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Best DIY dowel maker design?

by Andybb
posted 09-08-2018 07:37 PM


32 replies so far

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4152 posts in 890 days


#1 posted 09-08-2018 09:46 PM

I think that’s a tenon cutter, not a dowel cutter. If you look at the photos, you can’t cut but a couple of inches down, and the seller also mentions a depth gauge. Very cool little device though.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#2 posted 09-08-2018 10:22 PM

Yeah. After further research you are correct as usual sir. I think this one using a router has the greatest potential.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2221 posts in 875 days


#3 posted 09-08-2018 10:44 PM

Most of the “dowel plates” will limit you to about 4 to 6” dowels before they start snapping off, or you can absolutely strike something repeatedly dead on…......I worked a lot of years swinging hammers, and I sure can’t.

So you’ll need something you power the wood through. I saw this some time back, and thought if I ever had a few hours to kill in the shop I’d try it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RKeBG1J-rI

My thought is go online and start googling for 12 inch dowels made of whatever it is you need them in.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#4 posted 09-08-2018 11:18 PM

I built the one you linked to last night. It also is good for 4-5 dowels before the chisel is dull, the alignment is off and the wood looks like a beaver with bad teeth chewed it.

My thought is go online and start googling for 12 inch dowels made of whatever it is you need them in.

- therealSteveN

I would but member clarkswoodworking and I are building these 2 bassinets together and he won’t let me since everything else is being milled from local rough cut lumber. :-) Can’t talk him out of it!!

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Rich

4152 posts in 890 days


#5 posted 09-09-2018 12:31 AM

This one looks interesting. You could fashion it from any number of things. Additionally, I would take a v-groove router bit and create a cradle that you can clamp in your vise to hold the square stock at a 45º angle so you can use a block plane to turn it into an octagon. It seems to me that would help reduce the force required to run it through the die.

https://paulsellers.com/2013/07/poor-mans-dowel-maker/

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#6 posted 09-09-2018 12:48 AM


This one looks interesting.
- Rich

Tried that one too. The issue is that you have to spend so much time getting them damn near round and close to the desired diameter that it seems to defeat the purpose. Seems like this is a job for a power tool if at all possible.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3117 posts in 1688 days


#7 posted 09-09-2018 03:25 AM

I’ve had good luck using a round over bit on the router table. You have to really dial in the height of the bit and position of the fence perfectly for it to turn out round and you have to make sure your blanks start out perfectly square and the right size. The key is to leave both ends square; in other words, start and end each of the 4 passes about an inch from both ends of the blank.

I’ve also used a bullnose bit on the router table but it was much more dificult to get it setup right and a little scarier.

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

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Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#8 posted 09-09-2018 03:35 AM

Thanks for the input everyone. I’m thinkin’ that if the one for the router table that I linked to above doesn’t work then I’m buyin’ ‘em and Scott can do his by hand if he wants. :-) Each bassinet takes 24 dowels. I think that one should be able to maintain it’s setup long enough to do at least 24, if not all 48.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1482 posts in 2031 days


#9 posted 09-09-2018 03:56 AM

Veritas has them for just over 50 bucks. 1/4” to 1” kit cost is $360. On Ebay, up over $430. It’s designed to be mounted to a bench, using a drill with a square socket to hold and turn the wood through the jig.

I have a 3/8” Veritas dowel maker that cost $49+ 3 years ago. I can make 8’ long dowels if the wood would hold up, but the jig I set up for my lathe only allows me the make 32” dowels. The model I have comes in 3 sizes, up to 1/2” od dowels, and length is determined by wood strength while making them. Go to youtube, put in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A5Zo53URRI. You will witness me getting beat by the ugly stick, but this is how I make my dowels…... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2221 posts in 875 days


#10 posted 09-09-2018 04:14 AM

I wondered about how long a chisel would stay sharp, and properly angled with that wooden block jig. I think bare minimum you would need to put a lock down device/clamp to keep the chisel on course. If you could do that you could sharpen and get beck to it. So much of this equation is keeping the cutter sharp.

One’s like the LV pound through jig, how the heck do you sharpen a hole?

I ran into some, I needed lots of dowels for….... projects through the years, it’s actually much easier to source them now. Looking at a print catalog, you never really had a feel for what you were getting, until it showed up. The days of free returns with included free shipping are all about Amazoo. Years ago they had these nasty things called restocking fees…

But I still always ended up buying them. Sometimes simple time management says you need to hire parts and pieces done. You still are responsible for fitting it, and making it work.

-- Think safe, be safe

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10844 posts in 1787 days


#11 posted 09-09-2018 04:31 AM

You sharpen the dowel plate with a little lapping.

Try skewing the chisel maybe?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1200 days


#12 posted 09-09-2018 04:37 AM

There is always the 1/4 round router bit and rout all 4 sides of a square rod to make it round. Not ideal, but maybe acceptable with some good setups.

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Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#13 posted 09-09-2018 04:47 AM

Believe it or not I enjoy making jigs as long as it makes sense but I am not averse to spending $30 to have them delivered to my door next day.

You hear that Scott??. I might be a sell out on the spindles if this router jig doesn’t turn out perfect dowels. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3117 posts in 1688 days


#14 posted 09-09-2018 10:31 AM

BTW, here is a dowel making jig using a router here on LJ. With it being topic number 193, it must have been one of the first earliest postings.

Edit: Also, I searched the Woodsmith back issue library and the issue that has the article referenced the HW link you provided above is #39 (May/June 1985) page 16-17 in case you have those back issues. But I still think that using a round over bit on a router table is the easiest way to go since it doesn’t require you to make any jigs. You can find an article about doing that in issue #100 of Shopnotes magazine (July/Aug 2008) page 38.

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

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12649 posts in 2681 days


#15 posted 09-09-2018 03:22 PM

In the time spent researching and building jigs you could cut octagonal dowels instead and they would look better IMO.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4152 posts in 890 days


#16 posted 09-09-2018 04:15 PM


In the time spent researching and building jigs you could cut octagonal dowels instead and they would look better IMO.

- Woodknack

Next thread — Can anyone help me find octagonal drill bits?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12649 posts in 2681 days


#17 posted 09-09-2018 06:21 PM

LOL. Next thread, Round vs square vs tapered mortises.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#18 posted 09-09-2018 06:55 PM

OK. I hate to ask but a few people have mentioned octagonal dowels like it’s a no brainer. What is the technique for that?

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12649 posts in 2681 days


#19 posted 09-09-2018 07:07 PM

Cut a stick square then remove the corners at a 45 until all faces are equal. Or you can do it with a hand plane fairly easily. I like the look personally.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3117 posts in 1688 days


#20 posted 09-09-2018 07:21 PM

They look good but not sure that would the best choice for a crib.

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

View brtech's profile

brtech

1059 posts in 3223 days


#21 posted 09-09-2018 07:54 PM

Just buy ‘em

View Clarkswoodworking's profile

Clarkswoodworking

289 posts in 434 days


#22 posted 09-09-2018 08:17 PM

I’m watching!

View Clarkswoodworking's profile

Clarkswoodworking

289 posts in 434 days


#23 posted 09-09-2018 08:18 PM

I will not buy mine !
I will hunt down and hire a beaver to make them if I have to

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12649 posts in 2681 days


#24 posted 09-09-2018 08:26 PM



They look good but not sure that would the best choice for a crib.

- Lazyman


Why?

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#25 posted 09-09-2018 09:40 PM



I will not buy mine !
I will hunt down and hire a beaver to make them if I have to

- Clarkswoodworking


See what I’m up against? :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1200 days


#26 posted 09-09-2018 11:33 PM

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10844 posts in 1787 days


#27 posted 09-10-2018 12:16 AM

Just buy them. You’ll be messing with a homemade dowel jig the whole time you’re using it.

I’d just buy some, cut them to length and run them through a 1/2” hole in a piece of steel. That’ll make them consistent without having to pound the hell out of them. Or just buy them and roll with it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#28 posted 09-10-2018 12:50 AM


Oh the pressure!
- jbay

And the angst! I did fill out the form for the custom order you mentioned just out of curiosity but it’s at least 3 weeks lead time.


Just buy them. You’ll be messing with a homemade dowel jig the whole time you’re using it.

I’d just buy some, cut them to length and run them through a 1/2” hole in a piece of steel. That’ll make them consistent without having to pound the hell out of them. Or just buy them and roll with it.

- TheFridge

Damn it Scott! We’d have them by now if we had just Amazoo Primed them with free 1 day shipping! :-) I’m gonna give the router jig thingy a try just for the fun of it. If it works, great. If not, yours will be “all hand made” and mine will only be “all-most hand made”. I’ll sand them, if that counts. ;-)

I will not buy mine !
I will hunt down and hire a beaver to make them if I have to

- Clarkswoodworking

Here’s a link for you. 10 mins away.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3117 posts in 1688 days


#29 posted 09-10-2018 02:42 AM


They look good but not sure that would the best choice for a crib.

- Lazyman

Why?

- Woodknack

I would think the corners would be less comfortable when they roll against them.

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

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12649 posts in 2681 days


#30 posted 09-10-2018 07:21 AM


I would think the corners would be less comfortable when they roll against them.

- Lazyman

I think the babies will survive but the octagons could be turned so the flat faces inside. Anyway, I’m not fighting for octagons, it was just one suggestion if dowel making is too complicated.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1806 posts in 904 days


#31 posted 09-10-2018 07:54 AM

Well, Scott came over and held a gun to my head and we got it done. I pushed it through a little quickly in the video but a slow and steady speed leaves a very smooth surface. A clear plastic cover over the bit and a vacuum hose and it should work fine. I’ll post a jig project at some point but it really works well making 24” dowels in about 30 seconds..

Video here

Figuerd and spalted maple 1/2” dowels

24” straight and smooth

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Clarkswoodworking's profile

Clarkswoodworking

289 posts in 434 days


#32 posted 09-10-2018 04:17 PM

There is always a way !
These bassists are going to be awesome
Highly figured maple wood and a lot of love
Scott

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