4

Now I know that I can just buy these in packs of hundreds likely but lets play pretend that I need to make some from what I had available. When I think of fluted dowel I picture these guys...

fluted dowel pins

Image from HomeDepot.com

That style of dowel would be difficult to emulate. I am not going to make a jig where I would rotate the dowel and run a beading moulding plane, or similar tool, to scratch a groove in. If they are actually compressed maybe I just need to compress them with something? Is there another method of working the dowel that will get a similar functional result?

8

That style of dowel would be difficult to emulate.

Not so much actually! You can do a decent job of simulating this texture by simply gripping the dowel in pliers, vice-grips etc. and drawing it through, or squeezing hard to compress them into the wood.

Here's that tip in an old issue of Popular Mechanics, with another technique underneath:

Two methods to groove dowels

[Source: Popular Mechanics, Dec 1987]

Both tips are often repeated online and sent in to the tips sections of woodworking mags :-)

In either case you end up with some grooves that prevent a hydraulic seal from forming, allowing air and excess glue out of the drilled hole.

3

Is there another method of working the dowel that will get a similar functional result?

You could maybe make a dowel plate,

dowel plate

but instead of drilling a regular hole through the steel plate, make a series of smaller holes in a circle that approximate the cross-section profile you're going for, then punch out the section where the dowel goes through.

Or, going with the dowel plate idea again, drill a normal hole and use a small circular file to get the same effect as drilling a series of smaller holes.

  • This would be the more reliable and repeatable approach. I wonder if it matters if the grooves are cut vs compressed. – Matt Apr 14 '16 at 15:21
  • @Matt, one might argue that a compressed dowel is stronger, but that might be a stretch. I imagine that the compressing operation is just a timesaver for mass manufacturing. – grfrazee Apr 14 '16 at 15:22
  • The compression is supposedly helpful when the glue is present. The compressed areas re-expand, leaving a stronger bond. (I read that on another answer here; I have no actual knowledge of this myself.) – Charlie Kilian Apr 19 '16 at 19:02
1

If they are actually compressed maybe I just need to compress them with something

Up until I read that answer I had never considered them to be compressed. I had always assumed cut.

If that is the case then a simple approach to this would be to file (or fine rasp) the ends to get the taper and the use a large toothed jawed tool, like pliers, to simply compress the dowel. This needs to be done carefully as to not break the dowel.

0

Why do you need the dowel to be fluted? If you are worried about blowout (glue/ hydraulic pressure buildup) just plane a small flat spot on the dowel.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.