LumberJocks

Handy tools #15: Stanley #77 Dowel Maker

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 11-01-2021 02:42 PM 1287 reads 1 time favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Ixion eggbeater drill Part 15 of Handy tools series Part 16: Fast Phone Holder »

A while ago I got a dowel maker. Got it up and running this morning, and made a video of making a 1/4 inch beech dowel.


Edited to add: a photo of the instruction sheet:

I have cutters for 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 inch, which I think will cover me pretty well. Anything larger than that, I can make on the lathe. And if I should need one of the odd sixteenths, I can chuck the dowel up in a drill and sand it down until it’s the right size.

-- Dave - Santa Fe



36 comments so far

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

2786 posts in 2848 days


#1 posted 11-01-2021 02:52 PM

That is a slick device will be very helpful.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

10795 posts in 3325 days


#2 posted 11-01-2021 03:07 PM

Like sharpening a pencil. Looks and sounds like you have it very sharp and running in great condition. What’s the biggest dowel you can make?

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8792 posts in 1864 days


#3 posted 11-01-2021 03:47 PM

Thanks, Oldrivers! The beech dowels I made this morning are already glued into some 1/4” holes drilled on the post drill in a lamination of beech and cherry I glued up yesterday. Should be very pretty when turned.

Thanks, Dave. It currently cuts the dowels about 1/64 too fat, so I took off the cutter and sharpened it, then adjusted it better. Works even better now!

I have 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 cutters. 3/4 is the biggest the machine can do.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

732 posts in 2316 days


#4 posted 11-01-2021 04:45 PM

Nice Dave.

I wanted one of those, but way too spendy for me so ended up with a rounding plane instead.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1565 posts in 2574 days


#5 posted 11-01-2021 05:14 PM

Great tool Dave. Wish I had one. Instead I bought a Lie-Nielsen dowel plate. It works well but it takes a lot of shaving with a spike shave before I can wack it through the plate.

How much did you pay for it?

-- James E McIntyre

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8792 posts in 1864 days


#6 posted 11-01-2021 05:51 PM

Yeah, Mike. It’s pretty easy to get straight dowels with this, whereas a rounding plane… well, some of the dowels would work around corners.

I’ve got one of those too, James. This was about a grand, so a wee bit more than the dowel plate, but making 8” long straight dowels from 10” long pieces is pretty neat. And I’ve already used a few of them. I expect I’ll get my money’s worth out of it over time.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1565 posts in 2574 days


#7 posted 11-01-2021 06:19 PM

I’ve got one of those too, James. This was about a grand, so a wee bit more than the dowel plate, but making 8” long straight dowels from 10” long pieces is pretty neat. And I’ve already used a few of them. I expect I’ll get my money’s worth out of it over time.

I think it’s a good investment. Over time it will increase in value.
- Dave Polaschek

-- James E McIntyre

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8792 posts in 1864 days


#8 posted 11-01-2021 07:19 PM

Oh yeah, it will probably increase in value, but I suspect I’ll never sell it.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3351 posts in 3472 days


#9 posted 11-01-2021 07:39 PM

Very nice antique woodworking tool, like DOUBLED said, works like a pencil sharpener. The square hole wheel is convenient, looks to go up to 1”. Be that the case?

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8792 posts in 1864 days


#10 posted 11-01-2021 08:13 PM

Just up to 3/4 inch, Tom. But yeah, it’s pretty nice. And if I need inch dowels, I can turn them on the lathe.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

732 posts in 2316 days


#11 posted 11-01-2021 08:47 PM



Yeah, Mike. It’s pretty easy to get straight dowels with this, whereas a rounding plane… well, some of the dowels would work around corners.

- Dave Polaschek


Rive the wood instead of sawing it seems to be the trick for straight dowels with a rounding plane I find.

I’ll get the stanley if I ever find one cheap enough of course :)

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8792 posts in 1864 days


#12 posted 11-01-2021 08:57 PM

I’ve heard that, Mike. I also figure that this will let me use woods with grain that won’t rive if I want.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8193 posts in 2669 days


#13 posted 11-01-2021 10:12 PM

I bought one of these last year but I have had a little trouble sharpening the blades and getting them set to cut a nice smooth dowel. Mine came with a nearly complete set of the cutters. need to get it out again and see if I can tune it a little better. I did find a source for some replacement blades, BTW (though I will have to find it again if anyone needs it).

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8231 posts in 2102 days


#14 posted 11-01-2021 11:49 PM

That looks neat DP... had to do a bit of an ogle on Google thinking it may be a new product I haven’t heard of… You did well picking one up with all the cutters.
Why can’t good stuff stay in production?

I’m forever fidgeting around for dowels and have JEMI’s gizmo in both metric and (ugh!) imperial. Pain to prepare timber and used to find it much easier to just stain standard pine dowels.

Desperately needed “perfect” 20mm dowels for my Fe$tool MFT style worktops.

While large dowels can be made on the lathe, it’s hard to get a perfect diameter by “free-hand”... I need near perfect dowels for oversized wooden threads using my Beall wood threader.

The closest I could find for a good commercial dowel maker was the Veritas dowel maker from Lee-Valley.

Have been considering a review of both the Beall and Veritas products.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8792 posts in 1864 days


#15 posted 11-02-2021 12:11 AM

Nathan, I didn’t have much trouble blade, but I used a coarse slip. I’ll give all the blades a touch-up with the slips some time when there’s a little less chaos in the shop and I’m not at risk of losing things.

Ducky, I didn’t get all the cutters. I don’t have the odd sixteenths. Dowel plates have a purpose, and for making a one-off, they’re great. They work a lot better with wood that rives well, though. The Veritas Dowel Maker is basically the same cutter as the Stanley 77, but without the square plate to hold the wood aligned properly.

As for getting the perfect dimension on the lathe, using a bedan for a peeling cut with a Sorby Sizing Tool:

It’s a pretty slick system, I think. You can overshoot if you get a catch, but otherwise when the tool drops past the dowel, you’re at the right size.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

showing 1 through 15 of 36 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com