Are Dowels Necessary in Cabinet Door Joints?
I think the dowels will add strength, don't think there's much question of that. Whether or not you need them is something you can debate. I for one would not criticize someone for overbuilding something though.
From contributor D:
The dowels pretty much make your doors bulletproof. Could be overkill in some cases but stout to resist a joint splitting. Seems like drilling for dowels before profiling would be the way to go?
From contributor E:
Not necessary, but definitely stronger. You would be hard pressed to find a cabinetmaker or door maker who uses dowels in their door construction. That said, a cope and stick joined door will fail if dropped or slammed just right. If you use some kind of spring loaded or soft closing hinge you should never have an issue.
From contributor A:
How do you drill for the dowels? I use a hand doweling jig but would like one of those machines Delta and Grizzly sell with the pneumatic clamp that drills two holes at once. I have two doors in my kitchen that I made that have come apart. At the time I made them I did not use dowels. The panels swelled in summer. We don't have central air. Factory doors are hard to beat and they don't use dowels but almost every time I order a whole kitchen, 1 or 2 doors are warped. When I bang them together with those dowels I feel I really have a good product going out the door, plus less clamping time.
From the original questioner:
From contributor O:
Typically not necessary. I did recently build a set of shaker type doors that had a beveled stile and rail joint, making it exceptionally weak, so I ran dowels. Yes, drill before profiles, just be sure to drill deeper for the profiles. I have an old single head Rayco horizontal boring machine.
From contributor B:
I dowel my doors rebated for glass, cope and stick using Freeborn cutters, so rebate is created at the time of shaping. There just isn't anything to hold them together without the dowels. Standard doors, no dowels.
Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?
Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?