I want to try using pre-glued dowels and am interested in advice.
From contributor M:
A couple of years back I ordered 5000 pre-glued dowels thinking that their use would save us time with applying glue as well as cleaning up the excess from squeeze out. I found that we really did not save much time, as we had to either wet the dowel or squirt water (mist) into the hole receiving the dowel. I never could determine how much was just right. We hand apply all our dowels, so I guess the time saving would be more of a factor to someone using automated doweling.
I never found much confidence in using them either, as the layer of pre-applied glue is pretty thin. We really rely on the dowels to hold our shutter panels together, and any holes that were drilled a little large had to have glue applied anyway. I think they would probably be fine for drawer boxes or cabinet boxes that will not see the stress on joints that shutters do.
I sprits water to fill the holes (cheapo Home Depot sprayer works great), wait a minute or so, dump out water, insert dowel, clamp. I use uncoated dowels and glue on pre-finished material, as the water will lift the coating. Likewise for unfinished material that'll be stained - don't need any water rings.