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Making and Using Tools - Shop Benches and Other Appliances


Quickie dowel cutter/sizer


Well, I was in a panic!

I thought I had some 1/2 dowels, but when I got there, all I had were like 9/16". Lots of them.

I had taken apart an old crib and it had all these glorious dowels.  Only they weren't 1/2". They had been made oversized. Probably some regulation.

So I ran right down to the boutique hardware (groan) only to find the cupboard bare. Who doesn't stock 1/2 dowels?

Back home again...

I needed a dowel shaver!! I wasted some time messing around with a piece of wood and trying to cobble up a working blade. Your standard pencil sharpener type dowel cutter. It would have worked, but what, do I have unlimited tome for a few dowels? It's not like a needed a permanent tool to cut thousands.

I knew drilling a hole and pounding through would probably work (dowel plate). I mean, it always works for short small dowels.

But... This time I needed 6-7" X 1/2". I figured I needed a cutter.

Here is what I came up with. Quick n dirty but it worked fine.

Drill a hole in a piece of scrap steel somewhat near the edge. Take a hacksaw and remove some metal to form a crude scraping cutter. Stick a dowel in a drill and turn it as you push.

It worked a treat, except drilling the exact size I needed (1/2") made the dowel too small... So I reamed the hole in my steel just a little, and tried it again, and voila!!

Dowels tight enough I had to knock in, like I am used to. It only took me 5 minutes to make it. Another 90 seconds to cut a 2' dowel.

Just wish I could have thought it up that fast!  OH well, such is life.

yours Scott
October, 2010

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