Hand Dowel (Arrow Shaft) Maker

This 8 Piece Wood Plug Cutters set contains four standard round cutters and four four-tooth angular cutters. Recently I needed 4” of 3/16” oak dowel and so I did as I often do and drilled a hole in a piece of steel, in this case an obsolete locker catch, to make the needed dowel, which works perfectly. You want to remove just enough material to be able to get it through the hole in the dowel plate. An old solution to this problem is to plane a flat on the side of the dowel; some sources suggest planing the flat on the rough stock before the final shaping of the round dowel. Second, this dowel has to be accurately and safely sectioned into multiple segments. The holes that need to be drilled into the wood to correspond with the dowels must be done in a precise manner, both in terms of width and depth.

The conventional doweling jigs available through most tool and woodworking supply retailers work very well in most situations. With the fence at this position, you can rip square dowel blanks whose widths will match the board thickness. The legs are cut from limbs and a dowel maker on a brace (see above) is used to make dowels to fit the holes drilled in the seat at left. The top and bottom heads are equipped with cutter plates with half circle cutters and dowels come out the end. Push the workpiece through the bit again to complete the dowel shape (see Photo 7).

Push a dowel centre into each hole drilled on one side of a joint, bring the mating pieces of wood into alignment, then push the two pieces together tightly. Along with being an easy thing to get the swing of, making rustic furniture offers the opportunity to cover a lot of aesthetic territory, without having to learn how to make complicated shapes out of wood yourself.

Hence this particular tool seems like an ideal compromise between machines I can’t afford, expensive professional sets and time consuming hand-making with a thumb plane or using a dowel plate. This is most useful when you need a specific wood that dowels don’t usually come in, like mesquite or Boise d`arc or ebony and such. I was going to cut the wood more like a plug; his video just got me thinking about it. I’ve never tried Lee Valley and will look it up. Thank you, again. I used it a few times to make shafts but it didn’t do as nice a job as the veritus tool.

It should be roughly one-sixteenth of an inch deeper than half the length of the dowel you are to use, which leaves adequate space for glue but will also keep the dowel centered on the joint for maximum strength. A measuring scale on the side of the tool and two slots in the body let you simply watch how long the tenon is getting while you’re cutting it, and stop when it’s the right length. If it fits, then pour a little glue into each hole, and apply a thin film along the length of the wood edges to be joined.

I developed this method to make dowel rods because I build Traditional Chicken Crates. I want to make my own dowels so I can make them out of the same wood that I’m making the rest of the project out of. With the lathe running at a slow speed, the die and cutter is simply held firmly and run down the length of your stock – giving you a consistent diameter the full length without calipers.

The first step necessary in making a dowel joint is to consider the length and width of the pieces of wood that you will be connecting. I have many old factory made tools in my shop, but some tools have to be made and can’t be bought. If you use a lathe, try clamping your cutter to a longer piece of material for better control. This didn’t work at all for me. There was too much force required to push the dowel through (although, I could have messed up somehow). I could not get to the ends of the dowel without cutting the jig, but it as a test, it was a success.

I’ve used the router table to make dowels from wood that you don’t ordinarily find dowels made from. Basically, a 1/8th round over bit will give you a 1/4 dowel and a 1/4 round over bit will give you a 1/2 dowel and so on. Use a push stick to advance the blank up to the first featherboard (see Photo 6). Once it reaches this point, step around to the outfeed side of the router table, and pull the dowel the rest of the way through. Use feather boards to keep the piece of wood tight to the table and tight to the fence.

Have you considered a timber rounder from Ashem Crafts They’re not cheap but well made and I used them on a chair-making course using green wood and they were very effective. If you’re joining 3⁄4″-thick x 21⁄2″-wide cabinet door frames, for instance, 5⁄16″- or 3⁄8″-diameter dowel pins that are 11⁄4″ to 11⁄2″ long are ideal. Not all drawings have the measurements displayed but you can use the measurement tool in SketchUp to easily and accurately determine the dimensions of each lumber part.

Another handy tool in the drilling process is a bit depth gauge, es­sentially a collar with a set screw that is attached to the bit itself to en­sure that the holes drilled are of uniform depth. Add these Easy-to-Use log furniture building tools to your shop and you will have the opportunity to create custom log furniture and log railings for your home or to sell.

If no provision is made to relieve the hydraulic pressure of air and glue, hammering the dowel home or clamping the joint can split the wood. After getting the blanks nearly round with the router you can jig up a chisel in a block of wood so it ends up looking a bit like a pencil sharpener. I was planning on making a jig, and turning the dowel rod in a drill, sanding it down to 11/32 in the front and tail taper to 5/16. The sinusoidal profile of the hole in the round dowel plate makes a better cutting edge than a flat plate and driving it home with a hammer.

Also you lose about 3 to 4 inches off the shaft length when you use the dowel cutter, so make sure your wood is longer than you need it. I cut bits of scrap pine blocks to the length+ of the dowel I need, hammer the tube through, and push the dowel out with a narrower drill bit. This cutter was not able to cope with a single dowel without snapping the timber. You’ll get the best results if you work glue onto the sides of each dowel hole with a toothpick and apply a little glue onto the surface of each dowel with an inexpensive plumber’s flux brush.

I saw the Veritas one being demonstrated at the Kent Bashe…it was really effective but hugely loud! When it comes time to assemble a dowel joint, always clamp up the parts fully without glue first to see if any dowel holes have been drilled too shallow. Retired08 writes: That’s kind of ironic that you posted a tutorial on making dowels with the plate. The Rockler system comes with a guide that makes two sizes of tenon, and can be upgraded with new guides for a fraction of what a single new pencil sharpener cutter would cost. That way, it will be easy switch the dowel from the dowel jig to the rotary jig.

I put the 3/16 Ebony dowel into the 3/16 bushing and topped it with the 1/8 bushing and drilled with a 1/8 bit and then inserted an 1/8 Holly dowel, then worked my way up the bushing dowel set! These simple kite making tools are mainly for cutting around the outline of the sail. The sawn edge of the tube gives the dowel some ‘fluting’, which is enhanced further by the use of a craft knife. If you are interested in making this dowel maker, you might want to order the bearings now.

I have made plenty of dowel over the years using square section and taking the corners down to sixteen then final sizing through sanding or using a plate but I want to lift the production a bit. Besides being precisely sized, truly round and made of strong wood, dowel pins also have grooves pressed into their sides. This way, the dowel stock will be pressed firmly down against the table and in against the fence. You trim your wood to approximate size and use a mallet to pound it through smaller and smaller holes until it is the size you want.

The forces involved were scary, the dowel rotation was hard to control, and the finish on the dowel was rough. The broadaxe is used for making flats on logs for foundation beams and square beams for flooring. The shaft shooter is obviously a better machine as it uses a router type bit to remove wood rather than knives. The tool arrived yesterday from Lee Valley, which considering the distance etc, is better service than many UK companies! This is so the dowel will not split when it has to make the bend” upon hammering it into the offset holes.