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Turning Small dowels

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  • Turning Small dowels

    Hey guys.....I need to turn some small 1/8" dowels
    How do you turn these little things?

    I do have some small gouges, But never use them.

    The way I have done It was using 1/4" dowel, chucking It up In the drill bit chuck, And turning It down to 1/8"
    I bet there's a better way.....
    Thanks for any tips on your method

    Merry Christmas
    Dan From Rockwood ,Ont.
    http://www.sawmillonwheels.com/


  • #2

    Re: Turning Small dowels

    Re: Turning Small dowels

    I thought you can buy it?

    billh

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Turning Small dowels

      Re: Turning Small dowels

      How long are your dowels? There are two ways that I would do it and neither involve the lathe.

      First, if they are short, get a piece of steel (1/8" thick angle iron works well) and drill a 1/8" hole through it, as well as a couple incramentally larger holes. Then prep a blank 1/8" square (or a shade larger) and knock off the corners. Then pound it through the holes, starting with the largest. Depending on the rigidity of your stock, you might be limited to 2" dowels or shorter.

      The other way involves making a jig to essentially turn the dowel. Use a drill to feed the work through. I couldn't find a picture for you, but it's basically a piece of wood with a 1/8" hole cut through it and reamed (countersunk). There is a rabbet that intersects the 1/8" hole and you positione a plane blade at and angle to shape the dowel. THIS is the closest I found.
      Chris Wong
      http://flairwoodworks.com

      If you don't think your work is good enough, maybe you need a Magic Square.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Turning Small dowels

        Re: Turning Small dowels

        Daner, I agree with billh. I buy the small dowels, 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 etc.. Unless it is an odd size. I go that route. I think Leo at one point showed a sharpened wrench to finish sizing dowels.
        Perhaps he will come in with a better explanation.
        Take Care
        George
        Forgiveness is easier to get than Permission

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Turning Small dowels

          Re: Turning Small dowels

          You need a tool like a modified pencil sharpener that has a blade shearing off the excess diameter as the dowel passes through a hole. I think that's just what the tool in the link flairwoodworks had in the preceeding post does.
          (or, as suggested, go buy a dowel in the hardware store!)
          BOB

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Turning Small dowels

            Re: Turning Small dowels

            I make them with a dowel plate which is basically a polished steel plate with one each 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", etc hole drilled through it. Whittle or make by some other means a straight grained piece of wood about 3" long and drive it, using a wooden mallet, through successively smaller holes until the right diameter is reached. Riven or split wood makes the best job. I sometimes clean up commercial wooden dowels this way to make them round. I made my plate but LN sells one made of hardened steel.

            http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?grp=1239

            Ken
            Last edited by KenL; 12-08-2010, 12:04 PM. Reason: added link

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            • #7

              Re: Turning Small dowels

              Re: Turning Small dowels

              you can make them with a router.
              http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/dowelmakingjig.aspx



              jack


              jack
              English machines

              http://www.youtube.com/user/tool613

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Turning Small dowels

                Re: Turning Small dowels

                One method would be to make a collet chuck to hold the original sized stock, with the excess length extending through the chuck into the headstock bore. Mount the stock with an inch or so sticking out and turn that length to your finished diameter. Loosen the collet and slide another inch or so out and turn that down. Keep doing that until you have your required length of 1/8" dowel. That is sort of what I did in this video: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...A528EBEE61AB7A

                Someone on another forum pointed out that you could mount a piece of wood in your chuck, bore a hole of the required size all the way through it, then take it out of the chuck and cut a kerf from one edge in to the hole. Then simply tightening the chuck around it would squeeze the hole around the stock. I don't know if that would throw it off center enough to be a problem or not, since I didn't try it.

                Good Luck!
                Bob

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Turning Small dowels

                  Re: Turning Small dowels

                  Thanks for the tips guys....The 1/8" dowels are for a few bird houses I'm making, So there short.
                  I never knew that they sold 1/8......I dont want to make the trip too HD.
                  I see Leo turns his own dowels, And he has a sholder on them, Bu the's propally stuck shovelling out his drive way again........I will try one of your methods guys.......Thanks again
                  Dan From Rockwood ,Ont.
                  http://www.sawmillonwheels.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Turning Small dowels

                    Re: Turning Small dowels

                    Originally posted by Daner View Post
                    Thanks for the tips guys....The 1/8" dowels are for a few bird houses I'm making, So there short.
                    I never knew that they sold 1/8......I dont want to make the trip too HD.
                    I see Leo turns his own dowels, And he has a sholder on them, Bu the's propally stuck shovelling out his drive way again........I will try one of your methods guys.......Thanks again
                    Hi Dan, just back from shopping with LOML , and yes I have to go and clean that driveway some more

                    The perches I make are done one at the time, and less than a 1/2" long.
                    I bandsaw some pieces to about 1/4" to 5/16" thick and a couple of inches long, chuck them up in with the step jaws, they close up pretty small, I'll have the wood sticking out about a 1/2", then I use a small skew to first get it round to maybe 1/8" or less.
                    Then I turn the end that goes into the birdhouse wall, about 1/16 thick (fit the opening you drill), then turn the rest of the perch down to say 3/32" and leave just a thicker shoulder to but up against the house, cut off, and extend the wood for the next one.
                    Goes pretty quick after you have done a few, HTH
                    sigpic
                    Have fun and take care
                    Leo Van Der Loo

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Turning Small dowels

                      Re: Turning Small dowels

                      Thanks guys, I've been looking for a method to make small diameter dowels as dowels made from dark coloured woods are hard to find. Again I only need short lengths for toys.

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        Re: Turning Small dowels

                        Re: Turning Small dowels

                        Originally posted by Leo Van Der Loo View Post
                        Hi Dan, just back from shopping with LOML , and yes I have to go and clean that driveway some more

                        The perches I make are done one at the time, and less than a 1/2" long.
                        I bandsaw some pieces to about 1/4" to 5/16" thick and a couple of inches long, chuck them up in with the step jaws, they close up pretty small, I'll have the wood sticking out about a 1/2", then I use a small skew to first get it round to maybe 1/8" or less.
                        Then I turn the end that goes into the birdhouse wall, about 1/16 thick (fit the opening you drill), then turn the rest of the perch down to say 3/32" and leave just a thicker shoulder to but up against the house, cut off, and extend the wood for the next one.
                        Goes pretty quick after you have done a few, HTH
                        Leo, I hope you have a snow blower, I have been watching the weather that your getting out there...Will It ever stop? Its tough being a snow removal contractor with back to back storms like that, We are right between thos 2 main lake effect streamers, non of my site have been plowed yet this year.......Take care, Thanks for the dowel trick
                        Dan From Rockwood ,Ont.
                        http://www.sawmillonwheels.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Turning Small dowels

                          Re: Turning Small dowels

                          I bought a package of 100 bamboo skewers at a dollar store for $1. They are pretty consistent at 1/8" diameter, and the odd one that is too small is not a big loss. That is what I used for the perches I made for my little acorn birdhouses. They might be a bit too small for a larger ornament.

                          Take care
                          Bob

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: Turning Small dowels

                            Re: Turning Small dowels

                            I often use those little round tooth-picks that you can get at the grocery store...... They come in all sorts of colours.......
                            sigpic
                            Brian; Caledonia On.


                            http://lumberjocks.com/toyguy/projects/page/1

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Turning Small dowels

                              Re: Turning Small dowels

                              I did use both the Skewer and the big tooth picks at first, but didn't like the look of them, so a half dozen years ago I started turning them from scrap wood I had sitting around, and yes it's a bit more work but they do look much better IMO ;-))
                              sigpic
                              Have fun and take care
                              Leo Van Der Loo

                              Comment

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