|Lie-Nielsen Dowel Plate|
If you've ever needed a dowel that wasn't the whitewood variety from the Big Box store or even one of the more common species available on line you just have to make your own. Another reason for making your own is that way they'll be the exact size you want. That's what motivated my decision to buy one. Add to that, I'd just received a $50.00 certificate from Highland Woodworking -- they featured my scrub plane in their Show Your Stuff column of the February issue.
A while back I borrowed a friends dowel plate for a project I was working on. I decided to make him a nice holder as a way of saying thanks. I made something similar for my own plate but had some problems. While researching on the net, someone mentioned that they thought the dowel that is made got crooked because there wasn't any way to guide the dowel as it went through. The suggestion was to use a hole beneath the dowel plate that's slightly larger than the dowel size to guide it as it's formed. I took that to heart and here's what that process looked like:
|Drilling the Guide Holes|
I centered and temporarily screwed the dowel plate to a piece of Oak. Next, each hole was drawn in using the plate as a guide. The holes were then drilled through the block, each is about 1/8" larger than the size of the dowel.
|Counter Bore, 2 Large Holes were Filed|
|Drawn Circle for Guideline|
|Creating the Octagon|
Here's what worked the best; I took a scrap piece of 3/4" MDF and routed a shallow V-groove in it. A little work with a chisel to create a stop in that groove was all it took. Now that I had the visual circle at the end of the stick as a guide it was a simple matter of creating more of an octagon shape with a block plane. One last thing to do to the stick is to create a chamfer at one end to help start it.
|Dowel Plate in Use|
Oh yea, what happened to the first holder? Well, here it is; at least the glue joint held and the wood failed!