Furniture Terms to Discuss: DOWEL May 19, 2013 Furniture Terms to Discuss – DOWEL: A small round wooden rod used to connect 2 pieces of wood. Dowels were first used extensively in mass produced furniture production beginning in the mid 19th century and replaced the stronger, but more difficult to produce mortise & tenon joint. A DOWEL JOINT IS A WAY OF STRENGTHENING A WOODWORKING JOINT Does any of your furniture have dowel joints? If you can see the dowel, the joint is open and loose. Consider having it repaired…before it breaks!