I saw a tip in an old WOOD magazine where a fellow drilled a hole in the
end of a piece of stock to hold a dowel. He then used the bandsaw to cut
a groove in the dowel.
I'd probably go for the groove and stop, as it would seem to be much
faster to make.
Instead of using something like Titebond, which is undoubtedly swelling the
dowels during the assembly time (they're designed to do that, when used with
a water-based glue), consider using something like Nexabond, which is not
water-based and will not cause swelling in the dowels.
Can't hurt at all. ;)
That said, It's not usually the swelling of the dowels that is the
problem - and it's biscuits that are purposely designed to swell, not
AAMOF, with the initial coating (and providing the piston effect is
mitigated) you may notice a slight lubrication effect at first ... until
the glue starts to set.
Also, you may also have this same sticky problem, from exceeding the
open time slightly, when gluing mortise and tenon joints that are sloppy
enough that the piston effect is not an issue.
IOW, and with most hardwood dowels, I question, from experience, that it
is water based glue at the root of the problem.
Non water based glues, like Nexabond are great for smaller and/or
special applications, but for gluing most furniture and cabinet
projects, prepare to dent the hell out of your budget, and possibly
still not solve the issue if you exceed the open time.
In the time before time, before biscuits and Dominoes there reigned the dow
We made our own dowels many a time as they could be hard to get. Without a
thickness planer, it was too hard to make great fitting splines quickly, b
ut you could take your calipers and find rod stock that would work somewher
e and buy a couple of sticks that would last a long time. If the stock was
too large, we simply put a piece in a drill chuck and "reduced it" with a
piece of 80gr. You would be surprised how well that worked.
For striations, I came up with my own method. I drilled several holes in a
straight line from edge to edge (not lengthwise) and cut the board in two
down the middle of the holes. I put the dowels I had cut to length into my
holding jigs and just used masking tape to hold them into the concave cut o
uts in the board. I could easily get two lengthwise air/glue relief cuts o
n each dowel by just touching it to a band saw blade, since I only needed a
bout 1/32" deep.
Using a piece of 1x4 scrap, I could about 5 dowels per board half, and the
dowels were cut to length and ready to go when I pulled the tape off. This
really just took >>a few minutes<< to make a bunch. The beauty is that yo
u aren't confined to one size of dowel and this method will work on any siz
e wood rod you find that matches up to your drill bits. When I made larger
, custom dowels, I used a piece of 2X6 for the holding jig and cut 3/4 dowe
ls from rod stock. On these (used in making/repairing doors) I would rotat
e the dowel stock and cut a couple more striations on the opposing side of
the first cuts.
That all came to me one day while in the shop and I couldn't get the dowels
I wanted. Never seen anyone do it that way... but I can testify it works
like a champ.
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