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One solution for making dowels

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Review by mole posted 1433 days ago 4926 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
One solution for making dowels One solution for making dowels One solution for making dowels Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was looking for some solutions to make my own dowels so I can use them in some joineries and wood threading task. So far, some of the solutions that I found are.. wood turning, rotary plane (commercial or hand made). dowel/tenon cutters. I have tried a simple wood turning method (using electric power drill) which result in acceptable dowels (may be it will be perfect if I have a real (metal?) lathe. Anyway, using turning method, it takes quite some time for me, so here comes the Veritas dowel/tenon cutters.

First of all, the cutter (lower left, in the bottom, in the picture) is .. like a fat industrial-grade heavy-weight pencil sharpener :)) The blade is supplied with a 30° bevel ground in a 7” radius. It is very simple to use, first you read Veritas’s user manual :} ,set up the cutting blade properly, prepare a long piece of wood with its size a little larger (1/8”) than the target dowel size. May be chamfer the square wood a little bit, then you drive the wood through the cutter using some kind of forces (electric powered drill, hand drill). With proper speed ,torque power, driving alighment, sharp blade (I didn’t sharpen the blade yet), proper blade setting (test the setting before real dowel production), then you will get a nice dowel rod. I’m not sure, but in my case, there are some spiral blade mark on the dowel rod (looks like I make a very shallow thread pattern). May be it is caused by the blade setting, or the driving method that I use (turtle speed via man power + high torque using bit brace). Hence, you may like to sand the dowel rod a little bit..

For the result (in the piccy): I use the 1/2” cutter to make the 3 long dowel rods in the middle. The dark brown rod is not a real wood, it is wood plastic composite (WPC) though. I’m going to use them in wood threading (making some wooden screw,..etc). You will see the spiral blade mark on the long brown rod, nooo it is not created by wood threading like the two short brown threaded rods next to it. The 2 white dowel rods look quite nice, after I sand them a little bit. The 3 fluted dowels in the upper right corner are made by 3/8” cutter with the flute former plate.

The Veritas cutters do help me produce my dowel rod easily in short period of time. Eventhough it has been made for using with power drill, but, I prefer to use it with my bit brace :P The design of the body does include reference stops to help with alignment when you clamp the cutter on to your vise. I didn’t make any outfeed support/guide block yet since I don’t have a longer wood piece to play with at the moment, and I prefer to use the cutter vertically due to the use of bit brace.

Additional driving accessories: Four-sided square sockets are very helpful in driving wood piece through the cutter. You may need to get the 1/4 hex shank socket adapter if you are going to use power drill,
or brace driver adapter (about 3/8” shank) for 3/8 socket if you will use bit brace.




View mole's profile

mole

32 posts in 1532 days



4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109551 posts in 2083 days


#1 posted 1433 days ago

Thanks for the reveiw looks like a winner

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1059 posts in 1480 days


#2 posted 1432 days ago

That is really cool technique. I am a big fan of Veritas tools, though pricey, they are usually worth it.
The brace drill is exactly like one my dad had and I used it as a child.
That drill, a hand plane and an eggbeater drill all disappeared from my parent’s home after he died. Stupid to be sentimental, but I fooled around with those tools as a kid and thought I would wind up with them.
Now I am slowly building up tools and a shop with my 8yr old son and I promise everything to him.
Sorry to digress this thread, thanks for the pics :)

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1580 days


#3 posted 1432 days ago

I have one of these. It works as you describe. However, I find that the dowel produced is quite rough and a fair amount of sanding is required to make a smooth dowel. I also find that the tool produces something smaller than the 3/8” dowel it is suppose to produce. I’ve always used mine with a power drill that I run quite slow.

I only use this on the rare occasions that I cannot buy a dowel in the wood I desire. This is the only way (other than the lathe) I know of to get an exotic wood dowel.

I consider it an okay tool, but I would not give it 5 stars.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View scopemonkey's profile

scopemonkey

182 posts in 2670 days


#4 posted 1431 days ago

Thanks for the review. Another method is to use a roundover router bit on the router table. Cut a piece of stock square to the diameter you need, then use a bit with a radius one half the size. Set the bit height and fence and then ease the stock into the bit starting and stopping the cuts short of the ends to leave them square. Rotate and repeat for all sides. Cut the square ends off and you have a dowel or any wood you want. Whiteside sells 1/8”, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2” roundovers to produce 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, and 1” dowels.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

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