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David
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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. :wink:

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!! :grin:
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David
 

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David
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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 :grin:)

David
 

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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" :grin: 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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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" :grin: 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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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!

Kind regards,

Tim of ZWW&S
 

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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. :wink:

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!! :grin:

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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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!'

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.

David
 

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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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Theo
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OR:
A thick steel plate is drilled with a series of holes, and then mounted to a wooden block. Square stock can then be forced through the holes to produce the dowels.

The only CNC required is Coffee N Cookies.
 

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great use of the tools you had avaiable David.

what i like about the (maybe simple) projects is that it helps keep the programming mind sharp (mine is usually about as sharp as a marshmallow!).
 

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OR:
A thick steel plate is drilled with a series of holes, and then mounted to a wooden block. Square stock can then be forced through the holes to produce the dowels.

The only CNC required is Coffee N Cookies.
Cnc owners can make cnc cut dowels OR they can make a cnc cut dowel cutting tool like that one. 🙂
That one is $55 at Highland Woodworking. I could make 100 of those on my machine for $5 each.
Thanks for the new business idea. 😉
 

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Using the CNC you can also make elliptical dowels which come in handy when you don't want the two part to rotate relative to each other using just one dowel. of course you also need to make the holes for the elliptical dowel with the CNC. For that matter you can make domino or even more creatively shaped floating tenons using a CNC.

4D
 

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OR:
A thick steel plate is drilled with a series of holes, and then mounted to a wooden block. Square stock can then be forced through the holes to produce the dowels.
The only CNC required is Coffee N Cookies.

Theo I want 7/16" dowels, so now what? I have to go and bug David
since he has the Walnut loaded?
 

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I could make 100 of those on my machine for $5 each.
I seldom have need for dowels. But I have some steel, a drill press, and drill bits. So next time I need dowels, I can just drill holes thru a chunk of steel, and I am covered. For no $. I'll only make the one, I do not make stuff like that for sale, just for personal use. Anything I sell that I make is wooden.

I'll only charge 10% for each one you make.
 

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Theo I want 7/16" dowels, so now what? I have to go and bug David
since he has the Walnut loaded?
Sounds like an excellent idea.
 
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