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Cabinet Dish Rack

I have a nice oak cabinet that has a dish rack with wooden dowels.

The previous owner removed every other dowel. We want to put back the dowels, however it is difficult to re-insert the dowels that were removed.

Are there any suggestions as to how to put them back??

A. Spruce
Re: Cabinet Dish Rack

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

What is the width of the cabinet? How is the dish rack assembled? Can the rack be removed from the cabinet? Are you using oak dowels or other species?

Re: Cabinet Dish Rack

The cabinet is 12 inches wide and the dowels are oak to match the cabinet. It does not appear that the rack can be removed from the cabinet, I do not see any screws or nails holding it. The rack has two tracks running side by side (top and bottom) the width of the cabinet. Sorry no pictures at this time.

Re: Cabinet Dish Rack

I have done a few projects using dowels and I think I can help you. You say this is an old cabinet that someone had and has some age to it. You also say you are having trouble puting the dowels back in.
First off I would take a look inside the dowel holes. Is there any wood left inside from perhaps a slightly splintered dowel? It can happen even to oak as I have seen that a few times. If so you need to remove that wood as it is causing you problems. How about glue do you see any old glue inside of the dowel holes? You also need to remove any old glue too. I think the dowels you mention are what they call coat dowels but can be used for towels,a link to where you can find replacements if needed is further on in my post.
I think the best way to remove glue from a dowel hole is to use a wood chisel the same diameter of the dowel hole but not in an up and down motion instead use it to reem out any old glue and bits of stuck on dowel that didn't come out. Don't reem it too much though as your dowel will then not fit. Also with very light sandpaper very lightly sand the dowel until wood just begins to show through the glue on the dowel. Again don't over sand or your dowel will not fit.
Are your dowels still not fitting? Maybe they are now a bit too loose, a simple solution for that is to use a bit of shim like what you buy to install a window or door with and stick a piece of the slim side in and always use a good brand of glue like Titebond or Elmers wood glue as examples. If you ever have to replace dowels or need a finish for them that is hard to find locally try the Woodworkers Supply at http://woodworker.com . I have found many great products from them for my wood working needs as well as the special dowels you mention that are sometimes hard to find locally. I hope this helps you and when you are finished with your project I hope you post some pictures. Good luck to you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!:)

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