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How to shrink an already drilled hole? Answered

I am making a folding seat i found on youtube. It has several 5/8 inch dowels for the joints. To drill holes for the dowels, i went and picked up a new 5/8 inch bit for my drill. after cutting everything out and drilling the holes, i realized that the holes were too loose for the dowels; it wouldn't stay together. Rather than trashing it what could i do to save it?


Try soaking the dowels in warm water for a few hours. Check the diameter each hour to make sure it doesn't go over. When diameter is perfect, wipe them with towel and use gorilla glue or heavy duty wood glue to fasten.


7 years ago

I've found that not all 5/8" dowels are created equal. When I was working on a project that used them, I brought a drilled hole with me to the store and picked only the dowels that fit snugly. Before modifying the holes, check the diameter of the dowels!

No problem. Good luck! Be sure to check both the softwood and hardwood dowels that are in stock, since I've found these to be quite different.

If you're drlling wood, use a piece of wood veneer as a liner, and glue it in, even paper would work.


i don't think the hole is that much bigger than the dowel, but thanks anyway


7 years ago

Up size the dowels Buying, painting sweating and impregnating chemically.
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7 years ago

I saw the video.
Get the correct drill for your dowels. Test it on a scrap of wood.
Turn the eight swinging wood lengths 180º and drill them correctly this time.
You can fill the holes at leisure.
Can you do that ??

well, the problem is, that is the bit he suggested in the video. mine might just be deformed. and i have already made the 31 1/2 degree cut on the legs so i can't flip them over.

Use wood glue to glue dowels to fill the holes then re-drill them using the correct sized drill.

There is a glue called Gorilla-Glue. It EXPANDS like styrofoam when it cures. The parts should be slightly wet with water then apply the glue to each piece and attach together. This might expand and fill the small gap, as long as the gap isn't too large, this might work.


7 years ago

Make a thin saw cut lengthwise in the dowel to a point where it just short of the depth of the dowel hole. Drive a thin wooden wedge in the saw cut to spread the dowel slightly wider than the hole. (Like a wedge in a hammer handle) Sand it down carefully to a snug fit with a piece of sandpaper.

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here I was going to suggest he needs a board stretcher...

good solution!

My dad was a master carpenter, and I "helped" him in his workshop as far back as I can remember. That fix was just one of the myriad of things he taught me over the years.

if there is alot of slop between the parts you could fill the holes with jb weld or epoxy and then re-drill them. otherwise I would just do as steveastrouk says and line the hole with a little paper and wood glue.