Dowel making jig for router table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,244
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Dowel making jig for router table

Some of you showed an interest in my dowel making jig that I made while making my wooden bucket truck. As promised, I'll try and go through the steps that it takes to make your own and hopefully, I will be able to explain it well enough that you guys will understand my twisted logic. If there are any questions, feel free to ask and I will try and clarify it.

For my jig, I use a 1/2" straight bit in the router table. You can use whatever size of straight bit that you like, but you will have to adjust your hole sizes in your jig accordingly.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0744.jpg

I made an 18" long fence that is approximately 2" high. Be sure that the fence that you make is square. You don't have to make this in the form of a fence if you don't want to. A flat board will work just fine, but I wanted to clamp mine to my existing router table fence instead of clamping it to the table. Whatever method you choose, you will need to drill a centered, 3/4" through hole for the router bit to protrude from. The hole that you see on the left of that centered hole, is one that I drilled as an access hole for my router lift system. I also turned a little cover for this hole so that it would not fill up with chips while using the jig.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0745.jpg


I then had to cut a couple of shallow dadoes in the bottom of the jig, to accept the T-bolts that I will be using to hold my dowel cutting blocks in place. Again, you don't have to go this route. You could use wing nuts or whatever you have on hand. I used these T-nuts because I have a stock of jig hardware that was crying to be used.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0746.jpg


Now that your fence is done, you need to make your dowel cutting blocks. I made mine 4" X 1 7/8" X 1 5/8" but you can make yours whatever size fits your particular jig. You want to make these blocks out of hard wood, as they will take some serious abuse. I made mine out of hard maple. Once you have your block cut, you want to mark a center line all the way around the block. In this case, the line is at 2" on every side.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0747.jpg


At this point, you need to drill 3 holes. 2, that will line up with your T-bolts for fastening the blocks in place, and a 5/8" hole in the bottom that will accept your straight bit. The hole for the straight bit is only drilled to 1/2 way into the dowel cutting block. Give yourself a little extra play in the T-bolt holes as this will give you a little more flexibility for fine adjustments, should your cuts be a little off.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0748.jpg

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
Kenbo is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Kenbo For This Useful Post:
jharris (05-24-2012)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,244
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
You now have a decision to make. What size dowels do you want to make, and what size stock do you want to make them out of. You will need to make one dowel cutting block for each size of dowel that you wish to make. I like things to be easy, so for the smaller size dowels, I decided that I would like them all to be cut from 3/8" stock and for the larger size dowels, I decided on 5/8" stock. I make mine out of scraps and off cuts so knowing right off the bat what size stock you need is a real time saver and avoids mistakes as well. The entry hole that you now need to drill, is determined by your stock size. Cut a piece of stock square and measure from corner to corner as I'm showing here.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0752.jpg


This measurement will be the size of your entry hole that will be drilled in the front face of your dowel cutting block. The hole will only be drill to 1/2 the thickness of the block. (I only had finished blocks when I took the tutorial pictures guys. The hole that you see going right through is the exit hole. Sorry if that confused any of you) I use a forstner bit for all of the holes in the dowel block (except the ones for the T-bolts) to get a clean flat bottomed hole.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0750.jpg


You then want to drill your exit hole. The size of the exit hole will be the same size as the dowel that you wish to be cutting. For example, this particular block is for cutting 3/8" dowels. The entry hole is 7/8" which is the measurement, corner to corner on a 5/8 X 5/8 stock and the exit hole is 3/8, which is the size of the dowel that this block will make. It is important that you are careful during this stage of the drilling. The holes must line up perfectly and they must meet in the center of the block. The hole for your router bit will also meet up with these holes in the middle of the block.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0749.jpg



I marked the size of the dowel, and the size of stock on the bottom of each block for easy reference. I think that I will be burning these measurements in and burning the center lines in for a more permanent marking. This is the bottom hole for the router bit that we are looking at. You can see in this photo how the entry and exit hole meet in the middle. This is very imortant for stock support while the jig is being used. You don't want very much play when feeding your stock as it can cause variances in your sizes of dowel.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0751.jpg


Now you want to set the height of your router bit. With the block in place and secured on your fence, you want to set the height of your bit to be level with the bottom of the exit hole in your dowel cutting block.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0753.jpg

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
Kenbo is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Kenbo For This Useful Post:
mackem (06-10-2012)
post #3 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,244
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Your jig is now ready to take for a test flight. Clamp the jig to your router table in whatever configuration that you choose and make sure that your bit is pretty much centered in the entry hole in the bottom of the jig.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0754.jpg


Then take your piece of stock (in this case 5/8X5/8) and, with the router running, slowly insert the stock into your jig while continuously rotating it. The purpose here, is to round a small section of the end so that we can chuck this blank up in a cordless drill. For the smaller size dowels, we can avoid this step as 3/8 X 3/8 stock will already fit into a 1/2 chuck on a cordless drill.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0755.jpg


Once the blank is chucked up, run the drill at full speed and push it through the jig until an inch or two is protruding out of the exit hole. At this point, you want to check your thickness of the dowel. If the dowel is too small, you need to lower your bit a touch. If your dowel is too big, it will most likely not fit through the exit hole and you will need to raise your bit a touch. I found that once I got the size the way I like it, a little paste wax to coat the exit hole goes a long way to not burning your dowels.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0756.jpg


I was able to fine tune this jig within minutes and was able to make perfect 3/8, 1/2, 1/4 and 3/16 dowels out of maple, walnut and oak with no variation is size whatsover. If you are not getting the results that you want, don't give up. Play with the jig and adjust your drill speed and feed rate. I ran the drill at full speed with a medium feed rate. Feeding it too fast, cuts ripples in the dowels.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0757.jpg


The length and the size of the dowels are only limited by how many blocks you cut and by how long you cut your stock. I will continue to add blocks to this jig as the need for different sized dowels becomes necessary. Try this jig out guys, you'll be glad you did.
The dowels from the big box stores are crap and often under sized. I finally have perfectly sized, hardwood dowels in a species of my choice and the best part is that they are made out of scrap. Good luck.
Dowel making jig for router table-img_0758.jpg


If you have any questions at all guys, feel free to ask.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
Kenbo is online now  
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Kenbo For This Useful Post:
BigJim (10-29-2012), JMartel (01-17-2013), mackem (06-10-2012), Old Bark (08-29-2013), One Ozark American (02-25-2013), Paul 649 (03-09-2013), Shop Dad (05-24-2012), Sorrowful Jones (05-14-2013), thegrgyle (02-19-2013)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 03:59 PM
Trytore Member
 
Shop Dad's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 2,764
View Shop Dad's Photo Album My Photos
Excellent jig, thanks Ken!
Shop Dad is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Shop Dad For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (05-24-2012)
post #5 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 05:00 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Aurora, Illinois
Posts: 265
View Icutone2's Photo Album My Photos
Great idea and build! I must try this.
Thanks
Lee
Icutone2 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Icutone2 For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (05-24-2012)
post #6 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 05:32 PM
The "Nerdy Woodworker"
 
oldmacnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: North Texas
Posts: 822
View oldmacnut's Photo Album My Photos
Send a message via Skype™ to oldmacnut
Oh SNAP!

I knew saving 80 tons of scrap would be useful one day.....

It's all fun and games until someone loses the Walnut.
oldmacnut is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to oldmacnut For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (05-24-2012)
post #7 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 10:02 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,944
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
why?

Kenbo, why didn't you make the hole parallel to the fence to allow for any length dowel you may want. If I understand your concept you are limited by the back of the fence, red housing in the photo by having it 90 degrees to the fence..... maybe I don't get it? bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to woodnthings For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (05-24-2012)
post #8 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,244
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Kenbo, why didn't you make the hole parallel to the fence to allow for any length dowel you may want. If I understand your concept you are limited by the back of the fence, red housing in the photo by having it 90 degrees to the fence..... maybe I don't get it? bill

Good question Bill. When I built my jig, I built it so that my outfeed hole lines up with the dust collection hole in my fence. Most of the dowel pieces that I make are only 12"-24" long and even with the dust collection hose in place, the feed out through the d/c port just fine. If I have to make a longer dowel than that, I can just remove the hose from the back. Either way, There are no limitations with the length due to the allignment with the d/c port. Thanks for asking though. I appreciate the input.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
Kenbo is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Kenbo For This Useful Post:
autre (05-25-2012), panzer (05-24-2012)
post #9 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 10:33 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,944
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
I knew I was missin' somethin'

I can count on you to figure it out. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to woodnthings For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (05-24-2012)
post #10 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,244
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I can count on you to figure it out. bill

The smaller d/c hose for the fence is just a minor one. My main d/c for the router table is a 4" port that is in the back of the cabinet. So if need be, the smaller one isn't really needed at all. You should make your parallel version and post it Bill. I'd be interested to see what you come up with.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
Kenbo is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Kenbo For This Useful Post:
autre (05-25-2012)
post #11 of 25 Old 05-24-2012, 10:38 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,944
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
The smaller d/c hose for the fence is just a minor one. My main d/c for the router table is a 4" port that is in the back of the cabinet. So if need be, the smaller one isn't really needed at all. You should make your parallel version and post it Bill. I'd be interested to see what you come up with.
just send me your jig and I will spin it 90 degrees and call it new and improved..... mine might look a lot like a wood lathe?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to woodnthings For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (05-24-2012)
post #12 of 25 Old 05-25-2012, 03:37 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (Akron)
Posts: 371
View autre's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks Kenbo. I was real curious about this.

Awesome execution!
autre is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to autre For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (05-25-2012)
post #13 of 25 Old 05-25-2012, 09:11 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,991
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
In your dowel making endeavor may I suggest you use a bull nose router bit. That way you can just run it straight through instead of having to rotate the wood.


Last edited by Steve Neul; 05-25-2012 at 09:14 AM.
Steve Neul is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Steve Neul For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (05-25-2012)
post #14 of 25 Old 05-31-2012, 11:07 AM
The "Nerdy Woodworker"
 
oldmacnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: North Texas
Posts: 822
View oldmacnut's Photo Album My Photos
Send a message via Skype™ to oldmacnut
Ken,

I have the pinnacle RF3 Fence, all 36" of big ass hotness. This setup wont work for me, BUT, I think this weekend Im gonna change the layout a bit, and see what we see. Ive been forced to close the door to the shop this week and rest my arms, so I havent had the chance to do it yet.

It's all fun and games until someone loses the Walnut.
oldmacnut is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to oldmacnut For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (06-06-2012)
post #15 of 25 Old 05-31-2012, 12:49 PM
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,839
View rrbrown's Photo Album My Photos
Very cool jig Kenbo.
rrbrown is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to rrbrown For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (06-06-2012)
post #16 of 25 Old 06-03-2012, 11:06 PM
Junior Member
 
souptheturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
View souptheturtle's Photo Album My Photos
Awesome jig !! I am in need of 11/2" red oak dowels for my log cabin. Maybe with some mods I can make this work any ideas? Izaak
souptheturtle is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to souptheturtle For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (06-06-2012)
post #17 of 25 Old 06-06-2012, 06:21 PM
Junior Member
 
ShedHead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ireland
Posts: 8
View ShedHead's Photo Album My Photos
Hay Kenbo, excellent jig mate... Thanks for the great share. I setup my own shop a few years back, and just love making jigs to help make life easier... I may have to try a mock up myself
ShedHead is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to ShedHead For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (06-06-2012)
post #18 of 25 Old 06-06-2012, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,244
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by souptheturtle View Post
Awesome jig !! I am in need of 11/2" red oak dowels for my log cabin. Maybe with some mods I can make this work any ideas? Izaak

I'm not so sure what kind of mods you will need to make it work. You will just need a 1 1/2" exit hole out the back of the jig block and you will have to figure out the diameter of the entry hole by measuring your blank corner to corner. Other than that, the jig will work the same. Remember, that I built mine to attach to my fence but you guys can eliminate the backer board, elongate the bottom board and make the jig to clamp to your table. It works the same way.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
Kenbo is online now  
post #19 of 25 Old 06-06-2012, 07:08 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 470
View SeniorSitizen's Photo Album My Photos
I sure could have used a jig like that when I built the pound-a peg for the grand kids. Purchased dowels didn't work at all. Under size and out of round.
SeniorSitizen is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to SeniorSitizen For This Useful Post:
Kenbo (06-06-2012)
post #20 of 25 Old 02-24-2013, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,244
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Here's a demonstration video that I made.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu0kC...ature=youtu.be

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
Kenbo is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Making a pin router Moorewoodwork Tips, Tricks, & Homemade Jigs 19 03-24-2012 07:21 PM
fixing old table leg, dowel joints problem meh! Joinery 3 04-13-2009 02:27 AM
Router plane making mpm1696 Hand Tools 1 11-27-2008 05:04 AM
Sign Making with a Router (anybody do it?) Evil Scotsman General Woodworking Discussion 0 06-27-2008 11:37 AM
Making Dowel Rods (Part II) Ken Johnson General Woodworking Discussion 3 12-10-2007 08:35 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome