Awesome DIY Spindle/Dowel maker

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Forum topic by Andybb posted 09-19-2018 07:08 PM 1732 views 9 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2762 posts in 1381 days

09-19-2018 07:08 PM

A few weeks ago I went on a quest for the best (easy and repeatable) DIY dowel maker I could find. I tried using the “bang it through a hole” method which works fine for short dowels but not so much for 16” spindles, and variations of dowel cutters and the “chisel on a block of wood” technique but that was mediocre at best. All of which probably work well for short dowels but spindles are a whole different animal. What I did find was an article in the No.39 issue of Woodsmith Magazine and this online link for the same jig. This was by far the cats meow of the bunch. 15-20 seconds per dowel, smooth and consistant, one after another, even with soft spalted maple.

I posted a short video here.

The blocks are attached with CA glue and I used a 3 bladed flush cut router bit. When pushed through at a slow steady pace with a sharp bit it really does a great job especially with the additional 4th block added at the far end for stabilization and the dust collection.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

6 replies so far

View toddbeaulieu's profile


842 posts in 3782 days

#1 posted 01-09-2019 08:24 PM

Oh man… do I need to look into this. Thanks!

View Redoak49's profile


4754 posts in 2767 days

#2 posted 01-09-2019 09:23 PM

Thanks….this becomes a favorite as I know I will need it one of these are.

View Mrphiltx's profile


4 posts in 347 days

#3 posted 08-01-2019 02:56 PM

I’ve tried building something like this with my table saw. I think this router based idea might be better. With the table saw I could never get smooth results. I kept having to switch between ripping some blanks and the jig, and setup took a long time and was pretty finicky.
I’m now building something like this to use on my router table instead of the fence.

My question is, when you spun the stock, did you spin fast or slow?

I’m wondering if part of my problem with the table saw was that I was spinning the stock too fast, and it would get wobbly, and bounce around and then be unusable. Thanks for the table of sizes, I’m going to actually do the math and make sure the sizes make sense instead of eye balling them.

View pottz's profile


9914 posts in 1762 days

#4 posted 08-01-2019 04:30 PM

now thats the way to make dowel stock fast,great jig andy thanks for posting this.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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4 posts in 347 days

#5 posted 08-14-2019 08:56 PM

So I got this working, and it worked pretty well, once I got the initial opening and stock sizes to match.

In answer to my question about how fast to spin the dowels, I set my big drill on speed 1, and maxed it out, and pushed slowly. That made for the best finish. Spinning too fast puts a texture on the dowels, and pushing too fast puts grooves. Both of which are pretty easily sanded out.

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4 posts in 347 days

#6 posted 08-14-2019 09:19 PM

Oh yeah, gravity is sideways in my shop. Either that or Windows ignores the orientation flags on my iPhone photos.

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