Ebony through a Dowel Plate?


Recommended Posts

Hi!

I want to use ebony for some accents on a coffee table I'm building.  The top will have draw-bored breadboard ends, and I want to use Ebony for the dowels.  I'm also doing draw-bored bridle joints in the base (see Ishitani's Kigumi table).

The dowels for the top will probably be 5/16 or 3/8.

The base dowels need to be 1/2.

Has anybody used a dowel plate (Lie-Nielsen, or any other), to create dowels out of ebony?

How did they turn out?  Any tips for success?  Obviously, I don't want to screw this up.  Ebony's expensive as hail.

Thank you!

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done it.  Mixed results.  The dowel plate works great for green wood, not so great for anything else, especially dense exotics.  If you drive anything except perfectly straight grain through the dowel plate you'll get disastrous splintering.  Even with straight grain it's dubious.

The Veritas dowel maker would be the ideal tool, but it's $$$.

Edit: I share a brain with a llama.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, woodbutcher74 said:

You can make dowels on a router table. Use the correct radius round over bit. Never worked with ebony so I'm not sure about that part. 

Doesn't that get a little bit exciting when you're doing the back 180 degrees of rounding?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, woodbutcher74 said:

You can make dowels on a router table. Use the correct radius round over bit. Never worked with ebony so I'm not sure about that part. 

Can you provide a bit more info on doing this (preferably safely).

Thank you!

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ebony can be a little brittle. If you knock the corners off with a plane before you try driving it through a dowel plate it might be ok. Failing that you could always try whittling the dowels with a sharp knife, a file or fine rasp. Personally I wouldn't bother and maybe make them from something more resilient and then use a dye to tint them (if I was after a dark colour).

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

There are a couple of examples of making dowels with a drill, like a pencil sharpener. Matthias at woodgears.ca has one that uses a chisel and guide block. Izzy Swan shows how to do it by drilling through a plate with a toothed hole.

 

Either method produces a smoother stick than pounding it through a plate.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Mark J said:

Doesn't that get a little bit exciting when you're doing the back 180 degrees of rounding?

It helps to keep part of the stock square, so you have something to hold onto and keep your fingers away from the bit. I did this before putting my sapele dowels through the plate (well, the veritas dowel former, but same thing).

I did find that using paraffin wax when pounding the dowel stock through helped quite a bit with reducing the splintering and helping them go through. I just kept scribbling a little around the cutting edge - it was easier, and the result was noticeably better.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chris208 said:

Can you provide a bit more info on doing this (preferably safely).

Thank you!

Chris

You cut square stock the size of the dowel you wish to make. make it quite a bit longer than you finished dowel. Install the correct radius round over bit in the router table. Route the corners off of the blank up to the length you need. Cut it off and do it again until you have enough to finish your project. Don't know if this will work with ebony but I have done this with walnut,cherry and oak. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

"D" all of the above ! Feel sorry for Eric, Llama and everyone else ! If you leave the first & last 1/2" of the blank square when going the router table route. Don't take the whole cut in one pass, sneak up on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An old plane iron tapering into the the circumference of a hole the size of the dowel you want. It makes for a very decent dowel making jig.

If you already have a dowel plate, you could use a metal cutting jigsaw to give the leading edge some sort of "teeth". I wouldn't be too happy about potentially damaging a nice and shiny plate.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A while back I tried making a DIY dowel make with a spokeshave blade and drill. It was a bit rough. I ended up turning what I needed which was about 300mm(12"). The router table or a proper dowel maker seems much easier. 

There was a video on the forum somewhere of the Veritas one in use. That would be a fun toy to use. 

IMG_2332.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2017 at 4:30 PM, gee-dub said:

For what I pay for Gaboon Ebony I would use regular dowels recessed about 1/4".  Make you dowel on the router table as described and add a 1/4" "cap" to the dowel position.  Ebony routes very well for me.

This...but you can use a plug cutter bit with same results.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw a video where Rob Cosman made a jig using a block of wood with a plane iron clamped to it. The block has a hole drilled to the size of the dowel and the iron placed at the top of the cut it. Chucked the square wood into a cordless drill and spun it through the jig. I dont have time to find the video right now, but I will look for it. 

 

Found it during a meeting. Skip to around 22 minute mark.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 151 Guests (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Forum Statistics

    29608
    Total Topics
    401373
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    22318
    Total Members
    3644
    Most Online
    bigbrohardwood20
    Newest Member
    bigbrohardwood20
    Joined