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Any reason to avoid using dowels?

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  • Any reason to avoid using dowels?

    Hi all,

    Is there any good reason to avoid using dowels in constructing speaker cabinets? They make glue-ups a bazillion times easier.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Any reason to avoid using dowels?

    You mean to align panels while gluing, or as braces from side-to-side top-to-bottom etc.? Either way, no problem using them.
    Francis

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    • #3
      Re: Any reason to avoid using dowels?

      Assuming you mean like drilling holes and putting dowels in them to align joints? No, go for it. People use biscuits all the time and this is basically the same. Tho if you've got a secret or a tool for making sure they line up perfectly every time I'd love to know what it is.

      Originally posted by scardeal View Post
      Hi all,

      Is there any good reason to avoid using dowels in constructing speaker cabinets? They make glue-ups a bazillion times easier.

      Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Any reason to avoid using dowels?

        Thanks for the feedback.

        As far as making sure they align, I'm having good luck so far with the following tools and method:

        Tools:
        bench dog dowel jig
        dowel centers
        a 2nd drill bit of the same size w/ a pointy end (looks like it's called a brad point bit)

        Process:
        I use a straightedge to align the jig with a corner for the first hole in each board.
        Make sure you clamp the jig to the board.
        Drill the initial holes in each board.
        Put a dowel in one of the holes. Now, you can temporarily and repeatedly join the boards together.
        Drill the rest of the holes in one board.
        For each of the new holes:
        Put a dowel center in the hole.
        Then align the boards as desired.
        Push the boards together so that the dowel center makes a dent in the undrilled board.
        Use the pointy bit to sit in the dent, and align the jig.
        Clamp down the jig without pulling out the bit. It will now be aligned to the original board's hole.
        Pull out the 2nd bit, and drill to the desired depth.
        Repeat for all dowels/holes.
        Test fit, glue, etc.

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        • #5
          Re: Any reason to avoid using dowels?

          Originally posted by evilskillit View Post
          Assuming you mean like drilling holes and putting dowels in them to align joints? No, go for it. People use biscuits all the time and this is basically the same. Tho if you've got a secret or a tool for making sure they line up perfectly every time I'd love to know what it is.
          A DowelMax jig is one such device, but is NOT inexpensive...









          It can join plates and do but* joints with a change in configuration.

          But it is NOT cheap.
          Last edited by williamrschneider; 10-20-2014, 06:33 PM.
          Bill Schneider
          -+-+-+-+-
          www.afterness.com/audio

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          • #6
            Re: Any reason to avoid using dowels?

            Only thing is with mdf and particle board you might want to use one or two diameters smaller than normal. For 3/4" stock I would use 1/4" or 5/16" dowels instead of the more typical 3/8".

            The thickness of the material around the hole becomes an issue. It's only a ~3/16 wall w/3/4 stock and 3/8 dowels. This is very weak in mdf.

            Originally posted by scardeal View Post
            Hi all,

            Is there any good reason to avoid using dowels in constructing speaker cabinets? They make glue-ups a bazillion times easier.

            Thanks.
            ~99%
            Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
            Make me a poster of an old rodeo
            Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
            To believe in this livin' is just a hard way to go

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Any reason to avoid using dowels?

              Is that only an issue at glue-up/assembly, or would that be an issue afterwards as well?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Any reason to avoid using dowels?

                Mostly during assembly, if the joint is otherwise fully glued.
                If the joint is not fully glued then it will always present an area of weakness.

                Also the area around the dowel will swell more the thinner the wall so give plenty of dry time before sanding/finishing.

                Originally posted by scardeal View Post
                Is that only an issue at glue-up/assembly, or would that be an issue afterwards as well?
                ~99%
                Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
                Make me a poster of an old rodeo
                Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
                To believe in this livin' is just a hard way to go

                Comment

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