'facilitating' repair with dowel

debndulcyApril 3, 2011

I'm trying to re-attach feet on an antique coat rack, which requires replacing an old/broken dowel. 'Got the old out with some work and sanded all a little (til it seemed like clean holes only), - but the dowel's not going into the center piece easily (dowel goes from one foot, thru center and into opposite foot; I believe I'm doing it right).

'Never worked with dowels before... is there a way to essentially 'grease' the movement a little? It's the right size dowel, but I'm afraid it's going to get stuck part way... taking some effort to move it through.. and I hate to ruin the project.

Thank you very much for your input/advice ---

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quandary

I'm no expert, so wait for other responses, but I have used wax to facilitate the sliding of a drawer in an antique dresser.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 12:21AM
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bobismyuncle

Wax is not what you want. Glue will not stick to wax.

Dowels might be accurately sized when made, but then wood movement takes over. First, I would clean out the hole with the appropriate sized drill bit. If the dowel is still tight, you can sand it lightly. Or get another dowel and see if it fits better. Sometimes you have to resort to a bigger hammer.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 7:36AM
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debndulcy

Hadn't thought of using a drill bit to clean the hole, and a little afraid I might make it too big! I'm kind of close getting through - but getting stuck... so think I'll pull it out and sand the dowel some. I've been the 'bigger hammer' route on some projects over time - and was hoping, if I have to, to go with a still gentle, bigger hammer...:)

Thank you.. again, this process is new to me, and I like to learn to do things the right way.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 7:54AM
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brickeyee

Put the dowel in the oven at about 200 F for a few hours and see if it will shrink.

If it shrinks enough to fit be very quick about putting things together with glue.

The dowel is going to absorb moisture from the glue and expand VERY quickly.
Put glue in the hole and quickly drive the dowel in.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 9:53AM
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bobismyuncle

Good idea Brickeyee. I'm normally out when I do these sorts of repairs and can't wait an hour. But I have been known to run biscuits into the microwave for a few seconds when they are too wet.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 2:29PM
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