Make round wooden sticks without a lathe | router dowel jig | FREE PLANS
If, for whatever reason, you need round wooden sticks or a dowel for your projects, you will want it in the same wood that your project is made of.
On top of that, you may also need a specific size.
So, buying round wooden sticks or dowels is not an option here.
That means you will have to make that round wooden stick or dowel yourself!
It seems difficult to make round wooden sticks, but this is easily done with this jig and your palm router.
In this blog, I will explain step by step how I made my jig, where I made a mistake, and how to fix it quickly and easily, as well as how to use this jig.
To help you build this jig, you can download the plans for free and adapt them to your palm router and needs.
Let’s make this jig!
- What do you need to make round wooden sticks with a router?
- Watch the video here & learn how to make this router jig
- How to make a dowel maker step by step
What do you need to make round wooden sticks with a router?
To prepare you for building this round wooden sticks maker, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipments that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this jig.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for this round wooden sticks maker
(power)Tools I used for this round wooden sticks maker
Watch the video here & learn how to make this router jig
Here you can watch the video and see how to make this router jig.
After watching the video, you can continue reading the step-by-step guide to making this round wooden sticks maker yourself.
How to make a dowel maker step by step
Step 1 | Preparation
As always, you have to start with cutting all parts to size.
To know all the dimensions, you can download the free plans in this blog.
The plans for this jig are made for my Makita 3709 palm router.
If you want the 3D model so that you can easily adapt this jig to your palm router, you can become a member on Patreon or YouTube.
If you want to buy these plans without becoming a member, you can contact me here.
Do you want to make the same crosscut sled as mine?
Check out the step-by-step instruction blog where I show you how to make this crosscut sled.
There are free building plans available on this page, to help you to build this sled.
Don’t miss this!
Step 2 | Making the dowel making jig
To make it possible to slide the router and the plates that determine the thickness of the round wooden sticks into the jig, you need slots.
I made these slots by gluing on top of the birch plywood of 18 mm pieces of MDF 6 mm thick with CA glue and wood glue. The dimensions between the pieces of MDF can be found on the free plans. If you use a different thickness of wood, adjust the dimensions of the slots.
After all parts are glued together you should get 2 sides as shown in the picture below.
As you can see in the picture, I made the MDF parts longer than the plywood part. By cutting off the excess MDF with the table saw and crosscut sled, the two layers are perfectly flush in this way.
As the last step in making the sides, a groove had to be made where the clamp must fit. This clamp will ensure that the router stays perfectly in place while working with this jig.
I made the groove by making the 2 outer cuts with the handsaw. The excess wood was removed with a hammer and chisel.
After making the slots, the sides should look like the photo below.
I attached the two sides to a bottom plate with wood glue and brad nails.
The bottom plate was made wider than the jig. This wider bottom plate gives the possibility to clamp the jig on the workbench.
On the side where the wood will be inserted, I placed a connection between the two sides in MDF. This gives extra strength to the jig, but by using thin MDF the wood will never get in the way while using the jig.
For the back, a clamp has been made that hooks perfectly into the grooves of the sides of the jig. This clamp ensures that the router cannot shift while working with this jig.
The clamp has been placed in such a way that it does not make contact with the router, to make opening and closing easier. To block the router, I can unscrew the screw on the back of the router until it tightens against the clamp.
If this screw is missing on the back of your router, you will have to adjust the jig so that the clamp makes direct contact with the back of the router.
Then it was time to make the plates that will determine the diameter of the round wooden sticks.
This jig contains 2 plates.
The backplate has a hole that has the same diameter as the round wooden sticks you want to make.
The front plate is provided with a larger hole into which the wood can be fed.
The height of the hole will be determined by the type of straight-cutting router bit you will be using in your router.
To make the wood spin in the jig while the router is cutting, I use my cordless drill as a drive.
I used a specific screw to clamp the wood in my cordless drill.
I can’t find what this screw is called anywhere, but if I translate literally from Dutch, my native language, it should be called a spacer screw.
If anyone, reading this blog, knows how this screw is called, please let me know in the comments.
UPDATE: Thanks to Charles Thompson’s comment at the bottom of this blog, I now know that the screw I used for this is called a hanger bolt in American English. Thank you for your contribution, Charles.
When you use this screw as a connector between the wood and the cordless drill, be sure to predrill a hole in the wood.
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Step 3 | I made a mistake! How I solved the problem.
When I tested this jig, making my first round wooden sticks, I quickly noticed a problem.
The sawdust accumulated between the 2 plates.
I solved this by drilling a hole on the side of the jig the same diameter as the hose of my vacuum cleaner.
However, I did not completely drill through the wood. The hole is so wide that there would be an opening on the outside of the plates, causing the vacuum to dissipate between the plates.
Therefore, the last millimeters were drilled with a drill that has the same width as the slot between the two plates.
Now I could plug in the hose of my vacuum cleaner and the problem was completely solved. Simple, isn’t it?
Step 4 | How to make round wooden sticks
Making round wooden sticks with this dowel-making jig is super simple.
You make a square rule in the wood that you want for your project.
Make sure that this square rule can be entered through the largest hole.
By means of the spacer screw, you connect the wood to the cordless screwdriver so that you can turn the wood in the jig.
Lower the router bit until the bottom of the router bit is flush with the top of the smallest hole.
This takes some practice before you can adjust this properly.
Now insert the wood into the jig through the largest hole and spin the wood rule quickly enough.
Slowly add the wood into the jig, so the router can cut away any excess wood.
If you want to make a different size of round wooden sticks, it is sufficient to make a new set of plates with the diameter that you need for your project.
Swap the plates, adjust the height of the router bit, and you can get started.
This way, you can make round wooden sticks or dowels in any wood and size to suit your project needs.
Related article: When to use dowels in woodworking (4 great reasons)
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Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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