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Making your own dowel plate

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Forum topic by mramseyISU posted 07-15-2015 01:34 PM 1566 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mramseyISU

419 posts in 1005 days


07-15-2015 01:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dowel

Anybody ever tried making their own dowel plate? I’ve got some accent dowels I want to use to pin a couple mortise and tenon joints and don’t really want to drop $50 on a Lie-Nielson one. I snagged a piece of 1/4” cold rolled out of the scrap bin at work and figured I’d use that to start with. I’m guessing on top of drilling the size hole you need you would also break the leading edge with a chamfer or would that just compress the wood instead of shearing it off? Any suggestions or does somebody have a dowel plate that would take a picture of the hole details for me?

Thanks.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.


18 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4448 posts in 3420 days


#1 posted 07-15-2015 02:59 PM

I’d just drill the hole needed for the dowel size. The drilling will leave a burr which will cut the dowel stock. The burr goes UP. If it dulls, drill another hole.
1/4” stock might bend as the dowel stock is driven through. Might wanna think about some thicker stock.
Don’t forget about putting a bucket of sorts under the doweler. If ya don’t, you’ll have dowels all over the floor. :)
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Nubsnstubs

825 posts in 1189 days


#2 posted 07-15-2015 03:00 PM

It looks to me that you have to drive your wood through the plate to get a dowel. You could only make short dowels that way.

I saw a vid on youtube of one that a guy made from a plane iron. It looked like a large pencil sharpener. I tried it, but my entry hole was not exact, and my piece broke either before being cut, or broke after the cut. I ended up turning a bunch on my lathe. I’m using small branches for the dowels. I’m using them in my bowl turning, and want the pith to be seen in the dowels.

Put in your search engine, dowel plate, and look for dowel plate images. Keep looking until you find the cutters that look like cones with wings with screw holes to mount to a board. That’s high tech. ............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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Mark

818 posts in 1434 days


#3 posted 07-15-2015 03:44 PM

I’ve done this several times and yes there are several good YTube vids one the proccess. I use an old 10” saw blade and drill the appropriate hole 1/4, 5/16, 3/8. Saw blades are hard so you need a good bit(s). Rip your stock to the appropriate size and round the corners as much as you can with a small hand plane. The less you have to force through he hole the better your dowel will turn out. Taper one end slightly. Chuck the other end in a drill and have at ‘er.

-- Mark

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Mark

818 posts in 1434 days


#4 posted 07-15-2015 03:47 PM

I’ve done this several times and yes there are several good YTube vids one the proccess. I use an old 10” saw blade and drill the appropriate hole 1/4, 5/16, 3/8. Saw blades are hard so you need a good bit(s). Rip your stock to the appropriate size and round the corners as much as you can with a small hand plane. The less you have to force through he hole the better your dowel will turn out. Taper one end slightly. Chuck the other end in a drill and have at ‘er.

I hate it when I double post. :(

-- Mark

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Aj2

684 posts in 1257 days


#5 posted 07-15-2015 04:15 PM

If you really want to make a strong dowel,the wood needs to be rived,And pushed thru the plate.That way the grain Doent run out in the middle of your dowel.Very important when drawboring.If they are just accent pieces then it doent matter.
If you do not rive the wood and try to hammer it thru a piece of metal they breack a lot.Marks suggestion is a good one for making accent dowels.

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waho6o9

7166 posts in 2036 days


#6 posted 07-15-2015 05:07 PM

” Riving is the splitting of wood in the direction of its long fibers.”

From, http://www.greenwoodworking.com/RivingArticle ^

Awesome, learned a new term today, thanks Aj2!

View Tim's profile

Tim

3109 posts in 1421 days


#7 posted 07-15-2015 05:36 PM

Here’s a video from John Heinz on making a dowel maker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR9-gdNdZAA
It’s an interesting method that creates the cutting spurs by drilling extra overlapping holes. If you rived the stock first you’d have strong dowels with this or Mark’s method.
A scraper with the appropriate size hole cut halfway into the edge like a scratch stock would probably work to scrape the stock down to near round depending on how careful you are.

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waho6o9

7166 posts in 2036 days


#8 posted 07-15-2015 05:42 PM

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Aj2

684 posts in 1257 days


#9 posted 07-15-2015 07:33 PM

Most of the dowels I make are for drawboring.So I have a lie neilson plate.The pegs that come out are not perfectly straight kinda wormy looking.But they fit nicely and having the curve is sometimes an advantage when drawboring.
Ya know then saying fair and square I heard it a shipwrights term.When hitting in pegs or making them.one should try to hit fair and square.Always with a wooden mallet or brass hammer,Taking care not to damage the dowel plate.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3122 days


#10 posted 07-15-2015 07:46 PM

Another alternative … https://youtu.be/x53K-DDDdSg

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2149 days


#11 posted 07-16-2015 02:01 AM

I’ve made several plates to make dowels and have used the drill and the mallet methods. These work OK for short dowels. I now make all my dowels on the router table and am well pleased with the speed, accuracy, and finish.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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jdh122

879 posts in 2277 days


#12 posted 07-16-2015 10:02 AM

I have a flea market dowel plate that works well – it is literally just a block of steel with holes in it (I always rive the stock and then round them a bit with a knife before driving them through). Roy Underhill suggests drilling a slightly larger hole partway through from the underside (not all the way through) or you could taper the hole so that only the very top is the exact size, although I’ve not tried a dowel plate made that way.
Like several have indicated, the method provides strong, accurately sized dowels, but you can’t make long ones and they’re a it wavy because they follow the grain.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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mramseyISU

419 posts in 1005 days


#13 posted 07-16-2015 12:51 PM

Thanks for all the input guys. I’m planning on riving the pieces and using the material I have to get this done. I always like to challenge myself with new stuff like this.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View Tom_in_PA's profile

Tom_in_PA

2 posts in 663 days


#14 posted 10-07-2015 01:28 AM

This is my version and it goes up to 1/2”. I did not have a good 5/8 drill but left space.

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mramseyISU

419 posts in 1005 days


#15 posted 10-07-2015 04:15 PM

Tom did you just drill those holes straight through or is there a taper on one side or the other?

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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