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Wooden curtain poles with a home made dowel-making jig.

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MikeG.

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A fun little diversion, now. We needed some curtain poles in the lounge, and decided that oak and wrought iron was the look we were going for. My wife obviously was confident that running up some wooden curtain poles wouldn't be too difficult....

I made a jig. I wanted lots of depth to the jig, but my forstner bits are only so long. I therefore made it in 2 pieces:











The idea is to get down to 32mm diameter in two passes, one at 35mm and the next at 32mm. Learning from the proof-of-principle model I made for the dowels for the satirs, I made a very secure slot for the chisel to eliminate any movement other than the in-out adjustment. Time for a test piece:



The funny little connector thingy on the bench is a screw on one end and a bolt/ threaded rod on the other, and that will be what screws into the end of the dowel.





This produced a really decent result first time, but it also shook like hell and produced a real oddity:



How did it end up turning massively off-centre?

On to the real thing. There are three curtain poles to do, two at 1.7m, and one at 2.4m. I straightened up and ripped a nice piece of oak from my stores, and then chamfered the edges to produce an octogon:



Then shaped the end:



........attached the drill and got on with it:











The result was lovely!



But again, the oddity of an off-centre feed. It started off bang in the middle of the octogon:



The other shorter pole is prepared and ready to turn in the morning, just waiting for the glue in a shake to dry. The longer pole was longer than any wood I could find of the right size, but I did find some 12mm thick off cuts. I cleaned them up, ripped them, and will laminate them together in the morning:

 

Steve Maskery

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I have no idea why your poles should end up so much off centre, but I bet that was fun to hold as it was going round nineteen to the dozen!
 

Hornbeam

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hi Mike. If you look at the ashem type rounders then the taper is much longer so the wood is supported all the length of the cut. You could try extending the tool and putting a lead in hole before your 45 degree chanfer ( just anothe piece of wood with a hole in it that the octagon just fits into which is screwed on the infeed side, Are you getting a spiral left in the outside of teh cyclider. On a rounder the edge of te blade is curved off slightly at the end to remove the sharp corner .
Have you tried holding the dowel fixed and turning your rounder by hand. It sound slow but is much faster than you might think
Ian
 

MikeG.

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I turned the dowel by hand for a few inches, and it cut really nicely, but the jig itself doesn't really lend itself to being used as a rounder. If I had had an appropriate blade kicking around, I would have made a traditional rounder instead of this jig.

The dowel supports itself in the outfeed hole. It doesn't need an infeed hole, really. You can see from one of the photos how snugly it fits in the outfeed side, so it can't actually go anywhere. There is no spiral on the dowel, and the cut is beautifully clean. The hole actually buffs up the surface, burnishing it to an almost-good-enough finish. If it wasn't for 3 or 4 imperfections I wouldn't have bothered sanding.
 

MikeG.

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Steve Maskery":2a8p0nno said:
I have no idea why your poles should end up so much off centre, but I bet that was fun to hold as it was going round nineteen to the dozen!
It was a bit rocky, yes! I had expected there to be lots of whip and loss of control on the outfeed side when 5 or 6 feet were sticking through the jig, but no, it stayed relatively under control and tidy. The odd off centre thing didn't affect the finish, size, cut....anything. It's a curiosity, rather than a problem.
 

samhay

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I suspect that you/your hands are rocking side-to-side as you feed the dowel in and this is happening at the same rate as the drill is rotating. The movement may be almost imperceptible as you are only out by 1/4" or so and may feel more like a gentle shimmy.

Edit. p.s. it clearly isn't a problem as the results are excellent, and may actually help to keep it under control.
 
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