Reply by jkm312

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Posted on Are dowels affective in plywood?

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87 posts in 462 days

#1 posted 12-16-2020 01:02 PM

Yes you can use dowels in plywood successfully, but.
Nothing less than 3/4” You need some structure and surface area on the circumference of the dowel and dowel hole to be effective. Uniform dowel size and drilling the right size hole accurately for the dowel is critical. The plywood hole will soak up a lot of glue and the dowel may swell some. Too much glue will cause more problems than too little. Not all plywood is equal. Use a good grade with as many layers as you can find. 11 ply baltic birch has very few hidden voids. I use 1/4 dowels in plywood. 3/8 seems to split the ply’s apart if you get carried away with clamp pressure pulling the joint closed. Don’t ask me how I know that. It’s important to get a good dry fit before you temp fate with glue.
Not knowing how you have designed the dresser, have you considered frame and panel construction? That solves a bunch of problems in connection the front frame to the dresser.

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