Applying Glue or Water to Dowel Holes

Focusing in on a small step with dowel construction: preparing the dowel hole. August 21, 2012

What method do you use to apply the glue or water to the holes in the face of a panel when using dowel construction? We need to find a faster method.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
Use pre-glued dowels and spray the water with one of those sprayers that you can get at Home Depot for cleaning products. It doesn't take a lot of water.

From contributor H:
I use a trigger spray bottle, but would like to find one that will spray consistent. Mine sprays sometimes, dribbles the next. I might try one with a brass nozzle, though I think differing trigger pressure might be the culprit.

From contributor D:
We use to use a little brass plant mister but now have a pressurized mister that works a lot better. Itís kind of like a really small weed sprayer only the nozzle atomizes better.

From contributor F:
I started doweling about cases about a year ago. I use the Lamello minicol bottle to insert the glue into both holes. Itís not super fast, but I don't see how using pre-glued dowels would be faster if you still have to squirt water into the holes? Itís the same number of steps, but would seem like more chances for error with pre-glued if you don't mist the proper amount.

From contributor B:
I'm using mostly pre-glued dowels. My procedure is to fill the holes completely with my basic spray bottle, give everything a minute to soak, then shake the water out and insert the dowel. For unglued, the Minicol is a great low tech answer.

From contributor L:
We use a system sold by Lamello. It is a small pressure pot, hose to an injector gun and a control that puts a measured amount in each hole when the gun is triggered. The gun is kept in a water bottle between uses so it stays free flowing. We've rigged a spring loaded pivoting arm that keeps the hose up and out of the way and still allows adequate coverage of the bench area. It's only used for face holes. The edges have their dowels done on a CNC bore and insert machine that has a glue injector. Takes it just over a second to move to location, bore, blow dust out of bore, inject glue, and drive a dowel leaving exactly the same protrusion every time. Control is via a bar code on part labels.

From contributor V:
Maybe a Dosicol with dowel tips? This video regarding cabinet building efficiency may be of help.

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From contributor F:
OK, so maybe the pre-glued is the standard method if you're using an insertion machine? But even so, I don't see how it's faster to spray water, wait a minute, shake out, and then assemble versus using glue. Maybe people use it because it eliminates any squeeze out? I do have to spend a minute or two on each cabinet cleaning up glue squeeze out.

From the original questioner:
With the water there isn't any waiting. You fill the hole and insert the dowel immediately. The hydraulic action of forcing the dowel into the hole drives the water into the core of the panel, activates the glue and all is good.