pins for a mortise and tenon joint
I want to pin the mortise and tenon joints I made to join some table legs to the aprons. I'm using black walnut for the legs and aprons so I'd like to use a contrasting wood for the pins, e.g. maple. I bought a 1/4" and a 3/8" dowel from Home Depot that were probably poplar but they were not dimensionally accurate and did not fit snugly into the 1/4" and 3/8" holes I drilled in some test pieces.
I tried turning the 3/8" dowel down to 1/4" on my lathe, but it just crumbled when it got near 1/4".
Can anyone tell me what they'd use to pin the mortises. Can you buy hardwood dowels for this purpose, or do I have to make them somehow.