Reply by clin

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Posted on Joint two dowels - square or round tenon?

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1128 posts in 2051 days

#1 posted 09-03-2018 04:33 PM

There’s no question the square one will transmit the rotational forces even with no glue. So in that sense it is better. But if it isn’t a tight fit, the glue will be holding it. And if the glue fails it might not matter if it’s square if the pieces would separate.

Glue is also strongest in shear, and the round one the entire glue surface is in shear. The square also applies tension to the glue join, so maybe it would tend to fail more. But of course it would have more glue area.

Concerning the U.K. choice of round over square, was that because of function or perhaps related to how you would make the joint or even how you might assemble the finished item? Or maybe they know something about the application. For example that square versions tend to crack because the corners of the mortise to create stress risers.

If the rotational forces are relatively low, I think round is fine. But if it gets serious torque, square would be mechanically secure. So without knowing more, I go with square.

-- Clin

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