Does anyone on here own one of these dowel plates or the Veritas dowel former? If so what do you think of it? Paul demonstrated the Veritas dowel former system in the Cutting Board series but it has several parts to it. The Lie-Nielson plate is nice and simple.
I’m done with store bought dowels. They are junk!
Ken…are referring to the Lie-Nielson plate? I found a local custom mill shop that sells it’s end cuts for $1 a piece. Usually about 6″x12″. I usually only buy hardwood from the discount bin (currently working on the most hateful piece of cherry to ever be cut from a tree).
Not sure if this isn’t going against the traditional methods, but I have successfully made short and long hardwood dowels using the “pencil sharpener” method as described by Matthias Wandel (skipping the router and using drawknife/plane instead).
I would suggest sizing the entry hole for a square stock (~ 1.5 x finished diameter) and tapering/stepping the hole to finished diameter on the outfeed.
I have made several blocks and just clamp 1″ chisel to them whenever I need to make a dowel.
I recently used washers which worked ok but then I switched to what we call “flachverbinder” in Germany and they worked better because they are sharper than my slightly rounded-over washers and they hold a lot better because there is more steel around. It’s just a piece of square steel with some holes in it. Usually there is a 10 mill hole at either end which I used and the other holes are not very usefull because they are around 4 mill.
I split them from white oak and roughed the shape with a draw knife before driving them through the plate.
One day I will buy one of those plates because I don’t own enough metal drill bits and buying them would cost more than the finished plates.
It’s really fun making your own dowels. The way they follow the grain is great to watch.
I enjoy working wood in Germany.
I bought the Lie Nielsen plate some time ago in hopes that I could take a slightly oversized tapered square blank then drive it thru the plate and end up with a smooth finished dowel.This doesn’t happen.
As the dowel is being driven thru the plate, there is some tear out which tends to progress the full length. And this is with a new very sharp plate.
If you are looking for dowels that will be used during construction of a project for pinning and such, the plate works fine for getting a fairly precise diameter to match a drilled hole.
If you are looking for a dowel that will be exposed, the finish on the dowel is usually very bad.
Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.
"If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln
I looked at these plates when I was building my Dining Table. The cost seemed too high for what it was so I ended up drilling the required size hole in an off cut of angle iron. I was able to use it to make the required dowels no problem at all. Due to the size of the table, I had to make these dowels at least 6 inches in length and it still worked. I don’t bother to sharpen these plates (not even sure how to), I just use some basic physics applied with my mallet 😉
I’ve made several if these now, in various sizes – the iron is about 3 mm thick.
Keep Calm and have a Cup of Tea
I don’t really have a dowel plate. I do have a hunk of mild steel-about 3/16″ thick with holes drill in it, and I have a tap and die set…
What I do is rive my stock to as close to 1/2″ square as possible. I have tried with a drawknife to shave down the edges to get it to a sorta/kinda round shape, but I settled on the die method. I clamp a 1/2 die in it’s holder into my metal vice, then I chuck the length of stock into an electric drill with a 1/2 chuck. Whittle the tip of the stock a bit and insert it into the die, then run the drill and push it through. It is now more or less 1/2” roundish. Then I move on to the 7/16” die and run the dowel through. Lastly I pound the dowel through my home made dowel plate in the 3/8” hole. I have made 3/8″ dowels as long as 16″ with this method
I have the Veritas dowel former. But after reading what others have done to make shop jigs, makes wish I would’ve just done that instead and saved the money for some extra lumber. The dowel former is a nice jig and makes adequate dowels, but sometimes become crooked. Maybe from hiting the dowel on an angle?
I don’t think you could go wrong buying either dowel plate or former, but you could save money buy just drilling a hole in mild steel.
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