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Install & Replace

Holes to large for Wooden Dowels

I am putting together a dresser for my daughter. The legs uses two holes within close proximity of each other. One hole is for 1 inch tall x 5/16" thick round wooden dowel and the other is for a metal cam lock bolt. I notice the holes for the dowels are significantly larger than the dowels. Varying amounts of wiggle room. I went to the local Home Depot and tried to see if a 3/8" thick dowel would work. Too big.

I don't see myself needing to taking the dresser apart once it is finished.

Which would be better?


1. FIlling the hole with wood glue  and use the 5/16" dowels? (Would epoxy be better?)


2. Carve a notch at the end of the 5/16" dowel and insert a kerf and fill the hole with glue?


3. Make the hole bigger by drilling a 3/8" whole and use 3/8 dowels? I am not sure if I want to go this route since the furniture is made up of pre-made pieces. If I damage it when I drill the whole, it's not like I can create a new wooden leg.


Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Posted 2011-01-03T15:22:11+0000  by wuxing wuxing

Hey there Wuxing,


I am a Home Depot associate from the Atlanta area and have seen a few situations such as yourself with not wanting to damage your new dresser but still wanting to find the right solution.


Fortunately, you are on the right track with getting the legs secured correctly. In my humble opinion, your second option would be the right thing to do, since you have the cut of the kerf as well as the strength of the glue. A small gap such as that can be remedied by a shim of wood and glue, so it provides a safe and secure base for the dresser.


I agree in your 3rd point of not expanding the hole, especially if you are running the risk of damaging the furniture. But, to play it safe, go with a test drilling if you can of the same material as to not ensure your ruining her new dresser. That way, you can have the perfect fit as a viable option.


As for the glue, the one I would recommend for your daughters dresser to use is Titebond III ultimate wood glue. Epoxy glues can ironically get very brittle further down the road and even worse, aren't sandable or easy to work with once they are set.

Titebond makes other glues, but the III series is really the best it has a very high PSI rating, which means it stands up to whatever usage your daughter dishes out on it.


I have used it on a recent framing job I did for my girlfriend, so to make sure it was as secure as possible and not to fall apart during the journey of shipping it 6 states away. 


Here is a link and picture of this great glue:

Titebond III glue




Thanks again for the question and we hope to see you back here in the community!


Have a great new year,


Posted 2011-01-03T16:25:52+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Glue and drive round toothpicks into it to take up the slop........and literally drive them in and cut flush

Posted 2011-01-05T16:47:05+0000  by mahargbk
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