How to get/where to find LARGE dowels

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by ghazard posted 06-03-2010 03:06 PM 1897 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 3532 days

06-03-2010 03:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: large dowel

I’m an planning a project that will need a large dowel…really a pole…about 1.5”-2” in dia about 6ft long. It needs stability in its straightness and strength as it will be slightly top heavy when finished…and I don’t know what wood species yet. likely Cherry or Walnut…but maybe even mahogany.

It will be the pole in the processional cross for our church so the entire length of the pole will be visible. Ideally, I let the design and colors I need to match pick the wood and then I come up with a way to get a pole in that species. (as opposed to letting my selection of poles drive the decision.) Is there a source anywhere for this?

I’ve been contemplating laminating two 4/4 strips about 2” wide, then using a large round-over bit on the corners. That would make a pole with a rounded square shape. Which would be OK with the design I have going but I don’t have a feel if that would yield a sturdy pole or not…? seems like it would flex…?

Any help or suggestions with this would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

5 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3097 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 03:20 PM

You can definitely create a round pole with a roundover bit applied to each corner. If you do a good job of gluing up 2 boards you won’t have a problem. However, it would probably look better if you used a solid piece of wood.

I think it’s a good idea to set up the router on a router table and use the fence to guide you (as opposed to just using the guide bearing).

If you use a 3/4” roundover of a piece that is exactly 1.5×1.5 you won’t get a “rounded square”, you’ll get a round pole. Likewise, you could use a 7/8” roundover on a piece that is 1.75×1.75 or a 1” roundover on a piece that is 2×2.

If you make it with a hardwood (cherry, walnut, mahogany, etc.) I cannot envision it flexing.

When taking off that much material with the router bit, make a couple of passes.

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

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3223 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 03:44 PM

ghazard, call these guys, I got some 1 1/2” 8 foot closet poles for a job from them once. They carry stuff up to 12’ long.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 3532 days

#3 posted 06-03-2010 04:49 PM

Rich – Good point. I was worried about securely feeding and registering the correct face of the stock when it gets close to completely round. I suppose a good jig with featherboards would help hold it straight and steady.

Union – Good link, thanks. I’ll call them.

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#4 posted 06-03-2010 04:55 PM

Rich has a good aproach you can also make a jig that will rout dowel if your going to make a lot of them.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3020 days

#5 posted 06-03-2010 08:23 PM

You really should consider not using one piece of solid wood for the pole. It will have a tendency to warp and be a lot heavier than it needs to be. People will have to carry this thing.

Andrew has a good post on his website to make a coopered mast for a sailboat that would be much like you are wanting:

Alternatively, you could glue up two pieces and laminate them. They will tend to cancel out the warping for each.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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