Glue to hold dowel in hole

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Forum topic by John posted 10-03-2017 10:33 PM 1507 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View John's profile


8 posts in 1220 days

10-03-2017 10:33 PM

I’m making some fly tying racks for spools of thread storage. I drilled the holes with a 1/4” Forstner bit. I’m trying to find a glue that expands a little bit. I believe some of the dowels are slightly undersized. Some fit nicely others are a little play, not a lot but would like glue that with tighten them a little bit. The dowels won’t have a lot of stress so anything that will expand even a couple of thousands will work fine. Any suggestions, I know I can keep looking for dowels that are slightly larger bit thats a real pain. I’m making a bunch of these to sell to fly tiers.

Any help will be greatly appreciated,

Maine Guide

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4419 days

#1 posted 10-03-2017 10:48 PM

Polyurethane glue expands.

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4348 days

#2 posted 10-03-2017 11:00 PM

Ditto on the Polyurethane glue one brand is the original Gorilla /Glue but others make Poly glue too.

If you have some expanding foam(Great Stuff) it is basically made from the same stuff but you would use a tiny about
because it expands big time vs just the glue. I’d do a test on scrap first before using (Great Stuff)


View Redoak49's profile


4731 posts in 2760 days

#3 posted 10-03-2017 11:32 PM

I think using regular wood glue will work fine since the strength of the joint is not critical.

The poly glue can make a mess and not easy to clean up.

View Woodknack's profile


13384 posts in 3151 days

#4 posted 10-03-2017 11:39 PM

When shopping for dowels, I take a pocket caliper along because retailers often mix metric and inch size dowels. Often when people complain that dowels are undersize, it’s because the store was selling metric dowels as inch sizes (6mm instead of 1/4”).

-- Rick M,

View Fresch's profile


489 posts in 2692 days

#5 posted 10-04-2017 12:12 AM

Masking tape to enlarge the dowel.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4419 days

#6 posted 10-04-2017 12:30 AM

I agree that polyurethane glue can make a
mess. Regular PVA glue fills gaps somewhat,
but maybe you’ve tested that already and
found it insufficient. I have mixed fine
sawdust with PVA glue to fill gaps. I think
it’s a sketchy thing to do for fine work and
joinery but for your application it might
work okay.

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2622 days

#7 posted 10-04-2017 11:44 AM

You could also use a hot glue gun.

View builtinbkyn's profile


3009 posts in 1712 days

#8 posted 10-04-2017 11:49 AM

Dowels should expand a bit using pva glue. Or you could always use some epoxy and call it a day.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Hammerthumb's profile


3055 posts in 2747 days

#9 posted 10-04-2017 05:21 PM

You can also get the end of the loose dowel a little wet, then let it dry and try the fit again. the water will make it expand. If it expands too tight, a little sandpaper will help.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

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