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Dowel plates? Sensibly priced, & not a transatlantic purchase?

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Eric The Viking

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As subject: I am planning my new bench top and would like to have a dowel plate(s) inset, but I haven't so far found anything here at a sensible price. I've been a bit surprised that they aren't more common (but my Google search terms might be poorly chosen).

I am wondering about making one, but that has its own issues: sizing, getting the right undercut, hardening, etc. If I have to choose I'd go with metric, only because metric drills are easier to find (good ones, that is). I may yet be reduced to the "pencil sharpener" approach, but the tooling from Veritas Lee Nielsen, etc. is pretty pricey, so it would probably be home made - fun but a frustrating outcome really.

All thoughts welcome, but bear in mind I have a limited budget.

E.
 

AndyT

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The answer really is to make your own.

Mine is just a bit of anonymous scrap steel. It works fine, without any hardening. I still have some more of the steel if you need a bit.
 

AndyT

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I think it's about 5 or 6mm but can't check just now.
 

MikeG.

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That sounds about right. I started making one out of 10mm plate a while ago, and gave up. It's a bit of a strain to drill that many holes in that thick a plate.
 

AndyT

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Let's see if this works, trying to re-post a photo from an old thread:




I have a second one, with smaller holes, but Mike, if you put all your holes in one bit of steel, it will only count as one tool, not two. 😙
 

powertools

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I use what I think is called a nail plate.
I have drilled out the holes to the size I need. It not a posh answer but it does work.
 

Lons

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Eric, I have a good sized length of tool steel, can't remember the grade but it has made a couple of decent knives. From memory it's about 25mm wide by 3 or 4 mm thick. Happy to post you some if it will do the trick but you might need to harden it.
 

Inspector

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I took a steel plate of about 3/8" thick and drilled all the holes in my drill index from about 1/8" to 1/2", 2 of each. Then I countersunk each hole to leave about 1/16" to 1/8" depending on the hole. Then the tedious part of filing the notches in one hole of each pair. That way you could size any smooth dowel or rib as needed. The reason I went through all the bit sizes in the index was it was for my father and he used it for furniture repairs in his business. He could get just the right size for a worn hole in a loose chair. You could do the same with any common size dowels you want without having to drill so many holes.

Pete
 

mAtKINItice

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I've not made this yet, but a few people swear by it. Will be needing to make this soon though, but it seems to be the easiest version where you use a drill that I've seen.

 

weekend_woodworker

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Thanks for the YouTube link. I had tried something similar here:
But had problems with the dowel burning. I like the idea of the three holes round the edge as cutters so will give that a go to see if it improves the cutting.
 

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