Dowels or screws for knockdown, when thru-tenon not an option?

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Forum topic by JohnMcClure posted 07-05-2018 12:56 AM 613 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1017 posts in 1413 days

07-05-2018 12:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: knockdown mortise and tenon

I’m designing a bed. Portions must be disassemble-able, of course, to fit through doors and such.
I had M&T joinery planned out pretty well before I realized it can’t all be glued, so I’m wondering if I can pin some of the joints with dowels (or brass rods?), or should use screws with decorative heads, or something else?
The project will be painted.
For a closer look at the mortise and tenon, and the overall design, see my comments below this post:
Which gives a good idea how much tenon there is to pin or screw.

Oh, and the tenons will be 4” by 0.5”, I think.

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

2 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


5788 posts in 3123 days

#1 posted 07-05-2018 02:28 AM

Screws and plugs.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View BFamous's profile


341 posts in 893 days

#2 posted 07-05-2018 11:51 AM

are you talking about removing the siderails to the headboard and footboard?
I’ve detailed some options for doing so in an article here:

I’d probably recommend barrel nuts and furniture bolts if your design can accommodate them (which would probably mean scrapping the M&Ts altogether). These would allow you to assemble and disassemble it as many times as you need without worrying about structural integrity. You could insert the screws from the inside and not worry about covering the heads.

Wood dowels would definitely fit in a 4” tenon, and should be fine though.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

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