Making Dowel Rods

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Forum topic by Guss posted 03-08-2013 11:12 PM 3590 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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94 posts in 2678 days

03-08-2013 11:12 PM

Hi I need to make some 5/8 dowel rods for a chair im repairing. I was wondering what kind of jigs you guys have or use to make your own dowel rods? Im looking for a fairly inexpensive way to make my own.

12 replies so far

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3335 days

#1 posted 03-08-2013 11:14 PM

Can’t you buy dowel rod in 3-6’ lengths?

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jim C

1472 posts in 3335 days

#2 posted 03-08-2013 11:27 PM

Oh Boy
Let’s make this stupid difficult.
Buy dowel rod at H.D. or go to Woodcraft and buy a bag of them.

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jim C

1472 posts in 3335 days

#3 posted 03-08-2013 11:36 PM

H.D. has 5/8” x 48” dowel rod for $2.48 ea.
So whats the point of this thread?
Is Lumberjocks really getting this lame?

I’m pretty much done with logging in here. This is nuts.

View bondogaposis's profile


5150 posts in 2588 days

#4 posted 03-08-2013 11:38 PM

Sometimes you need to make dowels from exotic species that are not available to buy. Sometimes you just need a short piece and don’t have one on hand. There are lots of ways to make them and it is a good skill to know and a good way to use scraps. Here is one method, using a 5/16” roundover bit for a 5/8” dowel. First mill some 5/8” square stock then set up the 5/16” roundover bit in a router table. Roundover 4 edges. Don’t roundover the ends, the square ends will keep the dowel from rolling while you feed it into the router bit. Clean up w/ sandpaper and cut the square ends off and you have a 5/8” dowel made from the wood of your choice.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3188 days

#5 posted 03-08-2013 11:45 PM

Guss, you can make your own very simply. If you can get your hands on a piece of steel or iron, drill a 5/8” hole in it. Then you can take some pieces of wood you want to use for the dowels and get them close to 5/8” size. Taper one end and pound it through the hole with a hammer. Viola, there is your dowel. I did the same thing for dowels I needed on a project. Easy and inexpensive.

-- Mike

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2234 days

#6 posted 03-08-2013 11:50 PM

Someone had a really nifty jig on LJ a few days ago that used a band saw and electric drill. I am sure if you do a search you can find it. Anytime I have needed one in a species other than the standard birch ones you find at the lumber yard I have used my lathe. It is slow and requires the use of a steady rest if you need a very long one but it can be done. Most chair rounds are a little bigger in the center than on the ends so the lathe is about the only way if that is what you need.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View nwbusa's profile (online now)


1021 posts in 2523 days

#7 posted 03-08-2013 11:59 PM

Easy there, Jim. Fella is just asking a question here, no need to get pissy about it.

Guss, don’t know if this meets your needs or definition of inexpensive, but here is one option from LN. Lee Valley just came out with a dowel maker as well, but that one only goes up to 1/2”.

-- John, BC, Canada

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jim C

1472 posts in 3335 days

#8 posted 03-09-2013 12:16 AM

The questions get lamer and lamer here.
Just my opinion.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2927 days

#9 posted 03-09-2013 02:54 AM

I use Bondos method and just made 16’ of 1/2 AND 3/8” dowel in less time that it would have taken to drive to Lowes and back. A tip is to use some type of hold down/featherboard to hold the stock from wanting to climb up the bit. You can just clamp a section of 1x to the router fence above the bit.

jim c- Good luck finding Jatoba, mulberry, or elm dowels at LOwes!

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

View RiverWood's profile


115 posts in 2997 days

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

Here is an idea from Woodgears.

-- My favorite projects were firewood bound

View Bill Swartzwelder's profile

Bill Swartzwelder

176 posts in 2149 days

#11 posted 03-09-2013 01:21 PM

New guy here,

Thanks for posting the tips on making dowels guys. I joined this site to learn from some of you seasoned woodworkers, and old curmudgeons as well. :) All good advice, sometimes buying is better, and sometimes you need to do it yourself. Having the knowledge is always good. RiverWood, I really like the link you posted. Will come in handy for making traditional archery arrow shafts.

-- What if the Hokey Pokey really is what its all about?

View Guss's profile


94 posts in 2678 days

#12 posted 03-10-2013 12:18 AM

I just want to thank you all for your input. I live in a area where you cant run to the store and get hardwood dowels let alone any kind of quality dowel And i don’t know the last time i have seen any straight dowels at home depot. you guys have given me some great ideas. thanks for not treating me like Jim!

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