How to Install Dowel Pins

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Dowel pins are small wooden or metal rods used to secure building materials together tightly. Installing a dowel pin into a blank surface is the process of drilling the correct size hole then easing the pin into place. Dowel pins are most commonly found in wood working, for pieces of furniture such as rocking chairs, desks and chests of drawers. The dowel pins act as a guide between building materials and keep them flush and flat as the wood/materials move.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric drill
  • Bit set
  • Dowel
  • Check the material that is to have a dowel installed. Do not install the dowel any closer to an edge or corner than 1/2". Decide on the size of the dowel. For smaller projects use a 1/4-inch dowel and for larger projects use a 1/2-inch for full inch dowel.

  • Place the same size drill bit into the drill as the size of the dowel. Set the electric drill to a low-torque setting (around 1 or 2). Place the edge of the drill bit on the material where the dowel will be installed. Compress the trigger of the electric drill lightly and begin to press into the surface of the material.

  • As the drill begins to enter the material apply more pressure. Stop pressing forward once the drill bit has gone into the material 1/2 inch deep. Pull the drill straight out of the hole and cease compression of the trigger.

  • Place the dowel at the entrance of the newly drilled hole. Press on the dowel to make it enter the hole. If the fit is too tight, use a soft rubber mallet to drive the dowel into the hole. Once the dowel has reached the end of the 1/2-inch deep hole, the installation is complete.

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