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Tip #144
Self-Adjusting Dowels For Trial Assemblies

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Here's an easy way to eliminate the frustrations of trial assembly with tight-fitting dowels:

Few things are more aggravating than trying to break down a dowelled trial assembly when the dowels fit snugly. Prying the joints apart with screwdrivers...or hammering them apart can mar your project components to the point where you'll have to re-make them. Instead, try this trick.

Start with ten or so some tight-fitting dowels in each of the sizes you normally use. Then, using your Bandsaw or Scroll Saw cut saw kerfs about one-third of the way down from each end of the dowels and 90-degrees to one another (in a "+" shape).

Then, use these slotted dowels whenever you're going through a trial assembly process. Your workpieces will pull apart easily and without prying or hammering.

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