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Woodworker and Contractor
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Discussion Starter #1
Just posted this in reply in the wood turning but wanted to add it here to reach more people:thumbsup:

How to Make Any size dowel for $5

This is a jig I built when I needed dowels and pegs to match the wood I was building in. First get a 2"X2" peice of angle aluminium or steel about 2' long, this is the onloly thing you will need for the jug. I have used both, but aluminium is esaier for the next to steps. Take this and drill holes from 1/8 to 3/4 by 1/16 along one side only spaced about 1" apart staggering if you like. For reply to this post also drill 7/8, 15/16, and 1". Now here is the trick, on one side of the jig take a chisel and make teeth by driving it in the edsge of the hole working around clock wise so that the teeth face back like brarbs on a fish hook. For a 1/4 hole you need about 6 and a 3/4 can have over 12. These are the cutting edge of the tool. Clamp this to a solid work table teeth facing out at about waist high. Now cut a sqqare rod/strip 2' long 1/16 over the size you want the peg or dowel. Carve a crude point on one end and size the other to fit into a drill. Chuck it into a drill frimly but do not chush the wood. Start it in the hole 1/16 bigger than its is and 1/8 bigger than the finish size. Slowly push it through at about 250-125 rpm. Be very carefull here because if you put to much torque or push to fast the wood could splinter leaving a very sharp and nasty spear pointing right at your gut and you will impale yourself:no: :thumbdown: :no: . If you do it right and keep it roughly centered it will cut very smoothly, then pull it back out with the drill running in the same manner and move to the next hole. After this step you can stop and sand it down while still in the drill very quickly. For gluing pegs run it though a slight angle will give you just a hair more off with a great surface for gluing or run it though the next hole and under size your drill bit 1/64". Hope that is all understandable:blink: If not please ask questions:yes:

I have used this trick for years and the jig holds up well plus you can add fresh barbs/teeth when you need to. Pine and cypress cut fast but offer the most impaling risk, oak cuts well, and mahogany seems to wear the teeth very fast but cuts nicely. I will try to get some photos of one but left the last one I made with my old boss for the shop to keep using.
 

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Old School
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24,027 Posts
Great idea and you explained it very well. For making dowels of the same stock it's a great method. I've done it in a similar fashion running trimmed stock through a die.

Ordinarily I use standard diameter wood dowels that I buy in 3'-4' lengths, in sizes from 1/4" to 1", in different species. I cut the length long. For blind dowels I use a very large slip joint adjustable pliers (Chanel Lock), and place the dowel in the teeth and pound it through for it's length, and do this so that the outside is "grooved". For visible dowels, I leave the top clean to be cut so that the grooves won't show.
 

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Woodworker and Contractor
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Discussion Starter #3
Just went and made a singel hole to show it. Also drill the holes on the drill press if possible the hole helps keep the wood centered so it needs to be as clean a hole as possible. Sorry the photos are not that clear but one is the jig and one is a squared up peice of shoe molding, first thing I saw, that I ran though half way. On the next pass, smaller hole, it would takes less wood off and smooths the cutting marks out better. good luck
 

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