How many dowels do I use?


Senior User
Dennis, adding dowels at the end would probably be easier, but i think i wanted hidden joints just for the aesthetic on this one.

Luke, That is one of the videos i watched before i bought the fancy dowel jig. Dowels seemed to be reasonably strong from the videos I have seen and it seems like a (slower) decent alternative to dropping the money on a Domino joiner. I understand the gain from those tools, but my time isn't money. I'm just playing in the garage for fun so a bit more setup on joints is okay.

Cyclopentadiene, You are probably correct that the center 3x3 column should hold the majority of weight where the supports should mostly just hold force from weight on edges. Thanks for the insight. Sometimes its just nice to hear that it is probably going to work!

Richard, There is a top 3/4" halflapped crossmember but none of this is glued up yet so it wasn't in the pictures. The top cantilevered supports will attach to that crossmember and then z clips will hold the top down to hopefully allow for any expansion.


the advantage of loose tenons, assuming they are oriented horizontally is that you have a huge amount of long grain to long grain glue surface in both the support and the post. But for these angled joints, your dowels will likely be fine but them being round means that in the post, a good portion of the dowel is glued to endgrain.

agree wtih cyclops above, the vertical post has all the stress. but i would disagree that biscuits would be a good choice. as long as you have good wood to wood contact, your joints should be good with dowels.


Corporate Member
Why not design the dowels into the finish and drill them after final fitment as a peg?
I agree. And, although you don't want any metal in the finished product, you could use screws in the dowel locations to hold everything in place for the glue up. Then, after the glue is dry, remove the screws, drill and install dowels, cut dowels and flush the surface. If you do use screws for glue up, make sure you predrill the holes to ensure the parts don't slide when you tighten them with the glue in the joint. Using exposed dowels, it is best to orient the cross grain of all the dowels in the same direction for best appearance. This could be in line with the edge of the face piece, or perpendicular to it.

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