Dowel pins are industrial fasteners that are used to join two or more items together. They are short, cylindrical rods made of various materials including wood, metal and plastic. Dowel pins can be tapered, slotted, grooved, or otherwise altered to change its mechanical properties. They are commonly available in imperial or metric units.
Dowel Pin Operation
Dowel pins do not possess moving or actuated components. Dowel pins’ mechanical capabilities stem from their high coefficient of friction, and any adhesive that may be applied when they are inserted into press-fit predrilled holes. They must be rigid while in use so they are capable of keeping the assembled parts aligned without further hardware fastening. For a firm fit, the hole should be exactly the same size or slightly smaller than the dowel’s diameter. Dowel pins typically have working loads identified, with a breaking strength measured as when a double shear occurs.
For aesthetic applications where the hardware must be accessible or seen, a dowel pin can appear uniform to its assembly–a distinct advantage over other fasteners. For this reason, dowels are commonly used in furniture. They can also be applied as hinges and simple axles.
Wooden dowel rods are produced on the same mill machinery that produces other finished cylindrical wood products, like fence poles and furniture pieces. Dowel pins are shortened lengths of full-sized dowels. These dowel pins are usually of hard wood, like birch or maple. Dowel pins may undergo a secondary operation, such as planing or grooving, if desired.