For this, you will need:
- Steel Rule
- Brace and Bit (the size of the required round rod diameter) or a 1-inch coin
- Sash Clamp
- Bench Plane
- Spokeshave (flat-bottomed)
- Card Scraper
- Abrasive Paper (150 grit)
1. Once you have cut your wood to a square section, you can use a coin to draw around on the ends.
An alternative method would be to use an appropriately sized brace bit to score the surface and mark the circumference. To do this, use a steel rule to make a mark from each corner to corner to find the centre position, use a square awl to create a lead in for the bit.
2. Use the steel rule to mark the corners at roughly 45° on the end section, follow these lines down the side.
3. Use a long clamp to hold your wood in the vise horizontally. You can either use a plane with a heavy cut to remove the four corners or use a spokeshave. Take full length shavings as evenly as possible along the entire length.
4. Once all four corners have been removed your cross section will be an octagon, keep turning your wood in the vise and remove all the smaller corners.
5. Once you have taken off the corners and you’ve nearly reached a round surface, switch between a card scraper and abrasive paper to smooth the shape.
Thanks team. This refreshed and old mans memory and I have a use for it on a project I’m working on. I’ve used this before for a round tenon on a cane but didn’t think about using it to make a dowel.
Creating an octagon can be challenging. A nice way of creating marks to see how much material had to be removed is the use of a spar gauge. This is particularly useful when you are working on a tapered stock which has to be made round, for instance the may of a sailing vessel. You can find various examples online.