I have alway prefered a tennon to dowels and biscuits as joinery. So what i
would like to know is what is better a tennon or a dowel. Dowels can be
good in some situations ie, chair rails etc. Is one better than the other
Better for what? Speed and ease of construction? Shear strength?
Pull-out strength? Antique authenticity? Requiring fewest tools/jigs?
Answer: totally depends - both have their place, with lots of overlap
for most applications.
A dowel is a loose round tenon. Unless it is pinned, it has poor resistance
to withdrawal, unless it is of sufficient cross-section, it has poor
resistance to shear.
Same depth criteria apply as in the "how deep" thread - don't bore all the
way through the other piece, or it's a bridle.
depends to some extent on the way the grain lies, but a tenon is
usually stronger than a dowel. endgrain doesn't glue well, and if your
dowel relies on a hole drilled perpenticular to grain, then there is a
lot of endgrain involved. a mortise would result in more joint
strenght because the sides of the mortise hold glue well.
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