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Making dowels

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Forum topic by Boberto posted 09-22-2017 01:25 AM 713 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Boberto

17 posts in 802 days


09-22-2017 01:25 AM

I want to make some dowels 1.25” x 12” long. Can they be made with a bull nose router bit? If so what size bit do I need? How do I go about doing it on my router table?


9 replies so far

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Lazyman

1499 posts in 1221 days


#1 posted 09-22-2017 01:46 AM

I’ve done it but it can be a little dangerous, at least the way I did it. What worked better for me is a roundover bit on a router table. To make 1.25” dowels, you need a 5/8” roundover bit. Cut your square blank so that it is exactly 1.25” on each side. You have to get the height of the bit exactly right and have the fence setup precisely as well. It may take some trial and error so that you do not cut too deep and get a ridge. The thing that makes it safer and keeps the diameter consistent is that you cut the blank so that you have an extra 1-2” at each end and setup stops at each end so that the ends stay square after running through the router. You pivot the blank in, slide it across the bit until you hit the other stop and pivot it out. Repeat this 4 times (for each side) and then cut off the square ends.

I suppose that this technique might work with the bull nose bit too but it works so well with the roundover bit (which is probably also cheaper than the bullnose bit) that I have never tried it.

-- 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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Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1564 days


#2 posted 09-22-2017 02:25 AM

Is there a reason you would want to make them rather than buying them?? ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

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

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GR8HUNTER

2952 posts in 547 days


#3 posted 09-22-2017 02:52 PM



Is there a reason you would want to make them rather than buying them?? ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs


DITTO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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Lazyman

1499 posts in 1221 days


#4 posted 09-22-2017 03:48 PM


Is there a reason you would want to make them rather than buying them?? ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

DITTO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :<))

- GR8HUNTER

I obviously have no idea what his reason is but I can think of several:
1) You need something other than pine, oak or walnut; i.e., you need a specific wood to match your project
2) You have a bunch of free or salvage wood and you want to make a bunch of dowels to save the $5+ it will cost you to buy one 1.25” dowel
3) You need to cut a slot or hole in the entire length of the dowel by cutting a slot or cove in 2 halves and gluing it back together before making it into a dowel.

-- 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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WayneC

13751 posts in 3931 days


#5 posted 09-22-2017 07:33 PM

Lathe at that size….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Carloz

959 posts in 426 days


#6 posted 09-22-2017 10:04 PM

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Boberto

17 posts in 802 days


#7 posted 09-23-2017 03:13 AM

Thanks all for the replies. Jerry and Tony, sometimes I have more time on my hands and just want to try things.
Carloz’s idea sounds interesting and I may try that. I have a bunch of salvage native 2” oak boards in the barn so I’m not spending much on lumber. I tried using my lathe but I’m not very good at that but I may end up going that route. I am looking to make maybe a dozen of these for a buddy who wants them for some kind of game.
Thanks again!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1185 posts in 416 days


#8 posted 09-23-2017 12:19 PM

You could also make a dowel cutter or one like this

I cut dowels and round tenons by hand to 1”, 1-1/4” and 1-1/2” with tools like this. I don’t use either a bit & brace or lathe, just clamp the wood in a vise and turn the tool by hand. It’s not super quick, and it’s possible to get dowels that are crooked if you’re not paying attention, but it works. And there’s some satisfaction to making them yourself.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1564 days


#9 posted 09-23-2017 03:44 PM



Thanks all for the replies. Jerry and Tony, sometimes I have more time on my hands and just want to try things.
Carloz s idea sounds interesting and I may try that. I have a bunch of salvage native 2” oak boards in the barn so I m not spending much on lumber. I tried using my lathe but I m not very good at that but I may end up going that route. I am looking to make maybe a dozen of these for a buddy who wants them for some kind of game.
Thanks again!

- Boberto

That answers my question. Doing it on a lathe just to get more experience is a worthy endeavor. 1 and 1/2 thumbs up. LOL

Is there a reason you would want to make them rather than buying them?? ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

DITTO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :<))

- GR8HUNTER

I obviously have no idea what his reason is but I can think of several:
1) You need something other than pine, oak or walnut; i.e., you need a specific wood to match your project
2) You have a bunch of free or salvage wood and you want to make a bunch of dowels to save the $5+ it will cost you to buy one 1.25” dowel
3) You need to cut a slot or hole in the entire length of the dowel by cutting a slot or cove in 2 halves and gluing it back together before making it into a dowel.

- Lazyman
</blockquote>

Those questions crossed my mind also, but clarity is my defense for asking.

Now to maybe giving Boberto a how to on a lathe and be consistent. Cut the pieces about 1 3/8” square, then tilt your saw to remove the corners, keeping that dimension the same. If you have a tool rest larger than 12”, set your piece between centers and locate the tool rest parallel to the blank. Don’t move it until you are done. Make a stop block to clamp to your cutting tool shaft making sure it’s square on the shaft set back enough to cut only to the dimension you are looking for. Square, rectangular or round tool doesn’t mean anything. If it’s square, just use your saw to cut a dado the width of the tool. If it’s round, drill a hole the diameter of the tool. After drilling, split the wood, and using a screw on each side of the tool, screw the halves together. The block should be at least 3” long with the hole at center, leaving equal distance on each side. Do the same on a square/rectangular tool using a flat piece to screw to. If your cuts or hole size is accurate, it will clamp onto the tool square and tight enough to stay in place. If you have doubts whether it will stay in place, apply a little super glue and clamp it.

If your tool rest isn’t long enough, use a suitable piece of angle iron to make up the difference. You’ll have to come up with a way of doing that yourself, but it’s not hard to do. I can’t tell you as I don’t know what your tool rest looks like.

If this seems like it’s a lot of work, just make them free hand.

I did this in the ‘80’s. Had to make over 50 spindles for 8 chairs I made, but I had contours on the spindles. I taped a pointed piece of wood under my tool shaft so it could be rotated to get the contours needed. I called it my poormans duplicator. ........... Jerry (in Tucson)

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

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