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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Default Dowel Maker

Hello,

Question about dowels, I am playing around with dowels right now, using them instead of screws in a few of the projects I play with,

I saw a set of plug or dowel maker bits at the Harbor Freight site for say less than 5 bucks, does anyone have these or something like these and would it be of use or the time to get these,

I have a bunch of dowels right now but it would be nice to make some when I did not have them handy or the right size, lol

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 10:42 AM
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HF sells dowels online cheap. The plug cutters work well; you drill a bunch of cuts into a board then turn the board on edge and run it through your saw to seperate them. My son made me 144 plugs for a porch swing this way.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 11:07 AM
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PoppaRob,

You are talking about really short dowels, right? Dowels are, as Mike stated above; quite cheap. I use hundreds of feet of dowels per week and find them easy to work with, but with a plug cutter your dowels will be really short - "plugs".
Dependant on your location and what stores are close-by, dowels are available in a wide variety of diameters, lengths and wood species. For short lengths, the spiral and fluted designs are really nice. If you cut your dowels to length, I've found a pencil-sharpener to be very handy to knock-off the edges - just use a couple of turns to keep from putting an actual "point" on your dowels. When buying dowels 3 feet or more in length, it is handy to roll them individually on the floor to make sure that they are straight. Since you're in Arkansas - you will find an abundance of Wal*Mart Stores. Every one of them I know of has a selection of dowels in the Arts/Crafts section. Woodcraft & Rockler Stores carry dowels in numerous species. Home Depot and Lowes typically have them in poplar & oak in several diameters - usually on the aisle with wood trim. Take Care!

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 02:22 PM
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Plug cutters allow for making face grain plugs, some of the longer dowel/tenon cutters are glorified plug cutters.
If you need custom dowels of most any reasonable length you might consider something like Veritas® Dowel and Tenon Cutters - Lee Valley Tools

I've used these to make pegs for mortise and tenon work, they also come in handy if you need a dowel for a specific project and wood species. If one uses pocket screw joinery one can also make custom filler plugs.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 02:29 PM
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Tenon Cutters

MLCS Tenon Cutter Set and Plug Cutter Set

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 02:38 PM
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For longer dowels two passes with a bullnose on a RT works. Just stop before you make the cut through to the end of your stock to maintain control.

MLCS bullnose and train track router bits

GCG
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 04:16 PM
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Ready made dowels are fluted so so that you don't get hydraulic lock when driving them in and they are compressed so that the glue makes them expand into the hole for a tighter fit. They are cheap enough so that I don't see a reason to compromise anymore using those 3 foot ramin dowels from the hardware store unless I need them longer than otherwise available or in extra large sizes.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:06 PM
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Hi

I make and use tenon stock all the time,it's just like dowel stock without the flutes and it works very well..I don't get a hydraulic error that I know about..


Loose Tenon Stock
Amazon.com: Mortise Pal - Loose Tenon Stock - 3/8" x 1-3/8": Home Improvement

Amazon.com: JessEm Zip Slot Mortise Mill System: Home Improvement

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Ready made dowels are fluted so so that you don't get hydraulic lock when driving them in and they are compressed so that the glue makes them expand into the hole for a tighter fit. They are cheap enough so that I don't see a reason to compromise anymore using those 3 foot ramin dowels from the hardware store unless I need them longer than otherwise available or in extra large sizes.



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Last edited by bobj3; 04-13-2012 at 06:31 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:13 PM
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There are a number of ways of cutting your own dowels. Lee valley offer some and they can be found if you do an item search for dowel makers. Personally I prefer buying dowels because I want the flutes as posted previously.

Last edited by denniswoody; 04-13-2012 at 06:22 PM. Reason: url error
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well Thanks to Everyone,

I'll take a look at all of the sites and tools you all posted and try to find some youtube video to see how they work, picture or video is better than a k words for me, lol

Yes I have gotten my dowels from WM and I think I paid 97 cent for the 50 count for 1/4 or 1/8 inch, 12 inches long, they are a bit higher at the lumber yard for 3 foot so I'll have to stay for the moment with WM, besides Miss Linda works there so I can just calll her if I run out and really need some, lol

I am trying to make all the cuts and glue so as to not have to use screws for those items that really don't need a screw to hold them together and the dowels so far are plenty secure for my use so far and strong, lol

I think the next joints I am going to try in my projects is the tenon where I can, Hope I use the word right, lol, tenon,

I am so busy doing that I have not made any jigs yet for anything but that has to be a priority now as people are wanting to buy my items and I am getting some nice orders and the last thing I want is to do a bad job on just one part of anything I do, I want people to talk about me and my work, in a positive way not the negative,

Ok, thanks again for this so far, I am sure I'll have more to ask in a few,

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