help with cutting some dowels

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by lance posted 12-13-2007 05:22 AM 2889 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi Guys,

I want to cut a V shaped notch in a piece of wood and use it to hold a dowel while I cut it shorter. I was planning to do it on my table saw since I don’t have a router bit big enough to do the job. But, I have not found a comfortable way to do it. Fear that the block of would will go flying has stopped me in my tracks. Can someone please talk me through a safe way to do this. If you give me your phone number I will be happy to call you.

Thanks in advance and have a great evening.

-- Bob Lance, DE

11 comments so far

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4275 days

#1 posted 12-13-2007 05:28 AM

Hi Lance,

Do you have a hand saw? A saw and a bench hook would solve your problem and be a hell of a lot safer than cutting small parts on the tablesaw.

Take a look at this post to see what I mean:

You can also cut them on the tablesaw with a cross cut sled.

Another option would be to use double stick tape on a sacrifical fence on your miter gauge. Stick the dowel to the tape and then cut it. Both pieces will remain stuck to the tape.

The double stick tape would work on the crosscut sled as well.

Just some ideas on how to control your cut off piece.


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4338 days

#2 posted 12-13-2007 06:30 AM

The bandsaw would work well for this cut.

On the tablesaw I would put a sacrificial fence on the miter guage and clamp the board on that to pass it over the blade set at a 45 degree angle.

I really consider any fence sacrificial that I attach to the miter guage.

If I did not know what I was doing, I would trust whatever Tom(Mot) said.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 4227 days

#3 posted 12-13-2007 06:45 AM

You could make this cut on a scroll saw or like Tom says, with a hand saw and a vise.

View lance's profile


170 posts in 4227 days

#4 posted 12-13-2007 06:50 AM

Guys thanks for all the help. I did as Tom suggested and it worked well. Have a great evening and Happy Holidays to all of you and yours.

-- Bob Lance, DE

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4201 days

#5 posted 12-13-2007 04:28 PM

Bench hook and hand saw

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View lance's profile


170 posts in 4227 days

#6 posted 12-13-2007 05:09 PM

Hi Thos,

I love your work. Your carving and leather work are beautiful.

Thanks for the tip, but what is a bench hook? Oh! I don’t have a proper woodworker’s bench.

Happy Holidays to you and Carleen

-- Bob Lance, DE

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4550 days

#7 posted 12-13-2007 08:05 PM

If a tablesaw was your only option…I would suggest making two vee blocks and attaching one to you miter gage so that you will keep control of it while keeping you hands well out of the way of the saw blade. Use the other to sandwich the dowel between the blocks. You could use screws to attach the second vee block on top. I hope this makes sense.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4413 days

#8 posted 12-13-2007 09:34 PM


So is the question really on how to cut a dowel safely? Or on how to make a “V” notch in the middle of a piece of wood to hold a dowel so you can cut it safely?

If the former, make a mitre box and then use a handsaw to cut the dowels.

If the latter, you still shouldn’t discount your router bit as an option. You don’t need a “V” half the diameter of the dowel in depth for it to hold a dowel and keep it from moving. It just needs to be big enough so that the dowel will lay in the groove enough to not roll.

If you route a “V” into the middle of a 24” long 2×4, then you should be able to put your dowel in that groove and cut away with a hand saw quite safely.

Hope I’m not offending you, but it sounds to me like you’re a bit afraid of your table saw. I don’t think that’s a good thing. You should absolutely be wary around it (as with all other power tools) and have a healthy respect for it, but I don’t think you should be afraid of it. You should feel confident when you use any power tool; I think a lack of confidence in using something can be just as dangerous as over confidence. You might want to consider taking a class on tablesaw use and safety at a local woodworking store, if at all possible.

-- Ethan,

View lance's profile


170 posts in 4227 days

#9 posted 12-13-2007 10:54 PM

Thanks for the tips. I’m not offended at all. I’m not afraid of the saw. It is that I’m so new to all of this, but I’m smart enough to recognize that my ignorance can be dangerous.

Have a great day,

-- Bob Lance, DE

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4413 days

#10 posted 12-14-2007 05:16 PM

In that case, you can also use your table saw, blade set to 45 degrees and raised just a half inch or so, to make a small v-shaped channel in the middle of a block. It would just take flipping the block around and a little bit of fence adjustment after the first pass to get the “V” on the second pass.

-- Ethan,

View lance's profile


170 posts in 4227 days

#11 posted 12-14-2007 08:55 PM

Thanks for the tip.

Have a great day,

-- Bob Lance, DE

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics