Thread: Dowel maker or plate
12th Nov 2019, 10:59 AM #16
Baz uses an electric planer blade (Makita ?) in his pencil sharpener. It is aligned parallel to the sides of entrance chamber of the pencil sharpenner.
The exit chamber of the pencil sharpener is the bearing surface for the rotating dowell and is very marginally larger than the diameter of the dowel.
The entry chamber is cone shaped with the cone starting well before the blade. The cone guides the rough dowel towards the blade and also centrallises it in the cutter.
You do not need to start with rounded blanks; we ften use square for smaller dowels and octoganal blanks for larger dowels.
Hope this makes sense.
12th Nov 2019, 11:15 AM #17
I'm a tad surprised no-one has mentioned the bandsaw jig yet.
Pretty much the same physical set up as the chisel/plane type dowel maker, except it's clamped to the BS table with the BS blade sitting in an appropriate slot instead of the chisel/plane blade.
I hold the square stock in a batt. drill to spin it while slowly feeding it through the BS jig.
Results are pretty meh, but it rounds down large amounts of square(ish) stock very quickly, which can be cleaned up by simply passing 'em through a dowel plate a time or two.
(MInd you, it's only really worth the effort if you're making metres and metres of dowel at a time... )
- Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )
12th Nov 2019, 01:35 PM #18SENIOR MEMBER
- Join Date
- May 2009
Pencil sharpener sounds like a good idea. I dont own a tapered reamer though - what are my options there?
12th Nov 2019, 01:57 PM #19
tapered reamer Search Results
Im sure you could just grind up a bit of 1/2 " mild steel plate with a taper and an end bit to fit a drill and it would work . I drilled the hole first with a drill bit and the reamer did its job inside that . So you can taper down and leave the end knowing you have a 1/4 " hole there at the end .
12th Nov 2019, 09:35 PM #20Intermediate Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2015
- SE Queensland
I just drilled the "finish" hole then the entry hole about half way through the block of hardwood, then a cheap step reamer (like thesehttps://www.ebay.com.au/b/HSS/bn_7064420346), to graduate it a bit.
Although these might be alright as well: Page Not Found - Banggood.com
There are plenty of youtube videos on "how to".
"Although these might be alright as well:"
drillpro 3-13mm bridge pin hole hand held taper reamer t handle tapered 6 fluted chamfer bit woodworking tool Sale - Banggood.com
13th Nov 2019, 02:03 PM #21
Sounds good, Rob.
I tapered a spade bit for a one off job - 1" to half inch taper over 0.75 inches.
It worked well in the drill press after I got both sides precisely equal - lots of vibration early until balanced - and then it cut quite smoothly in celery top pine, Tas oak and blackwood. Do not pre-drill as you need something for the centre point to grab into for stability.
We could not use it free hand - too much "wander". Remember, the spurs were the first things to go when we started cutting the taper.
Something like this:
Always wanted a magenta bit !
13th Nov 2019, 09:54 PM #22
Yes Graeme , the spade bit would be a good quick way of getting there. nice Colour .
I put a 1/4" bit through first doing the dowel jig for 1/4 " rod. Then the veritas tapered reamer followed that hole . Its pretty small at its narrow end . . Perhaps take the spade bit down finer so it'll follow the hole and it may work ?
I made spade bits to drill the large holes For my bench vise . The big one was for a hole for the thread to go through pictured. Instead of a pointed cutter of its own I just left a rounded end (spigot may be the right name ?) Its about 1/4 inch . I just drilled a 1/4 hole and the spade bit followed that . No wander possible . Its a good thing . It was made from leaf spring welded to 1/2 " mild steel rod. Then hardened and tempered. The other bits are rounded end for using under chair seats or where I don't want to break through and have a rounded end to the hole .
I did a little video of my dowel jig working . Walnut 1/4 dowels .
13th Nov 2019, 11:41 PM #23SENIOR MEMBER
- Join Date
- May 2009
14th Nov 2019, 01:34 AM #24
14th Nov 2019, 06:44 AM #25GOLD MEMBER
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Huntington Beach, CA USA
I don't understand. It might be your geography is so different from mine (Los Angeles metro area).
From a commercial aspect, is the time to create your own dowel rods economical over ordering / buying commercially made dowel rods? And that doesn't include the cost of the fixture.
While doing a chair repair for a friend of SWMBO I needed a walnut dowel. It was easier to run over to Rockler and buy one than draw the walnut through a home made fixture that a friend gave me. Even with the cost of gas it was less than $10US. Again, my geography is different than yours.
I can see the economy if you need a lot of dowels. e.g. Your business manufacturers Windsor back chairs.
I guess that I would rather spend the money on other tools. It's just the engineer in me not wanting to re-invent the wheel.Rich
When SWMBO said "I won't cook in metric."
The metric system died in the US.
14th Nov 2019, 07:25 AM #26Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
I can't comment on the Australian situation for buying dowels in sizes like 1/4 inch but in New Zealand it's not possible to buy dowels in sizes, 1/4 or 5/16 or 3/8 as the country all shifted to metric over 30+ years ago. It is frustrating for me as I have a very good dowel jig (Record 148) with drill bushes in size 1/4.
I could buy 1/4 dowels from Amazon.com in the USA but shipping costs typically NZ $20 (= $14 US) for a small package like 300 dowels.
(Also locally-available New Zealand metric dowels are typically in radiata pine which is a softwood!)
I think that's why on this Australian-based forum you see lots of people making their own dowels so they get the size they want in tough woods
I have a homemade dowel shaper that I use to create my 1/4 dowels from scrap bits of timber.
14th Nov 2019, 11:13 AM #27
All I see is hardwood , it’s like Oak . See some pine , or for a little while real Oak dowel was available at a big chain store that went bust and disappeared . ( Masters )
We all buy plenty of dowel I’m sure for joinery purposes . I’m not wanting to make stuff I can buy easy . All mine are for pegs through tenons . They get left raised a touch , end grain is visible and is polished . Using the exact same wood is better .
14th Nov 2019, 03:19 PM #28
I feel there are two distinct reasons for making your own dowels: One is to achieve a round piece of wood that is wholly or partially visible while the second is to make a pin to hold, place or reinforce something. In the latter situation it is quite likely that it is not visible or as Rob mentioned it is only the end grain that is visible.
For holding purposes only where you either require strength and/or matching timbers the dowel plate method is fairly quick and simple but it will not achieve a perfect surface along the grain nor is it suitable for making long dowels. 100mm may be the practical length in thinner sections.
I cut square blanks as close as possible to an interference fit across the width and then planed to an octagonal shape on this:
P1050759 (Medium).JPGP1050760 (Medium).JPG
It was a piece of demolition hardwood about 50mm thick and routed with a "Vee" bit to suit different sizes.
Then, as most of you are aware, the blanks are hammered through with a wooden mallet taking care not to insert the dowel against the grain.
P1050761 (Medium).JPGP1050762 (Medium).JPGP1050763 (Medium).JPG
The steel is a piece of scrap flat bar about 5mm to 6mm thick (I forgot to measure it). The timber is more scrap and the holes are drilled slightly larger than the metal holes for clearance. The big advantage is that you can make your own plate to suit metric, imperial or indeed anything else.
Costs nothing if you fail to value your time.
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"
15th Nov 2019, 03:52 PM #29
A more nuanced answer might be. If I go to a local timber/hardware store I can only buy two types of dowells:
- Radiata pine (monterey pine in the US), and
- Hardwood, nominally eucalyptus regnans but commonly substituted with "light tropical hardwood" from Indonesia.
- Nominally it is in metric sizes, but a standing joke is that it also comes in imperial sizing and, for your convenience, they package both in the same piece of timber. Quality control is abysmal.
Another compelling reason is that if I want a piece if dowell that is actually round or something that is in a joinery grade timber then I basically have to make my own. I might want the dowwell to blend or contrast with the body of the work.
20th Nov 2019, 12:07 AM #30
Harry Rogers on YouTube has some good stuff on round shaving for chair making .
Like as seen in Windsor chair backs, tapered round sticks for the back.
This video has good info on the marking out of a 5/8 round shaver to be made with hand tools .
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