Frequently Asked Questions

Can you do pull strength tests on my product?

Yes we are happy to do so- send us some samples and we will provide you test results

Which is better in my automatic dowel inserter; regular dowels or pre- glued dowels?

Pre-glued dowels will keep your machine looking new and clean for many years with much less down time for maintenance- Pre glued dowels were developed specifically for use in dowel machines

Will I get better results with a pre glued dowel or regular dowel?

If the diameter of the dowel and the diameter of the hole are correct you will get similar results- keep in mind that with any engineered material the material will fail before the dowel joint fails

Why are dowels with different flutes used?

Most of this has to do with tradition- you will usually see multi groove dowels used in cabinet construction and spiral grooved dowels in furniture- there is not necessarily a right and a wrong- your specific application should be looked at on its own merits, not general guidelines

What do I need to know about using dowels in particleboard?

Particleboard is just what it says- it is made of small particles of wood- you will get best results with a multi flute dowel

What do I need to know about using dowels with solid wood?

The only thing you need to know is to make sure the diameter of the dowel is the same diameter as the hole- just because the bit is 3/8” doesn’t mean the hole is also- measure the bit and the hole- you will not get good measurements unless you have a good set of calipers

What do I need to know about using dowels with plywood?

Keep in mind that with plywood you will generally end up with an egg shaped hole- if you are using a pre-glued dowel make sure it is bonding around the circumference of the hole- a higher rpm drill spindle will give you a truer hole diameter

What do I need to know about using dowels with MDF?

MDF has a tendency to split when the dowel is inserted- the most common remedy is to use a drill bit that is slightly oversized- example: using an 8.2mm bit for an 8mm dowel

Can I use wood dowels with an extruded PVC product?

Most PVA glues will work fine with PVC products- do a small sample for testing

What about plastic dowels?

Plastic dowels are seldom used with glue- the joint strength relies upon the interference fit of the dowel for strength- there are very few applications where the strength of this joint is acceptable

Can you tell me a little about pull strength tests?

There are several methods for testing joint strength- the most common is where the test device is attached to a dowel on one end and the material on the other- the device pulls until the joint fails and the result is measured in pounds

How important is the dimension of the dowel?

With pre-glued dowels the dowel dimension is critical- with glue insertion the dowel dimension is much less important as the glue can make up the difference for an undersized dowel

What is the best glue to use with regular wood dowels in an insertion machine?

For most insertion machines a dowel glue with a viscosity of less than 200 cps is desired- with some high pressure glue pumps a viscosity of up to 800 cps is used- generally when a glue with a viscosity greater than this is used the maintenance on the machine is greatly increased

How deep should I drill my dowel holes?

A general rule of thumb is up to 2mm deeper than the insertion depth of the dowel- any deeper than this leaves too much of a pocket at the bottom of the hole- too much less than this can allow the dowel to bottom out in the hole

Will the dye on a pre-glued dowel bleed through and be visible on my product?

The dye can bleed through if not used properly- with solid wood there is seldom an issue- plywood is extremely porous- MDF splits- Particleboard will occasionally bleed if too large of a pocket is at the bottom of the hole

Are there different types of glue on pre-glued dowels?

There are differences- the biggest room for product failure is using a glue that sets up too hard and is brittle in the joint- you will often see this in cabinets that are transported long distance by truck

What can you tell me about glue viscosity?

The higher the number the thicker the glue- generally for machine insertion you want a low number- with hand insertion it really doesn’t matter

Can dowels be made of any kind of wood?

They can, but some woods are softer than others and will not provide the desired strength

I’ve heard of some people putting their dowels in a microwave before they use them; why is that?

Wood can swell with a difference in humidity- putting dowels in a microwave will dry the dowel and can decrease the dowel diameter

What criteria determine if a dowel is a good dowel?

Generally you will look for tolerance in length, diameter, and hardness

Can you tell me about “Janka Testing”?

The “Janka” test is a standardized method for determining the hardness of wood- the higher the number the harder the wood- it is also a general indicator of the strength of the wood


Got a question? Head over to our Contact page to ask us your question - it may end up featured on our FAQs page!