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Thread: Dominos for dowels?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rochester, Minn
    Posts
    197

    Dominos for dowels?

    I just took an oak chair apart for a family friend. Oak, simple slat back, has sentimental value. It was getting wobbly, some steam and the hide glue loosened up.
    It is joined with dowels. On the main "box" of the seat there would be room to use a domino instead. Good idea? Bad idea? Indifferent?

    I have a a bit of time. I did one armrest to verify that it has a shellac finish; I'll let her do the rest before I glue it back up, since it will be easier to clean.

    Terry T.

  2. #2
    Makes sense too me.
    I view domminos as fancy dowel.

  3. #3
    I would (and have) just put some fresh hide glue on the dowels and put it back together. Chairs sometimes just don't "sit" right with additional fastening. Stress is redistributed, etc. Sometimes it makes no difference though. Depends on the build I would say.

  4. #4
    As long as the parts have enough "meat" for the domino I would use it for several reasons. First, a domino gives you much more long grain to long grain connection which is your strongest glue joint. Second, It removes wood that was previously glued. I admit not having data but I worry about glue on top of glue as a fix. I'd rather glue up fresh surfaces whenever possible. Last, a domino is just stronger than a similar thickness dowel. I've seen old furniture with broken dowels. They do not make a terrible joint but a mortise and tenon is pretty obviously better where the parts permit it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    636
    Easy fix would be to re-drill the dowel holes if necessary and re-dowel. Should last another 20 years.
    Regards,

    Tom

  6. #6
    I'll second the comment about making sure you have enough "meat", meaning surrounding wood around the joint. When I have seen mortise and tenon joints fail, often it is because there was not enough surrounding wood, and the stress on the joint broke the wood away adjacent to the joint. With chairs this is of special concern because the loads are dynamic. I think it might be safer to just re-dowel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rochester, Minn
    Posts
    197
    Thanks everyone for the input.

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