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How do you make your own dowels?

How to make your own dowels

Shop for Dowels

Long thin strips of wood that will be used to turn into dowel rods It’s possible to make your own dowels out of long, thin strips of wood. You might find that this is necessary if you run out of dowels, or you may decide that this is the best use for leftover wood from a completed woodworking project.

What do you need?

Image of a power drill, metal plate, wooden strips and utility knife for making dowels You will need a power drill, a utility knife, a sturdy steel plate and the strips of wood you’re going to be turning into dowels (referred to as ‘stock’).
Wonkee Donkee advises on size of stock to use

Creating dowels

DIYer drilling a hole in a metal plate that will later be used for making dowel rods

Step 1 – Create cutting tool

Choosing a drill bit that is the same size as the dowel rod you want to make, drill a hole into a piece of steel. This will act as your cutting tool.

Image of a dowel plate which is a tool used in the creation of dowel rods It’s also possible to buy dowel plates, which are sheets of metal pre-drilled with holes in common dowel sizes. If you have one of these, it can be used wherever the cutting tool is referenced below.
DIYer whittling the end of a wooden strip so that it can easily be inserted into a metal plate with a drilled hole for creating wooden dowels

Step 2 – Whittle wooden stock

Using your utility knife, whittle one end of your wooden stock so that it is narrow enough to fit through the hole you just drilled in the cutting tool.

Image of a vampire hunter with a stake to show you how you know when you've gone too far when whittling the end of your wooden strip when creating dowel rods You don’t need to make a sharp point, unless you’re planning on hunting vampires!
Fixing wooden strip into a power drill so that it can be rotated as it is pushed through a hole in a metal plate to create a dowel rod

Step 3 – Fix wooden stock

Remove the drill bit from your power drill and secure a piece of your wooden stock in its place. Activating the drill should cause the wood to spin.

Using a power drill to force a wooden strip through a hole drilled in a metal plate to make a dowel rod

Step 4 – Put wood in hole

Put the whittled end of your wood stock into the cutting tool, then activate the power drill and push it all the way through. This will cut off the corners of the wood and create a round dowel rod.

Wonkee Donkee encourges the DIYer to use elbow grease when making their own dowels
DIYer using a hammer to force a wooden strip through a dowel plate to make a dowel rod You can also use a hammer to knock a strip of wood through a dowel plate to turn it into a dowel rod. Who says you can’t put a square peg into a round hole?

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