dowel diameter to use?

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Forum topic by Oldschoolguy posted 01-07-2020 07:18 PM 482 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 646 days

01-07-2020 07:18 PM

Happy New Year LJ’s, I have table legs that are going to be attached using dowels. The width of the legs are very close to 15/16” square. What would be the appropriate size dowel to use and how far in from the edge should they be. Also in doweling, after glue up is there any chance of blow out or that the dowel will loosen? Thanks for comments, ideas or tips.

5 replies so far

View Rich's profile


5725 posts in 1399 days

#1 posted 01-07-2020 08:04 PM

Larger dowels, say 3/8 to 1/2 inch would be good. Another excellent choice would be the JessEm 08350 jig which will allow you to create an array of pins. For that I’d go 1/4”.

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

View bondogaposis's profile


5807 posts in 3161 days

#2 posted 01-07-2020 08:31 PM

The size of the dowel depends to a large degree on what you’re going to dowel it to.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Oldschoolguy's profile


108 posts in 646 days

#3 posted 01-07-2020 08:35 PM

Thanks, I forgot to ask how many dowels to use and the depth of the holes in the other piece that I’m doweling into. The board that I’m attaching to is 2 and 7/8” thick and about 10 inches in length…....hard maple.

View LesB's profile


2576 posts in 4253 days

#4 posted 01-08-2020 01:38 AM

I think I would go with 1/2” and at least 3” deep into the leg to limit the chance of “blow” out. Then 2 1/2” deep into the top.

That said, a mortise and tenon joint would be stronger if it is not too late and the leg is long enough to cut a tenon from….actually you could cut a mortise 15/16” square & 2” deep to use the whole leg as the tenon.

About blow out and “loosening”. Is there any other support for the leg? Stretchers, bracing, etc. Without other support it could always loosen over time if it gets pressure back and forth on the joint.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Jimothy's profile


56 posts in 1750 days

#5 posted 07-09-2020 06:50 AM

I would go for a 3/8” dowel personally

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