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Best DIY dowel maker design?

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Forum topic by Andybb posted 09-08-2018 07:37 PM 2544 views 2 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Andybb

1932 posts in 1022 days


09-08-2018 07:37 PM

I know there are lots of them on youtube and have made a few over the years. I need to make forty eight 1/2” x 12” dowels and I need them to be really nice. Has anybody had really good luck with a particular design? Otherwise I’ll cheat and buy them. As an aside, we came across one of these on ebay which is kind of a novelty and looks functional.

-- Andy - Seattle USA


32 replies so far

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 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.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Andybb

1932 posts in 1022 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

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therealSteveN

3095 posts in 993 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

1932 posts in 1022 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

4555 posts in 1008 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/

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Andybb

1932 posts in 1022 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

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Lazyman

3536 posts in 1806 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

1932 posts in 1022 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

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Nubsnstubs

1577 posts in 2149 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

3095 posts in 993 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

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TheFridge

10858 posts in 1905 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 1318 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

1932 posts in 1022 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

3536 posts in 1806 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

12842 posts in 2799 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/

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