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I am new to woodworking and got a fun new doweling jig, and so far I like it.

I do have a question though, and that is when has anyone here used 1/2" dowels ?

I was thinking of just using like 2 of them to in bigger stock like 6/4 or 8/4 instead of these combinations of 4 to 8 3/8" dowels. It seemed to make sense to me because less drilling, but I am might be missing something.

What do you guys think ?

The general application for this question would be like house hold furniture. I made a head board, but too late for that. In the future I plan on making a pergola (hope I spelled that right) and a couple of coffee tables.

Thanks,

Wood Tablet
 

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I don't think I'd be looking to assemble a pergola with small internal 1/2" dowels. More likely to do some notching or mortising held together with carriage bolts or perhaps through tenons pinned with big wooden dowels. Depends on the design of course.

If you are talking about dowels to connect the apron to the legs, I think two 1/2" dowels might be too small and/or too few; depends on the thickness of the apron. Don't know where else you would be referring to using just two dowels.
 

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I've always considered dowelling to be decorative, but there are some applications where it is necessary. Outdoor projects are not good for dowels though, you want carriage bolts and screws for that.
 

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Oh, that is good to know. Okay, I will not use dowels for strength on the pergola.

What about 1/2" dowels in general ? When does anyone use them ?

There is a deal for the jig right now to buy them, but I am still trying to figure out if 1/2" dowels are useful compared to my 3/8" dowels. They do look very wide in diameter.

Thanks again.
 

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In all seriousness, doweling, imho, is a matter of choice. In some projects, I may use doweling & pocket hole screws. Other projects, I may use one or the other. It just depends on the amount of strength you're after, & what you think is best. No doubt, there will be feathers ruffled by my answer, but I do what works for me, and adds the most strength & support to my project. As far as 1/2" dowels go, I don't use them to often in much, I use the standard sizes of dowels. Just because its a bigger dowel, doesn't mean you're adding wood strength. Take a look at the size of the hole you're drilling for that 1/2" dowel to fit in. The bigger the hole, the less ACTUAL WOOD STOCK you have to support the dowel. The idea of creating a wood project is to use the wood itself.
 
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