Shop-Made Dowel Sizer

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Shop-Made Dowel Sizer

Shop-Made Dowel Sizer

Occasionally, I use dowels as pins to join parts or as plugs for inlaid accents, as in the Geo Box on page 58. Although dowels are available commercially, they have often swelled too much to fit properly into a hole of the correct size. The other problem is that they’re not available in a wide variety of woods.

To solve both issues, I made a dowel sizer by drilling common dowel size holes in a scrap piece of aluminum plate. (Steel works as well.) To use it, I place the appropriate size hole over a bench dog hole (or adjacent to the edge of the bench), chamfer one end of the dowel, and then drive it through the appropriate hole. To make a dowel from scratch, I rip a piece of straight-grained wood roughly oversized, chamfer the end, and drive it through the hole.

—Geoff Noden, Trenton, New Jersey

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