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newbie Q on makeshift lathe?

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  • newbie Q on makeshift lathe?

    Hi all,

    I have a very small woodworking task I want to do, but I don't know how to do it, since I don't usually need to do any woodworking

    I have a set of six perfectly cylindrical wooden dowels, each about 32 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. What I need to do is somehow either chisel or whittle away about four inches at one end so that they taper to a sharp point, so I can drive these dowels into the ground as "posts."

    Obviously a lathe would be the simplest way to do this, but I don't have one. Is there any simple and clean way to do this without a lathe? I'd rather not break out a utility knife and manually whittle away six of these to points Neatness would be nice, but if there's a "rough" way to do this, I'll take it.

    If it helps to know, these are the power tools I possess: a good cordless drill, a miter saw, and a circular saw. I could ask my neighbour and his drill press to pitch in if I needed it.

    Last edited by canadave; 05-16-2006, 06:08 PM.

  • #2
    Use your miter saw to cut a taper on 4 sides of the dowels and then use a knife to round them off. A belt sander would make short work of tapering the ends also.
    info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."


    • #3
      To add on to Papadan's reply--If you use your mitre saw to taper the ends, you don't really need to round them off to drive them in the ground. HTH


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies...I just had a look at my miter saw, but it can only tilt to 45 degrees (in vertical or horizontal) at maximum. I need to do approximately a 12 degree angled cut (which is really 78 degrees) on the cylinder (I've allocated 3 inches of the dowel to be the tapered part, so the cut angle is a bit steep). The only way for me to accomplish that with my miter saw would be to freehand hold the dowel pointing directly in front of me and clamp it down there a better way?
        Last edited by canadave; 05-18-2006, 12:25 PM.


        • #5
          Clamp a small scrap block to the saw fence and let the dowel rest against it so it stays in place. Make the first cut and rotate the dowel 90 degrees and make your second cut. do this to all of them. then reset the block for the 3rd and 4th sides. Hold the dowl firm and cut down slow with the miter saw.
          info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."


          • #6
            I did that, and it worked!! Thanks very much for all your help.