Gluing dowels

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It's a little late to ask at this point, as I've already glued three of the four assemblies with the most dowels, but I've noticed some inconsistencies.
I'm doing this:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/14862252616/in/set-72157644207411490/lightbox/
to make four of these:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/14673236260/in/set-72157644207411490/lightbox/
I'm only using glue for the top and bottom rails, plus two of the eight "rungs" in-between. To leave as little work to do as possible during the open time of the glue, I first inserted all of the dowels that will not be glued, along with their respective "rungs".
The glue is Titebond I, the dowels store-bought, 3/8", fluted.
I drizzle some glue into each hole in the first stile and spread it onto the walls of the hole with a thin metal rod. Then I insert the dowels and tap them in with a mallet. I do the same procedure on the first end of each rail. I can usually wiggle the parts together without any added persuasion.
The second side is a different story, as I have to mate all of the dowels and holes at once. Beyond getting everything aligned, I think the slightly greater "waiting" time after applying the glue swells the wood inside the holes. (on the first side, I can apply the glue for each joint, then immediately put the parts together).
In any case, last night I glued up the third ladder assembly. There was a little more squeeze-out than I had expected on two of the joints, and I took a minute to wipe it down. (in previous projects I didn't worry as much, as all the parts were prefinished).
Possibly because of that (short) delay, I had a heck of a time getting the joints together, resorting to a heavier rubber mallet and some pretty energetic pounding. It worked out OK in the end, but it was worrisome at the time.
So I'm wondering if this is just par for the course and working quickly is the only recommendation, or if there are any other tips anyone can offer.
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On Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:45:34 AM UTC-5, Greg Guarino wrote:

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On 8/12/2014 11:58 AM, Michael wrote:

with a jig and wedges:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/14673236260/in/set-72157644207411490/lightbox/
The jig consists of two straight-edges screwed down to the work surface at right angles to one another. Small blocks of 1x2 and shims provide the clamping.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/14859901615/in/set-72157644207411490/lightbox/
The first two assemblies went together square with no adjusting. The third was the tiniest bit out; there was a gap of maybe 1/32 between one leg and the jig. I used a clamp to snug that up and then applied the wedges as before.
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On 8/12/2014 11:06 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Nothing works quite like clamps. You get a lot of pressure with out pounding.
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On 8/12/2014 2:55 PM, Leon wrote:

find a deal on a couple more good clamps.
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On 8/12/2014 2:56 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Seriously, make a flat spot in the side of the dowel too it will relieve the compression that you are working against.

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On 8/12/2014 11:27 PM, Leon wrote:

I figure I have only ten dowels to reshape, so I do plan to do it, even if I don't find an efficient method.
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On Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:06:34 AM UTC-5, Greg Guarino wrote:

60/in/set-72157644207411490/lightbox/ The jig consists of two straight-edge s screwed down to the work surface at right angles to one another. Small bl ocks of 1x2 and shims provide the clamping. https://www.flickr.com/photos/g dguarino/14859901615/in/set-72157644207411490/lightbox/

I've ocassionally used wedges for similar clamping. Driving one wedge in, from one direction, only, sometimes causes the clamped piece to move, along with the wedge, as the wedge is being driven snug. If this is the sort of misaligning you're speaking of, with the third assembly, then it would be best to use two wedges, at each point, and snug them from different directi ons, so that the clamped piece doesn't move out of alignment. This double wedging approach is used in other circumstances, also, somewhat like shimmi ng door jams (from both sides of the doorway).
Sonny
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On 8/13/2014 9:14 AM, Sonny wrote:

movable wedge in could only tend to move the work *into* the squaring jig, not away.
What I meant was that when I put the first two units into the squaring jig, they lined up perfectly right off. The third had one "leg" away from the end of the jig by a very small amount, maybe a thirty-second. A very slight amount of pressure got it perfect.
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On 8/12/2014 10:45 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Open time appears to be your enemy.
Use a glue with an longer "open" time on the difficult side. Titebond "extend" is good to have on hand.
As previously noted, good clamps can do a better job of getting the parts together, particularly with a rubber mallet, which has too much bounce back, compared to a dead blow mallet, which takes advantage of inertia.
Don't have a dead blow mallet? Should be your next purchase if you're both fitting and glueing parts.
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On Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1:32:12 PM UTC-5, Swingman wrote:

After application, how much time does he have to get the piece set up? I looked up the specs on the Titebond web site, and I can't find it.
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On 8/12/2014 3:41 PM, Michael wrote:

Except for the last assembly I did, I doubt there was more than three or four minutes between glue application (in the first hole) and fitting the pieces together.
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On 8/12/2014 2:41 PM, Michael wrote:

IIRC the extend glue allow up to another 3~5 minutes of open time over regular glue.
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On 8/12/2014 2:32 PM, Swingman wrote:

Thanks. Interesting suggestions. I suppose I will have to find a space on the board for yet another mallet. And a longer open time glue sounds like a good idea for someone at my stage of anxiety, uh, woodworking.
As for "good" strong clamps, my selection is limited. I have a couple of Cabinet Masters and some pipe clamps. But the self-squaring "jig" has been of great comfort to me. I suppose I could rebuild it with "gaps" for the clamp jaws, but I think that might have to wait for a future project. I have only one more "ladder" to glue up, so I'll probably just tweak the system for now.
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On 8/12/2014 2:54 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Keep in mind also the more precise you build the less you have to work about keeping the work square. Square cut joints will naturally square the assembly as you apply the clamp pressure.
The head board pics that I posted a few days ago were only squared up by applying clamp pressure to the 4 rails where they met the 2 stiles. Basically if the joint is closed the angle is as it was cut to be.
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On 8/13/2014 9:07 AM, Leon wrote:

at least in previous projects - in a bit of inaccuracy. I have been gratified to find that these "ladders" have gone together square "naturally", as you suggest they would if cut properly. The worst one so far needed to be tweaked perhaps a thirty-second. Still, it was nice to be able to see and check those good results quickly by lining the work up with the jig.
I made almost all of the cuts for this project with a miter saw, but this time I took some pains to set it up correctly, using a couple of drafting triangles, a 1-2-3 block and a wixie box. It seems to have worked.
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On 8/13/2014 9:15 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Practice makes perfect!
FWIW your doing well, IMHO.
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On 8/12/2014 10:45 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Once the glue touches the other side of the joint it begins to set. With all of those dowels you have a huge amount of friction to overcome. Add to that glue that is setting and things get interesting.
An extended open time glue can help.
ALSO, Your dowels have ridges around the perimeter, ideally this allows excess glue AND air to escape. Works OK with a few dowels going together quickly but not so well when that are a bunch.
I flatten one side of the dowels with a disk sander to make a bigger path for the glue and air to escape. That will probably help more than anything.
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On 8/12/2014 3:01 PM, Leon wrote:

Well, I don't believe I would ever have thought of that on my own. I'm glad I asked. I don't have a disk sander, but I'm sure I could come up with some way to accomplish it. Maybe a vee shaped recess with a stop to hold the dowel, and a block plane? How much of a flat do you make?
Have you still got fingerprints, by the way? Those are awfully small objects to hold against a disk sander. :)
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On 8/12/2014 3:00 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

the flat spot is only one way, easy for me, you could also drill a hole down the center. It only needs to be large enough to relieve the compression that builds up in the hole.

I use domino's now. ;~) the beauty to the domino is that the side that receives the Domino first is an exact fit. A hammer over comes the resistance with each one placed one at a time. When bring the mating side though I use the elongated slot setting on the Domino mortiser to effectively relieve all possibility of compression.
IIRC I used my ROS to flatten the sides of the dowels, It does not take much at all. Hold the dowel with a pair of plyers.

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