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Thread: Cross-Dowel question

  1. #1
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    Cross-Dowel question

    I'm tentatively planning on drilling 3-4 holes from underneath the back edge of my workbench and inserting cross dowels for fixture type knobs to attach a board-mounted Woodrat to the bench. Here's some cross-dowels for illustration http://www.woodpeck.com/crossdowels.html
    I'd put these about 3" in from the edge with the bolt hole about 2" up from the bench bottom, then use threaded rod and star-type knobs to run through the Woodrat mounting board and into the bench. My question is what to use underneath the cross dowels as some sort of sleeve to hold it from slipping out of the hole yet still allow screwdriver access in case it needs to be adjusted into alignment with the holes from the back edge of the bench. Glue a wooden dowel in underneath the cross-dowel, then carefully drill through it with a smaller Forstner drill? Glue a metal or plastic sleeve underneath it? I've wondered if maybe I should just embed standard square nuts into a slot as I glue the workbench top together, but since I wont be able to drill the holes from the back edge of the bench until after the top and hardwood edging is glued together, getting exact alignment with that seems a bit risky. I think the cross-dowel would work better, but thought I'd throw this out there for ideas.
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  2. #2
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    I'm sure there are a lot of ways but I think you've already hit on it. Let's assume a 1/2" hole for the cross dowel. Take a piece of thin-wall plastic pipe with an O.D. of 5/8" - 3/4" that is long enough to seat the dowel. Of course at this point you can't use it to seat the dowel because it is too large a diameter to fit into the 1/2" hole. That's OK.

    Cut a kerf along the length of this pipe creating a long 'split ring', a 'split-tube' so to speak. The kerf should allow the 'split-tube' to be compressed enough to fit our 1/2" hole. It will have enough "spring" to keep itself and the cross dowel in and the thin wall should allow your screwdriver to still get to the cross dowel for adjustment.

    With the length of bolt you are talking about I wouldn't go any smaller than 5/16" to avoid flex that could eventually damage your access holes to the cross dowels. IMHO.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 09-29-2007 at 01:35 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Good thing you posted the link, I was trying to figure out why you'd want wood cross dowels, and why not just glue 'em in!

    I think I'd glue in a dowel wafer and either drill it and tap it for a bolt (e-zy adjusture * pat. pending, some restrictions may apply) or if its too thin to support the threads, just drill it and use a screwdriver. If you wanted to get real fancy, use a metal washer instead of a dowel plug, and just screw it on below the dowel - harder to fabricate, but removable.

    Or for quick and easy, how bout sections of pvc pipe that brace the dowels against the floor till you get everything tightened up?

  4. #4
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    i would allow the metal dowels to be removable....if you`re removing whatever jig and reattaching it you`re going to have to fiddle around underneath anyway to align the bolt so might as well have the dowels replacable/servicable.
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  5. #5
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    If I understand this right, (after re-reading, because I had an elaborate system typed out, went back and read your post, and decided it was all wrong!), what if you take 4 fender washers with an inside hole diameter that is smaller than your cross dowel diameter, drill 2 small holes on the outside edges, and screw it, centered, over the hole, so that a flat blade screw driver will fit through the washer to assist with alignment? So if you used a 3/8" cross dowel, use 1/4" fender washers. Should be able to get a decent sized screw driver into the slot for adjustment.
    If this doesn't work, just a flap of plastic, with 1 screw into the bench, that will rotate over the hole or out of the way for adjustment. Would keep the cross dowel from falling out of it's slot, but allow access for alignment when needed.
    If both of these are off base, let me know and I'll retype my elaborate system! Jim.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim O'Dell View Post
    ...If both of these are off base, let me know and I'll retype my elaborate system! Jim.
    Thanks y'all. I think I'll use the washer ideas to hold them in. But after yesterday's work thrashing I'm feeling somewhat sadistic so go ahead and type it.
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    Link to my ongoing ClearVue DC Install on CV's site: http://www.gallery2.clearvuecyclones...s-Mini-CV1400/

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