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Cross Dowel

A cross dowel is a small metal nut that has its threaded hole cut sideways through it, instead of the traditional way. It also has a notch in the top for use with a straight headed screwdriver so that the nut can be rotated as need be.

The whole point of a cross dowel in woodworking is to provide a way to bolt two pieces of wood together without needing to have the bolt visible and sticking out of the other end.

In fact, if you counter sink the head of the bolt itself and use a cross dowel, you can fill the holes with putty and never even see the bolt!

To install a cross dowel, you need to drill a hole for the dowel and a bolt hold. These will be perpendicular to each other, and they must line up. After drilling these holes, you will insert the cross dowel into the first hole.



Using a screwdriver, you will then rotate it so that you can line it up with the bolt hole. Then, when it is all lined up with the threads facing the right direction, you will insert the bolt and tighten it up. The cross dowel will help to hold the opposite piece of wood in place with the help of the nut and bolt.

If you are planning on buying some cross dowels for use in your shop or woodworking space, then here are some things to think about. First off, you need to find out what size you are going to be using, and this will primarily depend on what size the wood will be that you will be working with. The larger the wood, the bigger the nuts and bolts you will need to hold it together, thus, the larger your cross dowels will need to be.

cross dowelcross dowel boltcross dowel nut

Cross dowels are an item that you will use a lot of in woodworking, so it is important that you buy enough. For example, just buying five or six will probably not get you by; this is an item, like screws or nails, that you would pretty much buy in boxes or by the pound.


Cross dowels are utilized in the boring jig video above.


You may end up buying them by the piece if you buy them online, but how you buy them does not really matter. What does matter is that you get the appropriate size, and if you tell your local hardware store clerk what kind of project you are working on, they should be able to recognize the size you need.

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We suggest you fulfill your cross dowel, nut and bolt needs online, because you can get better deals on the internet for gear like this. The internet is the price place to buy woodworking supplies these days, especially since outlet stores and hardware superstores charge a lot for what they have to sell. All in all, buying these cross dowels is the best thing you can do to take your woodworking activities to the next level. 

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