Preparing dowels

The Shaker Bench requires eighteen spindles that are 14" long. But the dowels for the spindles must start out a little longer (18"). Ttie extra length allows enough room to "chuck" one end of the dowel in the drill and insert the other end into the jig.

preparing blanks. To prepare the spindle blanks, first cut V^'-dia. dowel rod to a rough length of 18", see drawing at right.

Shop Note: Start with the straightest dowels you can find. And. when mass producing parts like this, 111 usually cut two or three extras. One of the extras is used to set up the jig. And the others can be used for practicing the "turning" technique and replacing rejected spindles after they're all made.

ITo cut a Vs'-dia. tenon, start by raising the saw blade Vie" above the table. Then position the rip fence to establish the shoulder of the tenon.

Next cut a round, centered tenon (lV8"-long) on the ends of each dowel, see box below. One of the tenons will be chucked in the drill. (I used a drill with a capacity chuck.) Note: If you're using a V4" drill, you'll have to cut one of the tenons smaller in diameter so it will fit the smaller-capacity chuck.

The other tenon will rotate in the shallow hole drilled in the tailstock, refer to Fig. 3.

you're doing is removing the waste with the side of the teeth.

After the tenons are cut, the dowels are ready to be "turned" into spindles. Adjusting the jig and turning the spindles are explained on the next page.

across the blade. Repeat this until the end of the dmvel has been reduced to a tenon.

using the spindle jig

The jig (as shown here) is designed to taper a H" dowel to a diameter of Vg" at one end. But to get the correct taper, you have to make some slight adjustments to the jig. (Shop Note: I fine tune the taper on a test dowel before tapering the actual spindles.)

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