Hardwood dowel source?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by paulg, Feb 13, 2020 at 7:20 PM.

  1. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    Anyone have a source for hardwood dowels? Thanks
     
  2. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I've never seen a "softwood dowel" in my life. You can pretty much get the usual hard wood ones at any decent hardware, or big box home store like Home Despot, or Lowewewews. You can also order them from Amazonian, or Rockler Roller.
     
  3. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Member

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    Many/most are softwood. Pine or poplar are vey popular. But you can also get walnut, oak and sometimes maple.
     
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  4. larry1096

    larry1096 Member

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020 at 10:11 PM
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  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    when is somebody gonna sell pre-made cross-grain hardwood plugs rather than end-grain dowels, that's what i wanna know
     
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  6. RicOkc

    RicOkc Member

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  7. Dave Weir

    Dave Weir Gold Supporting Member

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  8. JBG

    JBG Member

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    For short dowels or plugs (1" or less), I use this type:


    I've had a few that undercut the listed diameter... not a lot, but enough that there is some wiggle room. I have a hss forstner bit that I've shaved the OD down to match my specific cutter for a tighter fit. It cuts straight unlike a traditional plug cutter, but you have to take your time as it's easy to burn harder wood species.
     
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  9. EdFarmer

    EdFarmer Member

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    If you watch reruns of New Yankee Workshop, Norm will tell you to make your own plugs so that you can get the grain in any direction that you need.
     
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  10. JBG

    JBG Member

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    LOVE NYW!
     
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  11. hank57

    hank57 Silver Supporting Member

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    In Berkeley California is a great supplier of lumber products. I have bought hard maple dowels here and they may have many choices. I'd imagine they can ship as well.

    https://www.macbeath.com
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    right of course, i use a plug cutter in just this way.

    i'm just saying it would be a nice convenience
     
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  13. JBG

    JBG Member

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    Agreed, it would be a nice convenience.
     
  14. sondich

    sondich Member

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    If you're looking for unusual sizes or species, this place has a big selection. I've bought from them a while back.

    https://caldowel.com/
     
  15. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Member

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    The
    The problem is that there is no strength in a cross grained dowel. For the purpose they were intended for, (joining joints between two pieces of wood) the will break. In luthier we are really not looking for dowels, we are lookin for plugs. as you note, a plug cutter works for this. Unfortunately, I have not seen small diameter cutters.
     
  16. JBG

    JBG Member

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    I've had to make small, non-tapered plug cutters in "odd sizes" (5/32" od) before. It's not too difficult to make if you have a drill press and/or lathe, an angle grinder, and a file or two. I'll try to remember to take a pic of mine & post it.
     

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