Reducing the diameter of a dowell

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 01-08-2013 09:55 PM 966 views 2 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1130 posts in 1766 days

01-08-2013 09:55 PM

I’ve just come in from the shop as I need a little LJ advice. I’m building a tablesaw blade holder and need some 5/8” dowell stock or rather slightly less than 5/8” to slip through the arbor hole of the blade.

I need eight 3/4” lenghts of stock which I was hoping to cut from a 2’ lenght of 3/4” dowell stock and wondered if there is a safe way of reducing the diameter from 3/4” to 5/8”.

I was thinking of using a stacked dado head, raising it slightly above the table then rotating the dowell at right angles across the spinning blade, raising the blade until the desired size is acheived. I’m not so sure however if this is safe or feasible solution?

Any thoughts anyone? I don’t need absolute circular perfection, just something to slip through the arbor hole.


Would it just be easier to admit defeat and use square stock with the edges chamfered??

Thanks in advance.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

19 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


3047 posts in 2030 days

#1 posted 01-08-2013 10:01 PM

Just use 1/2” dowel.

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Rex B

315 posts in 1037 days

#2 posted 01-08-2013 10:09 PM

Spin short pieces in the drill press like a lathe and take a file/rasp to it. Or use a chisel to make a makeshift pencil sharpener. Or, really, just do it the way you were talking about with the table saw. Clamp a piece of wood behind the dowel to prevent kickback; other than that it sounds safe.

-- Rex

View DKV's profile


3195 posts in 1291 days

#3 posted 01-08-2013 10:13 PM

Mrron has the obvious solution…

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

View Mip's profile


343 posts in 865 days

#4 posted 01-08-2013 10:22 PM

Rex B has, what I think, the right answer in that you spin a short piece in the drill press and file it down. If you don’t have a drill press, use a hand held drill clamped to a table. If the hand held doesn’t have a 3/4” chuck, which I’m sure it doesn’t, thread a screw or bolt into the dowel end and chuck that into the drill. I wouldn’t use the table saw to do what you’re saying, I think it might be a little dangerous in my opinion.

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Jim Rowe

625 posts in 1099 days

#5 posted 01-08-2013 10:26 PM

You could make a 5/8 dowel plate and reduce the 3/4 stock you have available.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5020 posts in 1079 days

#6 posted 01-08-2013 10:33 PM

You should be able to find 5/8” dowel. Here’s the link to Woodcraft’s dowel selection in the US:

Otherwise, I’d either use the drill and reduce with a rasp or you could build an exotic jig and use a rabbiting bit in your router to reduce the diameter, such as a 1/16” rabbit for a 3/4” dowel or 3/16” rabbit for a 1” dowel (check out the jig I built and have used to crow or other wise route dowel, it’s the last four pictures:

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Brandon's profile


4145 posts in 1738 days

#7 posted 01-08-2013 10:37 PM

They sell 5/8” dowels. I wouldn’t personally try any tricks on the TS. You might be interested in getting/making a dowel plate. Lie Nielsen makes one that is pretty sweet.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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15259 posts in 2462 days

#8 posted 01-09-2013 02:03 AM

I have some 5/8 scrap left from my daughter’s shoe tree. Probably cost more to import to England than they are worth ;-( You can have them if they are worth the cost of shipping.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View REO's profile


707 posts in 861 days

#9 posted 01-09-2013 03:07 AM

Jonathan hit the nail square with his suggestion! terrific post!

View gfadvm's profile


11836 posts in 1477 days

#10 posted 01-09-2013 03:12 AM

Jonathan to the rescue!!! AGAIN I gotta try that tomorrow! I’m very excited!!!

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

View jumbojack's profile (online now)


1252 posts in 1411 days

#11 posted 01-09-2013 03:20 AM

Yeah but can you come up with a way to turn 5/8 to 3/4. Now that would be a tip I’d like to see.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


640 posts in 2060 days

#12 posted 01-09-2013 05:16 AM


I agree with Jonathan’s recommendation, but with a caveat. I would do it on a router table or shaper with a dado bit. Using a dado blade in a saw may leave grooves in your dowels, just as they do in the bottom of dados. A router bit wouldn’t leave such marks. Don’t know if that is important to your project or not. Good luck.


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View patron's profile


13226 posts in 2128 days

#13 posted 01-09-2013 05:39 AM

if you do the saw dado thing
just make sure the ‘outfeed’ side is higher than the ‘infeed’ side
by the difference in the dowel height
as it gets smaller after the saw cut
so it doesn’t drop suddenly
and catch in the saw
as it leaves the ‘infeed’ side

or better still
here is stefangs way

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View oldnovice's profile


3896 posts in 2154 days

#14 posted 01-09-2013 06:09 AM

powow, why did you write this about gaming on this web site? It is totally out of place!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View patron's profile


13226 posts in 2128 days

#15 posted 01-09-2013 06:19 AM

hes a spammer
been doing it for a couple of blogs

just hit the flag button
then again
and mark as spam
he will be removed

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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