Removing dowel pins can be tricky, but at times necessary. Since the dowel pin may become stuck inside a part for a range of reasons, it is imperative to properly evaluate your situation before attempting dowel pin removal. Visit how to install dowel pins for suggestions on dowel pin installation.
Method 1: The Pull Method
If your dowel pin is fully intact, with a minimum of 0.125” exposed, and located outside of a tight tolerance feature, the Pull Method may be the fastest and simplest option. First clamp the part into a vise. Then use a precision tool, such as a chuck or pin vise, to hold onto the dowel pin for removal. Finally pull the pin away from the part, ensuring that you are not angling the pin during removal. A prototrak may also be used to assist in this process.
Method 2: Drill, Tap and Remove Method
If method 1 proves unsuccessful, or the pin resides in tight tolerance area, use a tap to remove the dowel pin. To do this, first align the part on a prototrak. Proceed to drill a hole into the pin, tapping it with the largest tap that will fit inside the diameter of the pin. Once the tap has bottomed out, or you reach the designated depth, simply retract the ‘z’ height on your machine to remove the dowel pin. Although effective, this method may damage your tap, and can be difficult to perform, so please try method 1 first if possible.
Method 3: Push Out Method
If a dowel pin is lodged in a through hole, try pushing the pin through the entire part. To execute this method, use a pin smaller than the diameter of the pin you wish to extract. Next, align the part on your prototrak so that the smaller pin will be pushed into the plugged hole. Then drop the ‘z’ height of your machine, using the smaller pin to push out the lodged dowel pin. This method will deform the entire hole, but will salvage the workpiece and enable dowel pin removal.
While using any or all of these methods proceed cautiously, checking frequently to ensure that you are not damaging your workpiece or your machine. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to leave a comment below. For more information please refer to our ultimate dowel pin guide!