Finding center of a dowel rod

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Blog entry by pollock posted 11-20-2011 10:17 PM 15381 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What is the easy way to find the center of a dowel rod?

-- Dean,Tulsa,Oklahoma

9 comments so far

View Paul M Cohen's profile

Paul M Cohen

86 posts in 4859 days

#1 posted 11-20-2011 11:29 PM

Depends on the purpose and what tools you have. If you have a lathe just chuck the rod on the lathe, turn it on and hold a pencil to the end. You will either get a dot (the center) or a circle. You can also chuck a pencil or scribe in the tail-stock to make the mark. If you want to drill the center just put a drill bit in a tail-stock chuck.

-- Paul, Beaverton OR,

View shopdog's profile


582 posts in 4567 days

#2 posted 11-21-2011 12:02 AM

I have a Starrett square with a center finder attachment. Couldn’t be easier.

-- Steve--

View pollock's profile


42 posts in 4303 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 03:22 AM

Thank you all

-- Dean,Tulsa,Oklahoma

View rance's profile


4278 posts in 4242 days

#4 posted 11-21-2011 03:48 AM

Finding the center is one thing. Accurately drilling a hole in that marked location is another. Check Rob Cosman’s jig for this. You can make one for free.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 4004 days

#5 posted 11-21-2011 08:20 AM

If you are doing this process repeatedly on hundreds of dowels… then make a jig. All you need to do is drill a hole on a board that the dowel can slide through.. not to tight but not too loose.. Then blind one end of the hole using a piece of acrylic plate (this will allow you to see the dowel ends when it is slide through… use screw for fixing the acrylic piece. Finally, on the acrylic piece , drill the center hole for the dowel pin and countersunk it just enough to allow you to insert a marker for the center of the dowel pins. This way you can insert dowels, one at a time to the hole and mark the center of the pins as long as you want without using any rulers or straight edge. Hope this will help.

-- Bert

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 3721 days

#6 posted 11-21-2011 10:31 AM

Grab a forstner of the same diameter and kiss the end of the dowel with the point of the bit.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Don W's profile

Don W

20050 posts in 3649 days

#7 posted 11-21-2011 03:24 PM

take a spade bit the same size as the dowel. Drill a hole through a piece of scrap wood so the point of the bit just starts through the back side.

You can now insert the dowel in the opening and mark through the small hole with an awl or pencil.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 4778 days

#8 posted 11-21-2011 04:26 PM

you can buy a dowel centering jig goes from 1/4” to 1” Put the dowel in the hole and give it a tap ,It puts a dimple in the end so you can start drilling a hole with out it wandering
cost About 8 bucks .

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View rance's profile


4278 posts in 4242 days

#9 posted 11-21-2011 05:43 PM


Google for “Rob Cosman” drilling dowel. I’ll provide the link also but it may go stale over time. . His jig is not free, and it only comes in one size. You can make your own in ANY size.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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