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Dowel sizes

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Johnwa

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Hi all. Recently bought a Reccord 148 dowel jig and I want to use 3/8" (10mm) dowels but I'm a a bit stuck on dowel sizes as the drill bushes are imperial and most dowels are metric. As 3/8" is roughly 9.5mm, (this is the drill size that fits the guide bush) will a 10 mm (3/8") dowel knock into the 9.5mm hole or will I have to fettle it in some way. Don't really want to buy 3/8" dowels from the US, the delivery costs are more than the price of the dowels in most cases!. Just wondered if the more experienced members on UK Workshop could throw some ideas on the subject, or have I wasted my money on a nice to look at tool that has no use apart from being a good exampie of British quality manufacturing as used to be.
John
 

Jacob

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Have you tried it out? Bought dowels aren't always going to be that precise and I'd expect 10mm to do OK in place of 3/8", most of the time. Could be wrong!
 

Fitzroy

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Aligned with what rob 1693 says. I was struggling with dowel sizes and tried all sorts of fancy stuff making a big pencil sharpener type thing etc. In the end I drilled a hole in a piece of 2mm thick metal I had lying around, an old bracket or something similar. Positioning it over a hole in the workbench I found I can knock a piece of square stock through it and get a more than adequate dowel, just put a point on the end of the square stock first.
 

sawdustandwax

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3/8" dowel can bought here
3/8" Diameter
take a small piece of hardwood about 2" square drill a 3/8" hole through it , put in two screws at 90 degrees to each other 1/2" apart so the tips are just into the hole, they can be 'sharpened' as well. Put dowel into drill, drive through the hole, grooved dowel emerges...was in same position for dowels.
 

Johnwa

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Thank you all for your responses. I do make my own dowels, so it looks like carrying on. Cheers all
 

isaac3d

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It's likely that your bought dowels won't be either perfectly round or perfectly the quoted size. I recently bought some 10mm dowel to use as pegs in an 18mm thick plywood board. I drilled holes with a 10 mm drill bit. I measured the dowels and they were approximately 10.3 to 10.5 mm in diameter (measured with electronic callipers). They were rather too tight a fit and required a bit of fettling and some hard whacks to get them in to the ply. Still, I reckon a bit of fettling is par for the course in any woodworking project.
 

Peri

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I make dowels by 'drilling' them through a plate I made.
file.jpg
(Pic credit Erik The Viking)

file1.jpg
file3.jpg
 

Cabinetman

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3/8" dowel can bought here
3/8" Diameter
take a small piece of hardwood about 2" square drill a 3/8" hole through it , put in two screws at 90 degrees to each other 1/2" apart so the tips are just into the hole, they can be 'sharpened' as well. Put dowel into drill, drive through the hole, grooved dowel emerges...was in same position for dowels.
@Peri this will help prevent problems pushing homemade dowels into glued holes, there can be a lot of hydraulic pressure, I’ve seen glue forced through the grain of timber to emerge on the side rail or leg of work when cramping up. Ian
 

Stevekane

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Peri, your dowel plate looks very professional, do you have to do much prep before pushing the wood through the plate? the reason Im asking is that I made one where the hole is close to the edge and a cut made with a hacksaw from the edge into the hole, the little tang of metal is then bent a little and is then a course cutter,,this sounds far more complicated than it is, anyway, I used it for making 1/2inch oak dowels, I cut some oak down to a square size close to the dowel size and about 500mm long and like you push the pointed end through the plate in my drill and it produces a rather ragged dowel which I think is perfect for holding glue. However I still have to lean a bit on the drill to push it through, I cannot imagine being able to drill/push the wood I was using through just a plain hole?
Steve
 

Peri

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I stepped down through the sizes, starting with a hole that just took the corners off square stock, until I reached the desired size. Didn't need to use excessive pressure - most times it's only removing 0.5 or 1mm per pass.
I made a few plates and sold them to some forum members (not this forum), and everyone seemed very pleased. One user sold his Lie-Nielson plate after getting one of mine, and another made 140 oak dowels without a hitch!
 

Stevekane

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Ah that makes sense, mine started off just a little over 1/2ins sq section, so there was a fair bit being cut off, and they did look fairly raggy before holding a bit of course paper round them for a few secconds, but as I said I thought this might actualy be a good thing. I used oak and maybe softwood might be easier and give a better finish.
 

Peri

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Those in the photos, one was iroko, the other (I think) meranti.
 

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