Wood dowels are commonly used to hold wooden joints together securely in various applications, ranging from large sailing ships to small bookshelves. Although joints created by using wood dowels are typically very sturdy and secure, there are many other common uses for wood dowels that make them an extremely versatile and useful accessory. Wood dowels come in a multitude of lengths, diameters, and compositions, further increasing their usefulness in some applications that many people would not even consider. If you have ever witnessed a beautiful, multi-tiered wedding cake, the chances are very strong that you have seen wood dowels in action. Because of their amazing lateral strength, wood dowels can hold an incredible amount of weight end-to-end, making them very useful in large, heavy, multi-tiered cakes. Wood dowels can easily be cut to specific desired lengths, allowing for simplistic adjustment, and because of their relatively small diameter they are quite easy to insert. Typically, the wood dowels are cut to length and pressed vertically into the lower, supporting tier so as to barely protrude from the top of the tier when fully submerged. This results in a solid base than can support the weight of the tier placed above it, without compressing as the lower tier would likely do without the support of the wood dowels. Furthermore, wood dowels can also be used to attach other decorative elements to the cake, such as vertical cake segments, making them extremely useful to nearly any cake decorator. Wood dowels are also commonly used as pegs in wooden racks of various types. By cutting wood dowels to relatively short lengths and embedding them in a wood block with dowel holes drilled at an angle, a simple key organizer can be created to hold key rings of different sizes, shapes, and uses. Longer and larger dowels can be used similarly to create racks to hold everything from toilet tissue to garden hoses. Wood dowels cut into shorter pegs are commonly used to support book shelves and other types of adjustable shelving, as well as versatile and adjustable dinnerware, glassware, or wine racks. Historically, wood dowels have been used in a multitude of ways around the home, such as in creating simple games or toys. Homemade cribbage boards, for example, can be crafted by cutting wood dowels into small, one inch segments, and drilling holes slightly larger than the dowel diameter in a block of wood. Wood dowels can also be used as makeshift curtain rods or clothes rods, and various types of tools from back scratchers to sliding glass door locks can be crafted almost entirely from them. Even existing wood furniture can be accented or decorated by using wood dowels stained to match. The possibilities are nearly endless. The wood dowel is an amazingly versatile component in various types of wood working. There are innumerable ways in which the wood dowel can be used to make lives easier, from simple crafts to complex structures. Used throughout history, the wood dowel has become a staple in wood work of all types.