Get a Round Without a Lathe

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Turners have a leg up when it comes to furnituremaking. Without an easy means of creating round parts, lathe-less woodworkers are stuck searching for ways to squeeze square pegs (e.g. leg or spindle stock) into round holes. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. Using your router table and a few bits, you can mill perfectly round stock for spindles, legs, and more.
Aside from chair and bench making, shop-made dowels and spindles are useful for all sorts of projects. Using available stock not only saves time and money otherwise spent on store-bought dowels, it also enables you to make spindles from matching stock, or select a species that isn’t commercially available. And by selecting straight grain stock, routed dowels are often straighter and truer than those that have been sitting on a shelf.
Now for the fine print: Bear in mind that routing dowels is a specifically paired arrangement. A 3/8"-radius bit will only create a 3/4"-dia. dowel. Also note that this technique works best for dowels 3/8"-dia. and up. Smaller stock has a tendency to vibrate, resulting in an uneven cut.

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