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Dowel screws are lag threaded dowels (studs) used to fasten two pieces of wood. Like typical studs, they are headless, double-ended screws but have wood screw threads at both ends. Common uses include furniture making, attaching balusters to stairs and flooring, installing finials, creating end-to-end joints and other woodworking applications where wood needs to be joined using a single hidden fastener and blind holes. Dowel screws are also known as:
wood screw threaded studs.
Since they do not have a head, use locking pliers or a driver tool to install.
Dowel screws have coarse, widely spaced threads that taper to a blunt point designed to start threading into a properly sized pilot hole. Being a thread-forming-type screw, they create their own mating threads in the wood during installation—no nut or tapped hole is needed. Threading at both ends is standard right-hand, so turn the screw clockwise to install. An unthreaded body section, called a plain center, allows locking pliers to be used without damaging threads.
Common sizes are 3/16" [#10], 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" in diameter and lengths range from 1 1/2" to 4". Measure length from end to end.
The typical material is steel. Plain finish, which lacks a surface treatment to inhibit rust, is the usual finish.
If you need a double-ended screw that has machine screw threads on one end and lag threads on the other, choose a hanger bolt.
Dowel screws require predrilled, full-depth pilot holes to ensure maximum withdrawal resistance; hole size is based on screw size and wood density, as suggested in Table 1.
Dowel Screw Pilot Hole Sizes
|Screw Size||Pilot Hole Size|
|Soft Wood||Hard Wood|