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Dowel hole worn over time

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Forum topic by Astubits posted 07-27-2018 03:14 PM 665 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Astubits

10 posts in 359 days


07-27-2018 03:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: antique repair dowel question refurbishing joining

Greetings,

New to this site, but have been building furniture for a number of years now.

Just bought a beautiful antique roll top desk. The top attaches to the main desk with 3 dowels (no glue). Over time, I think the constant movement of the tambour has worn down the dowel holes. As a result, the tambour slips out of the track sometimes. I’d like to tighten it up, but looking for suggestions. I’d prefer not to use glue so that the top can be removed if necessary in the future for moving purposes.

I’ve considered wrapping the dowel with paper or wood shavings?

I’ve considered drilling out the existing hole, plugging it and drilling a new hole for the dowels.

When I’m frustrated, I’ve considered just using pocket hole screws to keep the whole thing together.

Any thoughts, suggestions, experiences?

Thanks!


8 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1581 posts in 2150 days


#1 posted 07-27-2018 03:45 PM

Drill out the next size hole, and get dowels to fit.. ......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16142 posts in 3039 days


#2 posted 07-27-2018 03:58 PM

Just replace the dowels with ones that fit / aren’t worn. There are three, you can do it! The less modification to the desk itself, the better in my book.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View wuddoc's profile

wuddoc

349 posts in 4138 days


#3 posted 07-27-2018 05:28 PM

Astubits this is another alternative.

McMaster-Carr website covering locating pins.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/124/2652/=1dwbfsr

-- Wuddoc

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Astubits

10 posts in 359 days


#4 posted 07-30-2018 06:30 PM

Hey guys, really appreciate the input. After playing with it a little bit more, I’m not sure it is an issue with the dowels.

Like I said, it’s a roll top desk and at times, the tambour falls out if its track. I thought this was from a loose dowel, but after more exploration, it seems like it is related to a crack in the wood. When the crack flexes, the tambour fall out of the track. When I hold the crack in place, the tambour moves freely.

I’m now trying to figure out how best to repair/stabilize this crack, see photos below. The crack is straight through the wood, so there’s a lot of flex.

Any suggestions on how best to repair this while still looking good? Any epoxies, glues, or fillers you’ve found that work well? Has any tried WoodEpox Abatron? Or J-B WELD KwikWood Epoxy Putty Stick?

Thanks!


View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1326 posts in 2373 days


#5 posted 07-30-2018 06:50 PM

Any suggestions on how best to repair this while still looking good?

- Astubits

You could put a dowel in it.

Does it really need a filler? It looks like just injecting some glue in the crack and clamping it should do the trick.

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Astubits

10 posts in 359 days


#6 posted 07-30-2018 06:51 PM

Thanks Kazooman. There’s very little flex in the crack and not much room to get a dowel in, atleast not without taking the whole piece apart. Thanks!

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Kazooman

1326 posts in 2373 days


#7 posted 07-30-2018 06:54 PM

The dowel comment was a joke based on your original diagnosis. For some reason I can’t get the smiley face emoticons to work on my iPad.

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Astubits

10 posts in 359 days


#8 posted 07-30-2018 06:57 PM

Got it. And I totally missed your actual response.

I think I could get away with glue, although I wish I had access from the rear to do so.

I was thinking an epoxy/ filler might help make the crack less noticeable. The images aren’t great, but there’s a good chunk missing.

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