This is a great trick for making really small wood joints. Standard dowel joints are not the most durable, but work great for the right application. The key to dowel joints is proportion. Skewers are typically around 3/32" diameter, which works great for material that is 1/4" - 1/2" thick. I've been making these small wood water tower-like structures, and using skewers for dowels works great. The wood is about 3/8" square for reference. Any bigger and you should probably use a real dowel, not a skewer.
This Instructable goes over the basics of drilling and gluing the dowels, but not how to make the structures. If you come up with fun stuff to make using this method, please post photos of your project!
(I've added a photo of the lamp I made using this dowel technique to show an example project).
You might need some specific tools not listed, depending on what you are making.
- Wood skewers**
- Wood for your construction (I milled some 3/8" square lengths of solid wood for the structure shown)
- Drill (cordless)
- 3/32" drill bit
- Hammer (small head is preferred)
- Pliers with built in wire cutter
- Wood glue
- Chisel (reasonably sharp)
- Combination Square (helpful for marking)
** Bamboo skewers have a stronghold on the market, so you might not be able to find solid wood without a lot of searching. Bamboo will work too, but I like the look of hardwood over the bamboo end-grain. I finally found solid wood skewers at an Ace Hardware on University in Berkeley.... after searching several other stores.