Dowel Christmas Tree

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Project by MatthewG posted 12-21-2017 01:47 AM 2494 views 5 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My spouse’s mom saw a picture of a “dowel tree” on the web, and asked if I could make one. This one is four feet tall, with a 1-1/8” main trunk, 1/2” branches, and 1/4” twigs. You go thru a lot of dowels—I think there are about 50-60 feet of twigs, maybe 24 feet of branches.

After a test run, I chose dowels of relatively soft wood, which makes them easier to insert and remove. The branches are all removable for storage, but the twigs are glued in place into each branch. The branches and twigs are angled at 15 degrees upward or outward.

Since you have to drill a lot of holes, I built a jig for the drill press. The photos shows a test dowel, with two holes already in it. The jig has three parts. The first is a board that two blocks ride on. There is a stationary V-block that aligns the dowel under the bit, and allows easy depth settings. The second block is a square sliding block—it has a hole to hold the dowel, and nails to align the block with the edge of the board. Stick the dowel into the slider, and slide it into position. To drill holes on opposite sides of the dowel, you just flip the square slider block, which carries the dowel with it. Tip the drill press table to set the angle of the holes.

A fun project, and a lot quicker than I thought it might be! Happy holidays to all!

-- Matthew, from beautiful Wisconsin USA

5 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


16848 posts in 3987 days

#1 posted 12-21-2017 06:10 AM

First of all – very simple and efficient jig! The tree is awesome, not only as decoration, it can serve as well as presenters for ornaments, if you make them in large series.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View GerardoArg1's profile


1014 posts in 3113 days

#2 posted 12-21-2017 01:59 PM

Great work. Like a lot. Try to do one the next christmas. Here change the tree even 7 years!

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View 489tad's profile


4009 posts in 4131 days

#3 posted 12-21-2017 05:23 PM

Well done! Merry Christmas.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3986 days

#4 posted 12-21-2017 09:45 PM

This is a beautiful tree and so nicely done. It’s a very creative project and is a wonderful eye catcher.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View leafherder's profile


1982 posts in 3072 days

#5 posted 12-21-2017 09:47 PM

Cool tree, looks sturdy enough to hold much larger ornaments, and the minimalist style would fit anyplace. Thanks for posting and Merry Christmas!

-- Leafherder

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