Pocket Holes / Biscuits etc

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    Pocket holes, biscuits, dowels. I have never used any of these, apart from drawboring. The question is, is there a place for them in your projects that you make. Have you used them, or would you use them.

    I dont think I would use them for anything, but you still see plenty of plans where they are used for jointing the parts together. Not for me 🙂


    I have and would use Miller Dowels

    Miller Dowels

    Robin ... Richmond, Virginia, USA

    Greg Merritt

    I second the use of Miller Dowels…I use them in place of nails and screws…I usually install them at opposing angles…very strong once glued in place.



    I use dowels when gluing up panels.   Its not for anything other than to keep the boards from sliding out of alignment.       I can see a use for those miller dowels , they look like a useful piece of kit in some situations.



    Ditto what Gregory said.  I’ve used Miller Dowels, and they look nice, nicer than screws or nails.

    D. Paul


    Krenov used dowels all the time, but I am not sure I am so keen on using them for joinery since I have witnessed too many doweled joint failures. Perhaps on smaller projects or joints not subject to significant stress. I do like the idea of drilling two dowels each at an opposing 7 degree angle to form a dovetail-like joint. This should offer better mechanical strength, and the exposed elliptical shape of the flush dowel ends would be a neat motif.

    Using dowels for alignment seems like a good application, but is using clamping cauls easier?

    The Miller Dowels look interesting, but I am usually wary of something that appears to be a complicated version of something simple. For example, their web site FAQ states the following:

    …the ribbed design of the Miller™ Dowel provides for increased glue coverage over the entire length of the dowel, as well as adding to the overall surface area, and allowing for pressure relief. These ribs also expose some end grain to the glue which will cause the hardwood to swell for a tighter fit, and will absorb more adhesive for improved bonding performance.

    I am confused by this marketing hyperbole. I understand that the ridges provide a place for excess glue to escape so you can drive in the dowel without fighting hydraulic pressure, but how do they increase the overall gluing surface?

    -Scott Los Angeles

    Steve Follis

    A lot of the outdoor furniture that I make is done with basic lap joints glued together with Titebond 3, and stainless steel screws to secure the joint.  Not a lot of “Joinery” involved in this type of work.  Typically the screws come in from the top and although spaced neatly, they are still visible and an eyes sore to me.  I have switched over to Pocket Hole Screws coming in from underneath to hide the screws and I have had very good success with it.  I will use pegs to secure joints in some areas instead of the screws, and they work well for me also.

    Memphis, Tennessee

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