Shopmade dowels

■ Sometimes when I'm building a project using a dowel, I want the dowel to exactly match the rest of the wood in the project. The way to do this is to make the dowel from the same wood.

prepare blank. To make a matching dowel, start with an oversize piece of stock. First, cut it about 4" longer than the desired length of the dowel. Then rip the blank to produce a piece the same width and thickness as the desired diameter of the dowel (lV^'-dia. for the legs on the projects in this issue).

Now, draw a pencil mark toward each end of the blank to indicate a start and stop point for routing the blank, see Fig. 1.

roit&rollTo rout the blank into a dowel, use a round-over bit that's half the desired diameter of the dowel. Then pivot the blank into the router bit and begin routing at the left-

Run the blank across the router bit until reaching the right-hand (stop) mark, see Fig. 2. Then pivot the piece out from the fence and roll it 90° to round over the adjacent edge, see detail in Fig. 2.

cut off ends. After rounding over all four edges, the dowel will still have two square ends. Cut these off and the dowel is ready to be used.

fluting tenons

When a dowel fits tight in a hole, it usually scrapes off the glue as it's driven home — unless the end of the dowel is fluted. I cut flutes using a box-end wrench Vi6w smaller than the tenon, see drawing.

PIVOT WORKPIECE INTO BIT

MARK START AND STOP POINTS ON SQUARED PIECE OF STOCK

PIVOT WORKPIECE INTO BIT

MARK START AND STOP POINTS ON SQUARED PIECE OF STOCK

FEED

SUDE WORKPIECE ALONG FENCE

FEED

SUDE WORKPIECE ALONG FENCE

BOX-END WRENCH 1/14" SMALLER DIA. OF TENON

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