Making square pegs from a round dowel

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Forum topic by Richard posted 11-25-2010 01:45 AM 4228 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3150 days

11-25-2010 01:45 AM

I am making a project with 3/8 inch dowels. My question is, I want the ends to be square-shaped and is there a quick way to do this? I thought about using a disc sander or whittling them with a knife. I am sure I am missing something really obvious.

Happy Thanksgiving

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

11 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3144 days

#1 posted 11-25-2010 02:41 AM

may I surgest you take a square strip cut it a few inches longer than needed
and then cut the half to 2/3th of the holelength round and the tip a little like
the start of scharpen a pencil (make it easyer to get in)
after you have knocked and gluet the dovel in place the use a flushsaw
to cut it with and its done

take care

View natrous's profile


65 posts in 2813 days

#2 posted 11-25-2010 02:47 AM

I was thinking of doing this very sort of thing in an upcoming project. I haven’t gotten around to it, so I haven’t tried it out, but my plan was to:

- make a small block with a square cross-section
- drill a hole through the center
- put the dowel through and tack it in place with a brad
- square off the end of the dowel on the table saw like I was making a little tenon, which is what I want to do

If you are just doing it for looks though and don’t need it to be 100% precise, whittling might be simpler. If anyone else has other ideas, I’d love to hear it them though.

-- I do not like work even when someone else does it. - Mark Twain

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3071 days

#3 posted 11-25-2010 02:51 AM

Not real sure I usually start with a square piece and round it with a router except for the ends. If you have a band saw I would think you could make a jig of some sort.

View Brandon Hintz's profile

Brandon Hintz

53 posts in 3038 days

#4 posted 11-25-2010 03:18 AM

find something made of steel with a square hole just slightly smaller than the dowel, like a mounting plate or something like that then drive the dowel into it and that will give you your square ends minus some sanding

-- Potential is limited only by imagination

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3136 days

#5 posted 11-25-2010 03:40 AM

What about cutting square sticks and then using a 3/8 round over bit in the middle sections. Set up start/stop blocks and you will have a minimum of sanding.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3071 days

#6 posted 11-25-2010 03:59 AM

I believe you use a RO bit half the size of the stock. ie: 3/4” sq stock uses a 3/8” RO bit. Well that is what I do at least. So 3/8th stock would use a 3/16th RO bit.

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3036 days

#7 posted 11-25-2010 04:12 AM

I think it would be easier to start with a square dowel, and round over the portions that need to be round, rather than the other way around…

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2955 days

#8 posted 11-25-2010 04:56 AM

I read this as a different question.

Maybe I am wrong but it sounded to me like he has holes to fill that are round, and wants the dowel showing to appear square, as in Greene and Greene style plugs.

Not sure of the best method, I know you can make a square plug fit into a round hole with a little persuasion, but this sounds like the reverse to me..

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3150 days

#9 posted 11-25-2010 05:23 AM

Wow! You guys gave me some excellent advice. I am going to try some experimenting with your tips. Thanks guys

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3071 days

#10 posted 11-25-2010 05:59 AM

Richard give us an idea what you are making and keep us informed on progress.

View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 3001 days

#11 posted 11-25-2010 06:11 AM

Nice way to make it clear Bentlyj.

-- Galootish log blog,

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