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I can't find any pan head screws longer than 1½". I'm in the middle of a project but could use some 2½", 2" at least:( Is SPAX a good substitute? By that I mean is the head small enough to fit in the microjig pocket?

I'm also having trouble finding microjig plugs.:(   5/16" dowels are to big.

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Hiya John!

You can make your own plugs using dowels.

Holes are 9/32", 5/16" are to big and 1/4" are to loose. I suppose I could sand down some 5/16" ones but I'll have nearly 100 to do by the time I'm finished. I can buy them from Kreg but the shipping adds about 10 cents each to them. Be $8.95 shipping on $9.98 worth of plugs.  That's just wrong.:(

Maybe I can find some 9/32 doweling but I sorta doubt it.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

John,

Peruse this approach

Alternate method:

Shave a larger dia 5/16" dowel, down to the desired 9/32" size---

using a block plane.

Make a 9/32" in hole in a 1x board stock, to check the desired fit of the dowels.

Hi Ken - Good ideas. I was thinking of a jig for my router table to essentially do the same thing. Your chisel idea would be a lot simpler to set up though. Unfortunately, I haven't got a block plane, or any other plane for that matter.

John,

I've used a rasp, that has also worked.

John,

I found this dowel making jig at HighlandWoodworking

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/dowelmakingjig.aspx

Alternate approach:

Drill a 9/32" hole in a piece of steel bar stock, 1/8'' thick by 1'' wide.

Clamp the steel bar in a bench vise, with the hole just above the vise jaws.

Chuck a 5/16" dowel in a drill.

Insert one end of the dowel, into the entry hole in the steel bar.

Engage the drill---

apply pressure--- as the drill is rotating, continue applying pressure, akin to drilling a hole---

as the dowel is turning, in the hole of the steel bar,

the dowel is being machined down to the size of the hole.

Start slowly until you get the hang of it.

Determine the most suitable rpm for the smoothest results for the wood material that is being machined.

You'll get smoother results at higher rpms.

Start out machining 2ft sections of dowel rod, then progress to 3ft sections.

A 4 ft section is more difficult, as it has a tendency to develop too large of bow, as you're applying pressure.

 

John,

Re the steel bar stock---

If you can get your hands on a piece of tool steel, 

it'll perform better than low carbon steel.

When drilling holes in the tool steel, start with an 1/8'' dia---

then graduating to 9/32'', by 1/64th increments.

Use a slower drilling rpm and Rapid-Tap(R), or equiv, cutting fluid.

John,

A ''block'' plane is a necessity in a woodworkers shop.

It has many uses.

Yikes - Thanks for all the alternatives Ken- I'm thinking a simplified version of the Highland jig would be appropriate for a " one of" job of turning a hundred or so dowels.

I know a lot of guys into planes, I just haven't as yet. I think my brother may have a bunch of old planes. My Dad had a pile of them but I haven't seen nor heard about them since he passed.

Planes were a tool of necessity.

Not many of them used today.

Planes are the best for smoothing.

Most everybody wants to jump right into using power tools,

but they don't know how to use a hand tool.

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