• When dry fitting joints do not use the dowel pins you intend to assemble the finished project with. Instead, use pins that have been sanded down using a drill and sand paper, identify them with a marker and set them aside for the next project.
  • It is normal to need to use some pressure or persuasion to pull a joint together. If your dowel pins are too tight try shrinking them in an oven. Place the pins on a clean cookie sheet in an oven that has been pre-heated to a low temperature. Turn the heat off before placing the pins in the oven. If after 1/2 hour the pins haven’t shrunk enough cycle them again.
  • A dead blow hammer works best for assembling joints.
  • More dowel pins are better than using longer pins. Long pins can cause problems with seasonal cycling on the side of the joint where the wood grain is opposite that of the dowel pin. Seasonal moisture changes can damage the glue to wood bond. Using shorter pins help to alleviate this problem. If the surface area of the pins in the joint is the same regardless of pin length the joint strength is maintained while increasing sheer strength.
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