Extracting Blind DowelsComments (0)
This article is from Issue 48 of Woodcraft Magazine.
When restoring antique doors, cabinets, and other projects, I
often need to disassemble a joint that was secured with either half-blind
dowels or with through-dowels that can only be accessed from one end. Here’s a
technique that I’ve found works very well on most older joints (although new
joints with some modern adhesives may prove problematic).
To extract the dowel, I first drill a hole through its axis, leaving some wood at the perimeter. I then cut a length of threaded rod (or section of machine screw), whose diameter is slightly less than the hole’s diameter. Next, I fix the rod into the hole using quick-set epoxy, taping off the area around the hole to protect it from epoxy spillage.
After the epoxy has cured fully, I center a flat washer over the dowel, surrounding it as closely as possible without overlaying it. Atop that, I place a short length of schedule 40 or 80 PVC pipe that has an outside diameter that’s slightly less than that of the washer, and top that off with another washer. All that’s left to do is thread on a nut and tighten it to pull the dowel out of its hole.
—Alan Bowes, Alna, Maine
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