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Is the length of a steel dowel pin standardized to a certain tolerance? McMaster-Carr provides tolerances on the diameter of dowel pins but not the length. In the event where I want a dowel pin to fit into two blind locating holes, I'd like to know if I need to leave a little extra "wiggle room" in the hole depth.

For example, I have two parts that need to meet as close together as possible. One part has a 5 mm deep locating hole for a dowel pin. If I have a 10 mm dowel, can I specify a 5 mm deep locating hole on the second part (assuming the dowel is actually <10 mm long)? Or should I choose something deeper (5.5 or 6 mm perhaps)?

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  • $\begingroup$ I will probably use a slightly deeper hole anyway, since it doesn't matter much if the dowel slides around a bit $\endgroup$ – BarbalatsDilemma Aug 20 '18 at 14:13
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Usually the nominal length of the dowel is the total overall including the actual ground, pin section + the rounded end and + beveled end. Usually lengths are not toleranced so you should have a deeper hole then the nominal length as they run slightly larger.

ALSO....If you are using dowel pin to locate two blind holes, make sure to use a pull dowel and grind a "vent" on the side on the side of the pin so that it can be removed. Better if one of those holes doesn't have to be blind so the pin can be pushed out. A regular dowel pin, pressed into a blind hole is a real chore to try and remove.

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