Dowel pins

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 04-23-2011 12:22 AM 2445 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 2496 days

04-23-2011 12:22 AM

For as long as I have been woodworking, if I ever wanted to use a dowel pin, I cut my own from a dowel rod.

Once upon a time I did the math and decided that pre-made dowel pins were severely over priced and, just on principle, I did not buy them.

Today I bought and used some. WOW – Their diameter was dead-on accurate which is not true of all dowel rods and the fit was perfect.

Even an old dog like me can still learn something.

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

8 replies so far

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2405 days

#1 posted 04-23-2011 12:31 AM

I was surprised when I bought some as well.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 2225 days

#2 posted 04-23-2011 12:38 AM

The other thing with cutting your own, they don’t have any ridges or spirals around the diameter. I believe this is to accommodate glue, isn’t it? I’m not sure how much of a difference this makes either, others may be able to comment more on this and I’d be interested in hearing what they say

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3166 days

#3 posted 04-23-2011 12:56 AM

Everything I make has every joint pinned with a dowel. I usually buy mine from McFeeleys. You can buy them separately or in bulk, but they are right on for size. I also have a dowel plate that I use to make dowels from wood that is unavailable premade.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1511 posts in 2986 days

#4 posted 04-23-2011 01:30 AM

I make mine too, I have a piece of 1/4’ steel that I drill a hole in when I need a new size.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2097 days

#5 posted 04-26-2011 03:02 AM

I use bought dowels until I run out and need one more to finish a project. The flutes allow the air to escape from the bottom of the hole. if you have a blind hole (doesn’t go through the board as most don’t) then the glue will seal the air in and you can’t force or drive the dowel into the hole. The flutes will let the air excape and the glue also if needed. They are great. When I use an on hand piece of smooth dowel I take pliers and grip the dowel to make the flutes. you can use a utility knife and cut a couple of V-grooves up the side if you choose but I tend to get in a hurry so I use the pliers. When you push the dowel in you might need a mallet to tap it a little. I look for the bought dowels in bulk and try to get a large qty when I buy. They are available at times.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2856 days

#6 posted 04-26-2011 03:54 AM

Here ya go Rich:

Dowel Former and Chamfer Tool @ Woodcraft, about $12

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3382 days

#7 posted 04-26-2011 12:19 PM

I’ve always been too lazy to make my own.


View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2716 days

#8 posted 04-26-2011 01:20 PM

I make my own when I need wood species or diameters not available to buy like these purpleheart for bread board ends.

I turned them on the lathe close to dimension, then took an open end wrench of the desired diameter and pushed it down the length of the turning dowel. This brought the wood to a uniform diameter. They fit perfectly in the holes.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

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