Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Table saw
- Drill and Forstner bits or holesaws
- Crosscut sled (instructions to make one are here)
- Bar clamp
- Doug fir 2x4 6-18"
Step 2: Drill Some Holes
If you want a variety of sizes available, make sure your 2x4 is long enough to accommodate all of them. If you only want one size, all you need is a few inches. This project makes 5 different sizes of dowels.
Draw a base line. The idea is to align the bottoms of all the guide holes to this line. Using a Forstner bit or holesaw, drill a series of guide holes.
Step 3: Rip the 2x4
Set your rip fence to split the 2x4 right down the middle. Raise the blade high enough to cut through one fourth of the largest guide hole. Run the 2x4 through three or four times.
Installation is easy. Install your crosscut sled and raise the blade. Set the dowel jig down over the blade and clamp it into place.
Step 4: Make Some Dowels!
Rip a piece of wood to a square size that will fit into one of the holes. Find the center by drawing lines from corner to corner on one end. Run a drywall screw into the end and attach a hand drill to it. Put the square end into the round hole and spin it with the drill as the table saw blade rounds out the dowel. This works best with a crosscut blade installed on the table saw. Each hole is good for a couple different sized dowels. You'll need to experiment with it to learn proper blade settings for different sized dowels.