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I accidentally drilled my dowel holes 1/32" too small and then banged them in...will it be okay?

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Forum topic by Jimothy posted 02-08-2021 01:42 AM 628 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jimothy

68 posts in 1996 days


02-08-2021 01:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dowels wrong size bit drill hydraulic

So I have done this a handful of times before, using 3/8 fluted dowels in 3/4 Pine plywood to reinforce an already-glued up butt joint (end to face) from the night before. Figured i’d just drill through both pieces at the same time and have a visible dowel showing through instead of spending more time having the dowels hidden with matching holes on the inside. I have a lot of experience doing this and no issues so up until now, my dowels have always gone in nice and easy without being too loose or too tight.

However this time, I accidentally put an 11/32” instead of 3/8” bit in my drill and drilled the holes. I had already put glue in all the holes and all over the dowels and once I tried to put the dowels in I noticed they were alot harder to get in than usual, I can usually get them in by some hand pressure or a small tap, and this was considerably more difficult to get them in. Only after I finished putting them did I realize I drilled them with my 11/32” bit instead of my 3/8 bit, so mystery solved there, the holes were 1/32 too small…. but my main question/concern is this:

Taking into consideration that Pine is soft and quite forgiving i some regards, will the dowel joints be effective and as strong as correctly sized hole size dowel joint? Or did the fact that having the dowel bigger than the hole will essentially create some hydraulic pressure that it will essentially push all the air/glue out the nearest exit, which in my case was a slight crack/inconsistency in my joinery on the butt joint and another spot between the plies on the other end of my piece. I didnt see any glue coming out of anywhere else other than those two i just mentioned, but that doesnt mean much, i could have just not seen it, or it is lurking somewhere bet ween the plies. I am worried that all the glue got pushed out and now theres basically a dowel in there being held by friction only and basically doing nothing to add the strength I intended to add in the first place.

So what do you guys think? Even though the hole was 1/32 too small, did the forgiving and soft nature of pine make it okay and will still be a sound joint? Or did all the glue essentially come out somewhere and I should I just redrill them all with the correct 3/8” bit and restart. This is for a customer so I can’t risk it breaking on them. I am unsure of how bad the 1/32 size mistake made the project less strong.

Thanks everyone!!!!


9 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2512 posts in 1644 days


#1 posted 02-08-2021 02:38 AM

If you had to hammer it in, it ain’t coming out.

Friction is as strong as glue in this case. There is glue in there rest assured.

What pull force is going to exceed the force you used to drive it in? Nothing.

Don’t worry, it’ll hold.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Jimothy's profile

Jimothy

68 posts in 1996 days


#2 posted 02-08-2021 03:11 AM

Well yeah if I were to redo them I would just drill correctly sized holes where the current dowels are and redo them. What I need to know before I end up doing that is if the dowels i put into the smaller hole still added strength by wood to wood glue adhesion same as if the holes were the corrent size not 1/32 too small. If the dowels scraped off all the glue on the way in and are just in there using friction, that’s not exactly what I want.


If you had to hammer it in, it ain t coming out.

- Madmark2


View fuigb's profile

fuigb

593 posts in 4014 days


#3 posted 02-08-2021 04:11 AM

Friction is not a bad option. Thi k about draw boring as an example. Further, if you’ve constructed in this the driest of seasons then just image how much tighter things will be when humidity returns. My vote: roll with what you have because it will never weaken let alone fail.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View pottz's profile (online now)

pottz

16220 posts in 2041 days


#4 posted 02-08-2021 04:17 AM

i wouldn’t worry about it,those dowels are in damn tight if the wood didn’t split from the pressure it probably never will,or maybe not? hey whats done is done i wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

1159 posts in 2275 days


#5 posted 02-08-2021 02:09 PM

your holes are 1/32” too small. that would be 1/64” on any side. try sanding a small flat on the dowel for glue squeeze out. you could also try wrapping some sandpaper around the dowels and giving a quick twist.
personally i wouldnt worry about it. coat the dowel with glue and get r done

View MrRon's profile (online now)

MrRon

6006 posts in 4300 days


#6 posted 02-08-2021 06:07 PM

I would leave them in. Removing them and re-drilling the holes may result in the mating hole being offset, in which case the holes would not line up.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2975 posts in 3694 days


#7 posted 02-09-2021 10:22 PM

The only thing I would worry about is splitting the wood.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Jimothy's profile

Jimothy

68 posts in 1996 days


#8 posted 02-09-2021 10:37 PM

the dowels are already in though haha


your holes are 1/32” too small. that would be 1/64” on any side. try sanding a small flat on the dowel for glue squeeze out. you could also try wrapping some sandpaper around the dowels and giving a quick twist.
personally i wouldnt worry about it. coat the dowel with glue and get r done

- tomsteve


View AMZ's profile

AMZ

301 posts in 446 days


#9 posted 02-09-2021 11:30 PM

I wouldn’t worry in the least. Now, if you said the holes were 1/32nd too large, well you would have problems!

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