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Project by kiefer posted 06-10-2012 12:04 AM 4561 views 15 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Had to make some dowels today for my wife ,she is making some magic wands for the little girls.
Not having a dowel maker at hand I devised this setup hoping it would work .
Looking in my toolbox I spotted the tap and die set and it looked like it would work. Picked a 1/2” die and made a block with a matching hole to fit the die and drilled a hole for the bolt that locks the die in place ,the thread was cut with a ground bolt (pic 4 )
I modified the die at the entry end to a larger diameter and taper (pic 4 ) with my rotary tool .
I cut some square strips of jatoba and pine knocked of the corners and tapered the ends ,chucked them in my drill and run them through the jig .
Overall this works pretty good producing a smooth dowel and uniform in diameter with a little sanding.
I also used a one size smaller die to cut a spiral texture on a few pieces just for fun and a later project .
I love working with what is on hand and will develop this further .


-- Kiefer

22 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4016 posts in 2016 days

#1 posted 06-10-2012 12:36 AM

You did a good work up on this and its a nice tool for the shop!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Woodwrecker's profile


3996 posts in 3183 days

#2 posted 06-10-2012 12:37 AM

Excellent work my friend.
That was a smart idea.
I bet those wands will be full of magic !

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


115690 posts in 3185 days

#3 posted 06-10-2012 01:16 AM

Cool idea well done

-- Custom furniture

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17980 posts in 2713 days

#4 posted 06-10-2012 02:42 AM

Great way of making dowels!!...........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View majuvla's profile


10099 posts in 2475 days

#5 posted 06-10-2012 04:48 AM

Nice idea, thanks.I’ll have to try some.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View grandpasworkshop's profile


344 posts in 3387 days

#6 posted 06-10-2012 05:21 AM

Who would have thought of that,It is cool

-- Grandpaj

View steliart's profile


2050 posts in 2296 days

#7 posted 06-10-2012 06:44 AM

Excellent thinking mate

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View cathyb's profile


767 posts in 2852 days

#8 posted 06-10-2012 06:52 AM

Quite clever! I need to try this someday. Your work speaks to your artistry and resourcefulness. Quite impressive.
Thanks for sharing.

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 2709 days

#9 posted 06-10-2012 07:31 AM

I recently pulled my tap and die’s out of mothballs to make the router ski’s posted here. Dowels are always nice to have especially when you don’t have them. Nice photo’s….....................

-- mike...............

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 2443 days

#10 posted 06-10-2012 08:39 AM

Excellent! Another simple workable idea. Congratulations. I’ll try that. As a variation, there might be a similar arrangement other than the tap and die.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View nomercadies's profile


584 posts in 1946 days

#11 posted 06-10-2012 12:21 PM

This goes in the idea file.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2368 days

#12 posted 06-10-2012 01:10 PM

It’s always rewarding when you can come up with a working solution to a problem. It would be great to see the tool in action. Any chance of a video demo?

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Juriathe's profile


142 posts in 2126 days

#13 posted 06-10-2012 01:23 PM

I think this is just wonderful ! I use dowels fairly often and I’ve just been buying them. I’ve thought many times I wish I could just make them but never tried. Thank you so much for the ” how to ”.

-- I'm so busy I don't know if I found a rope or lost a horse...

View kiefer's profile


5103 posts in 2274 days

#14 posted 06-10-2012 01:35 PM

Thanks Jay

Thanks Eric
Here is a pic of the magic my wife made

Thanks James

Thanks Jim
There are many other ways

Thanks Ivan

Thanks Grandpaj

Thanks Steliart

Thank you Cathyb
I am always happy to share .

Thanks Mike
Especialy when you need one in a hurry or in matching wood .

Thanks Ed
Yes many other ideas but just work with what you have .

Thanks Nomercadies

Thanks Doug
I don’t have a video camera but a friend may be able to help out.

-- Kiefer

View JohnMeeley's profile


255 posts in 1941 days

#15 posted 06-10-2012 03:11 PM

And not even one dime spent, except for a ruined die you probably never use. That’s a win my friend.

Happy wife, Happy life!

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

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