strength, take much longer to create than dowel joints. This is because this method requires square slots to be chiselled out of wooden boards, which is a time consuming process.
It's possible to make dowel joints with just a drill, dowels, glue and measuring equipment.
While accuracy is important and will take practice for an uninitiated woodworker, the process of dowelling is not complicated.
Advantages and disadvantages of using dowels