tees, skews and picks


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Established Member
12 May 2019
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Sheffield UK
No, I don't mean tee-squares, skew-chisels and pick axes, but rather wooden golf tees, bamboo barbie skewers and wood tooth picks -- anyone else here use these as dowels/treenails/Japanese wood nails etc?

For example I recently fixed a solid oak edge to a workshop drawers top that will be used as a work surface - bamboo skewers (available v cheaply but mine were actually saved from takeout and restaurant chicken - cheapskate) are very tough and easy to hammer in and cut off to right length. Four somewhat thicker old wooden golf tees were used to fix top to drawers top. I've also used toothpicks in the last week in the repair of a saw handle - extra strength to the glued joint -- also there was a single worm hole and a tooth pick hammered into this with a dab of glue.

It's satisfying to be all wood but also especially useful if tools could hit the screw or nail you might have used. Can be stained etc for more refined work.

I think bamboo is especially tough - and for a little thicker than skewers there are small thin bamboo plant supports (cut from large bamboo stalk wall, not a hollow stem).

Wooden golf tees (get a largish bag of unvarnished) are a little more pricey but a lot cheaper than some types of fancy stepped wood fixing you can buy.
Does this mean chopsticks make the best dowels?

Great tip. I was aware of the idea and have used it on a small scale, but as a non-golfer I was unaware of wooden tees.

This thread teatray-construction-t75386.html

has some trays I made, where the mitred corners were 'nailed' with cocktail sticks.

6mm dowels are sold here at the dollar store, something like a dozen for $1. They aren't always there, but I pick up a pack of them when they have them.

I don't use dowels for joinery, but I've used them for a zillion little cobble jobs and they've worked great. plenty strong.

our dollar store also has a two sided coarse aluminum oxide stone that works as a coarse stone ($1), admittedly, not the quality of norton's stones, but it cuts just as strongly as any other aluminum oxide stone that I've used.
I use toothpicks to pack out screw holes when the screw doesn't bite anymore.
Skewers can be handy when making/repairing picture frames. The flooring at our last house was done on the cheap, full of knot holes. A couple of kids snooker cues came useful being tapered.