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Posts: 58
Reply with quote  #1 
I am making a project which requires about 20 dowels 1/8" in diameter.I have the dowels and they are of good quality. It is very humid in my garage shop here in New Jersey and the dowels seem to be too thick for the 1/8" holes I have drilled. So I put one in the microwave for about 45 seconds and now it fits😊
john lewman

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Posts: 2,829
Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for the tip!
Rod T

Posts: 649
Reply with quote  #3 
Great tip.

I have the opposite problem where sometimes the dowels I have are too loose. 
I wonder if putting them in a box with a humidifier would work. 

Might have to try that. 

Rod T


Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #4 
I do the same for biscuits and dominoes, quick zap in the microwave before glue up to reduce the humidity.

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Posts: 149
Reply with quote  #5 
I find dowel measurements to be very variable. If it fits properly I'm always pleasantly surprised but I always assume it will be under or over size. I feel like its the manufacturing process but I suppose the humidity might be a part of it.

I really feel your pain. I'm making a birdhouse thats in the style of the greek pantheon so it has 20 columns all around the exterior. It's brutal. None of the dowels fit properly. I thought it would take a weekend. I'm heading into the second week and have had to restart the whole thing. I'm too stubborn to quit.

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Reply with quote  #6 
Wood moves. It expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. Measure your dowels before drilling the hole and select the appropriate size drill. I highly recommend getting a set of number and letter size bits and some calipers. Measure the dowel with the calipers and choose a bit the is a little bigger than the dowel for drilling your hole. Dry fit always. If it is difficult to get in or out, it's probably too tight. If it is easy to get in the hole may be too big. Better to drill it to small and ream the hole with the next larger bit until it fits. 

If the hole and the diameter of the dowel are the same, you are going to have a problem. Why? Because there is water in the glue and the wood is going to start to swell as soon as you apply the glue. The dowel will get bigger and the hole will get smaller. In addition to the swelling, you need room for the glue. The glue doesn't need much room, but it needs some. If you try to force it, the wood may split, or the glue come out somewhere you don't expect.
I'm beginning to feel like a broken record. [biggrin]

Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.
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