Installing Dowels and Gables (Vertical Panels)

Sherwood Shelving uses a Cam Fittings and Dowels to connect our units together. This video shows how to install dowels during a closet organizer installation.

Dowel Selection

There are only 2 types of dowels that you will use, Screw-in Dowel and Double Dowel.
Each has a slightly different function (also refer to the explanation of “Hardware Used” above) so you need to choose the dowel that will work best. Dowels are only inserted into gables where a fixed shelf is secured. The first thing you need to do is determine the type of closet unit that will be on either side of the gable (i.e. Double Hang, Long Hang, Medium Hang, Tower, etc.) and choose from the 2 types of dowels that will be appropriate for the installation.
The Double Dowel is only used when there is a fixed shelf on either side of the gable; for example the top shelves running the length of the organizer system. The Screw-In Dowel can be used on a standard gable (a gable that has holes drilled all the way through) when only one side of the gable has a fixed shelf. They are also used on finished gables, when there is a different drilling pattern on either side of the gable, or a wardrobe tube support is installed on the other side of the gable. Experience will make this process easier and much faster.

Dowel Placement

It works best to install the dowels into the gables before suspending the gables from the rail; this is true of drawer glide placement which will be covered in the next point.
Dowel location is dependent on the closet unit, length of gable being used, and where the fixed shelf is to be located. A good rule of thumb is to insert dowels into the top holes of each gable (top fixed shelf installation). Then insert dowels into the 4th hole from the bottom of the gable when a wardrobe tube is to be mounted below (5th holes for 7ft and 7th hole for 8ft units). These are general rules and can be changed depending on the design and needs of the customer. Examples of this would be:

• Shelf Hang and Double Hang: Both of these sections use 4 foot gables. Insert the dowels (and the fixed shelves) into the top holes and the 4th holes from the bottom of the gable, and 5 holes for 7ft, this will enable you to position the wardrobe tube in the correct spot.

A double hang designed for high ceilings uses 5 foot gables and will have 3 fixed shelves. In this application the dowel placement is in the top hole and 7th hole up from the bottom. To locate the dowel placement for the third fixed shelf, count 8 holes down from the top of the gable. This will only leave approximately 8” of space above this shelf but the limited room is required to allow enough room for the hanging.

• Medium Hang: The medium hang uses a 3 foot gable when the unit on the other side of the gable doesn’t require a longer gable. If a 3 foot gable is being used the dowel is inserted in the 4th hole from the bottom of the gable. If the gable is longer be cause the section on either side requires it, the dowel placement would be 4 holes up from where the bottom of a 3 foot gable would be located.

• Long Hang: The long hang section uses a 2 foot gable and dowel placement is also in the 4th hole from the bottom of the gable.

• Double Shelf Hang: The double shelf hang uses a 1 foot gable and the dowel placement is 4th hole from the bottom of the gable. This allows maximum room between the two shelves and still allows one empty hole between the fixed shelf and the wardrobe tube support.

• Towers and Suspended Towers: On towers with drawers a dowel and fixed shelf is always installed above the top drawer. If there are no drawers a fixed shelf should be installed at the center point of the tower for any gables over 5 feet long.

When determining the dowel placement on towers there are more things to consider, for example, is the tower using small, medium or large kicks? Are there any drawers and if so how many and what sizes? What size of gable is the tower using or is it a suspended tower? All of these things will determine where you need to place your dowels for the fixed shelves.

The following tables list the dowel placement for the most common standard height applications:


This is the number of holes to the fixed shelf from the bottom of the gable

Size of Toe Kick # of Holes from Bottom of Gable Distance off Floor (approx) Distance from Top of Gable
Small (2.5” or 63mm)


2.9” (73.5mm)


Medium (3.75” or 95mm)


4" (105.5mm)


Large (6.25” or 159mm)


6.7" (169.5mm)



This is the number of holes to the fixed shelf from the 1st hole after glide

Drawer Size # of Holes from Bottom Mount Glide # of Holes from Side Mount Glide # of Holes from Undermount Soft Close Glide
Extra Small




















Diagram shows fixed shelf placement for a medium drawer. (6 holes up)

Medium drawer set up left cabinet glide to be mounted in the 7th hole from previous slide.

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