Cutting Walnut dowels - finished photo added - Router Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Default Cutting Walnut dowels - finished photo added

Today I needed two short Walnut dowels a few thousandths under 5/8". Obviously, they aren't easy to find and even if you could the cost would likely be high. So I don't have a usable lathe but I DO have a Dowel Cutting Machine. Or as it's known by its more common acronym, CNC router.

I fastened my drill press vise to the spoilboard, grabbed some cutting board scraps, took five minutes with Fusion 360, about 25 seconds per dowel, and I had what I needed!

Yeah, I know; fairly simple task. But sometimes I forget that just because it's the highest technology tool in the shop doesn't mean it can't do something rudimentary and simple and actually turns out to be the best tool for many tasks.

Btw, cutting end grain is sweet!!
Cutting Walnut dowels - finished photo added-001-cutting-walnut-dowels.jpg

Cutting Walnut dowels - finished photo added-002-walnut-dowels.jpg

David
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Last edited by difalkner; 01-22-2020 at 04:35 PM. Reason: added finish photo to thread
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 02:19 AM
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For the rest of us mere mortals we use dowel and plug cutters, preferably from Lee Valley.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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I have some but getting some that are accurately a few thousandths under 0.625" is difficult to do with a plug cutter. And now that I think about it, I'm not sure I have a 5/8" plug cutter. Seems like my little set goes up to 1/2" (I don't use them often or I would know )

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 08:00 AM
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As the expression goes, "build it, they will come"...

Good lesson, Dave...sometimes we forget that our tools are all muti-taskers, regardless if they are the highest technology or the simplest hand tool...

Having said that, I'm with the "Cherryville Mortals" and would have reached for a plug cutter. I've also used a hole saw (no pilot bit) for bigger jobs.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by nickp View Post
as the expression goes, "build it, they will come"...

Good lesson, dave...sometimes we forget that our tools are all muti-taskers, regardless if they are the highest technology or the simplest hand tool...

Having said that, i'm with the "cherryville mortals" And would have reached for a plug cutter. I've also used a hole saw (no pilot bit) for bigger jobs.
whittling can get you by sometimes

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 08:10 AM
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Some might nice looking dowel's. YUP I'm like Charles or David, Believe it or not I have to do the old school way too. Plug cutter's in the drill press.
Or if I need something very long I have all the dowel cutters from LEE Valley. You can tweek these to thousands too.

Some day I may own a CNC??????


Have a Great Day!

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Today I needed two short Walnut dowels a few thousandths under 5/8". Obviously, they aren't easy to find and even if you could the cost would likely be high. So I don't have a usable lathe but I DO have a Dowel Cutting Machine. Or as it's known by its more common acronym, CNC router.

I fastened my drill press vise to the spoilboard, grabbed some cutting board scraps, took five minutes with Fusion 360, about 25 seconds per dowel, and I had what I needed!

Yeah, I know; fairly simple task. But sometimes I forget that just because it's the highest technology tool in the shop doesn't mean it can't do something rudimentary and simple and actually turns out to be the best tool for many tasks.

Btw, cutting end grain is sweet!!

David
So, after this clear attempt to generate some healthy envy by a most fortunate CNC owner, what you're saying is, "Anybody need some tight dimension Walnut dowels? I can make them for you!" Right? (We can only hope...) I'm sure there's a niche market for fine hardwood dowels made to order out there. I could be a customer...

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 09:09 AM
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cheaper than a CNC...
probably faster too...

https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop...as-dowel-maker

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstrom View Post
So, after this clear attempt to generate some healthy envy by a most fortunate CNC owner, what you're saying is, "Anybody need some tight dimension Walnut dowels? I can make them for you!" Right? (We can only hope...) I'm sure there's a niche market for fine hardwood dowels made to order out there. I could be a customer...
LOL! Nope, that wasn't my intention. More than anything I was laughing at myself looking around the shop and trying to decide how I could cut these accurately. Then it dawned on my 'I have a dowel maker!'

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cheaper than a CNC...
probably faster too...

https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop...as-dowel-maker
Cheaper? Yes sir, but I already have the CNC. Faster? Probably not, Stick. Setup was a couple of minutes and each dowel took less than 30 seconds and I could have cut them faster, just didn't need to.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 12:17 PM
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One of the enduring things about having a CNC machine in the shop is the never ending stream of new uses for it. As to the speed of cutting precise dowels/plugs, it's loads faster if you include sanding oversized ones to fit or shipping time from Lee Valley.
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