Years ago you could buy a simple jig, a tool, basically a piece of
plate steel that had been drilled and machined for grooving dowels of
the most common sizes. I have been looking on the web for weeks now
and I can't seem to find one anywhere, maybe I am using the wrong term
to look for it, I don't know exactly what it is called. SO I am asking
for your help. Does anyone out there know if they still make this tool
and if so where the heck can you buy one?
Thanks for your help.
I *think* they are draw plates. Used for pulling dowels through to size
them. Another type was used for the grooves. A short dowel piece was
placed over the appropriate hole and each hole had small protrusions
around it such that when you smacked the dowel through the grooves were
gouged out. Of course one can also make these grooves by gripping a
dowel with the inside jaws of a pair of pliers.
It's called a dowel plate. Used to be quite a common tool - I hadn't seen
one for sale for years, until I DAGS - Lie-Nielsen make them now.
At $45, it ain't cheap; however, there's nothing to stop you making your
own. The quick way is to buy a drill gauge - a piece of plate steel usually
about 3" x 6"x 1/4 " thick, accurately drilled with graduated marked holes
in it - normally, machinists use it to check the gauge of an unknown drill.
To use it as a dowel plate, you simply roughly size your stock - squaring
then chamfering, or even whittling. to produce an octagon, then use a mallet
to drive it through the plate, so you'll end up with accurately-sized
dowels. It works quite well for dowels up to about 3" long.
You can make one from scratch by using 1/4" M/S (or, even better if you're
making a lot of dowels, gauge plate - a higher carbon steel) and drilling
the holes in that you need.
You can improve things by attaching this plate to the top of a hardwood
block, the same size as the plate, and about 1-1 1/2" thick, and drilling
the holes right through the wooden block, using the hole in the plate as a
guide. You then take ordinary woodscrews and screw them laterally
(sideways) into the block, so that the point of the screw just enters the
vertical hole through the plate/block assembly. Then when you drive your
dowel through the hole, the screw point gouges out a channel along the side
of the dowel, allowing a glue/pressure relief when you drive the dowel into
Adapt, improvise, overcome! (Name that quote, anyone?)
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