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Thread: I need to make long dowels.....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Evansville, IN

    I need to make long dowels.....

    I want to make long dowels as in 3 feet long. I am seeing a woodpecker dowel maker but honestly it is way to expensive for my needs or pocket book. I am seeing an A2 Steel dowel template for around 53 dollars, does anybody have any feedback on this? I hear many things about A2 steel, never messed with it myself. Thanks for any and all help with this.
    "To me, there's nothing freer than a bird, you know, just flying wherever he wants to go. And, I don't know, that's what this country is all about, being free. I think everyone wants to be a free bird." - Ronnie Van Zant

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Australia
    Hi Karl

    I suspect that you are referring to the LN dowel plate? This one ...

    I have used this one for over a decade. It remains sharp (the steel is hardened).

    Keep in mind that you could make your own out of O1 steel (which is more freely available) and just drill the sizes you need. The holes are sized progressively as you will begin with a larger size and work down to the diameter you want.

    Also note that, when making dowels (or pegs) - especially for drawboring - the wood needs to be rived so the grain is straight. This gives it strength. Grain that runs off will also produce curved dowels ...

    Read this how-to article of mine:

    Regards from Perth


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    I made a jig very similar to this one

    It's worked very well for me and was almost free using scraps.
    Ottawa ON

  4. #4
    For 3 feet long parts I would lean towards the router fixture approach. I have a fixture I made for a drill press using a slotter blade but the wood is doing the spinning. Hard to drive a 3 ft long rough piece through a stationary cutter just due to the torque/forces needed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil

    Exclamation Table saw dowel jig

    Although there are a number of ways to make dowells, most of them are limited (pratically) to short ones we use for jointing.

    For longer dowels I use router table an round profile bits but I never had to make a number of them. There are some interesting ideas to use table saw to make dowels and IMO they look better to make the process more productive if you have a number of them to make. A fast search in youtube for "table saw dowel jig" returns some interesting ideas as you can find at - but there are more of them. I hope it helps you.

    Let us know what was your chosen option and your impressions on its actual use.
    Last edited by Osvaldo Cristo; 02-25-2019 at 7:04 AM. Reason: Typo as usual
    All the best.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKean, PA
    I've made custom dowels over four feet long using a round over bit on my router table. I use feather boards to hold the blank tight to the fence and table. After the first cut rotate the blank 90 degrees counter clockwise and make your next cut. This keeps the flat areas in contact with the table and the fence for all successive cuts.

    Rip your blank to size on the table saw first as all you want to do is round over the corners. Do not attempt to do this without using a fence as it will not work as well and may leave grooves from the bearing on your finished work piece. The router bearing on the cutting side must be exactly even with the face of the fence.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 02-25-2019 at 7:56 AM.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Evansville, IN
    Many good thoughts here, thanks a bunch. I will see what I need to do this weekend.
    "To me, there's nothing freer than a bird, you know, just flying wherever he wants to go. And, I don't know, that's what this country is all about, being free. I think everyone wants to be a free bird." - Ronnie Van Zant

  8. #8
    What diameter and how many do you need?

  9. #9
    Core box bit and a router jig. I made one over 20 years ago and with a careful set up made lots of dowels. Get it just right and they come out slightly burnished.

  10. #10

    My experience with dowel plate method is a lot of problems with tear out.

    I think rived wood would do better.

    There's a few methods I've seen around that employ a chisel mounted skewed in a block. I think one of them was Mattias Wandel.

  11. #11
    Veritas dowel and tenon cutters up to 1/2 inch - by Lee Valley

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Okotoks AB
    The dowel plate method won't work for 3' dowels without rigging up a pretty elaborate jig to keep the blank from bending as it's driven through the plate.

    Lee Valley carries 3' dowels in maple, oak & cherry. I've used them a few times & they have been very good quality & precise diameter.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    West Lafayette, IN
    One day iíll need to make 3í long dowels, and iíll Have a big grin on my face when I go to use my Stanley 77.

  14. #14
    I've had success with this method.

  15. second the veritas dowel maker, great set

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