Glue or Epoxy?

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Forum topic by docspencer posted 03-11-2018 08:45 PM 716 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View docspencer's profile


429 posts in 2753 days

03-11-2018 08:45 PM

I’m building a cherry bench with slab top and slab legs. I’m using dowels to join the top to the legs and stretcher to the legs. The dowels are a bot loose in the holes. Will glue be strong enough or should I use epoxy. This is my first piece to sell so I want it to be good and sturdy. Thanks.

11 replies so far

View BFamous's profile


344 posts in 928 days

#1 posted 03-11-2018 08:54 PM

If the dowels are loose, switch to bigger dowels. Sure you could use a liquid that expands to hope the gaps are filled, but wouldn’t you feel better knowing you sold a piece where the joints were tight to begin with?

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2658 days

#2 posted 03-11-2018 08:54 PM

An epoxy would probably be best because of the loose fit. Otherwise use a gap filling/expanding glue like gorilla glue.

View bondogaposis's profile


5804 posts in 3159 days

#3 posted 03-11-2018 08:58 PM

Use wedges in the dowels to tighten the fit. It is always better to have a strong mechanical bond than to rely on glue to compensate for a weak one.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View docspencer's profile


429 posts in 2753 days

#4 posted 03-11-2018 09:01 PM

Wow. Thanks for the quick replies. I should clarify – used 3/4” dowels and 3/4” forstner bit. The dowels wouldn’t fit so I had to sand a bit. Not horribly loose but I wanted to create room for the glue/epoxy.

View Woodknack's profile


13442 posts in 3188 days

#5 posted 03-11-2018 09:08 PM

Or wedge the dowel.

-- Rick M,

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4456 days

#6 posted 03-11-2018 09:47 PM

Dowel rod sold in hardware stores isn’t round.

If you’re getting your dowels from that material
I recommend re-thinking the approach.

Round dowel stock can be made with a jig on
the table saw or with a router table.

View BFamous's profile


344 posts in 928 days

#7 posted 03-11-2018 10:27 PM

Well if you sanded them too thin, can’t you just get new ones? :)

Otherwise, I agree with the wedged approach too.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

View docspencer's profile


429 posts in 2753 days

#8 posted 03-11-2018 10:38 PM

Sure. I have some of the rod left. Don’t I need some room for adhesive in the hole?

View Rich's profile


5713 posts in 1397 days

#9 posted 03-11-2018 10:55 PM

How loose are they? If there are no big gaps and the dowel holds on its own, just use some PVA glue.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2294 days

#10 posted 03-11-2018 11:12 PM

If you have an 1/8”+ thick pc of steel you can make a dowel plate.

Drill a hole. Pound it through. I did some 1/8” dowels recently. Worked like a champ.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3673 days

#11 posted 03-12-2018 01:32 PM

Many dowels that are made for the purpose of joinery are fluted so that the glue has a place to go when you pound them in. If there is no place for the glue to go the dowel will not go in all the way. If I were making my own dowels I would take a triangular file and make some small random notches on them for the glue to go.

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