Running Dowels on a Moulder
From contributor R:
1 3/8" dowels can be produced on a conventional moulder if the template and knife design is correct. Most people think they can run full round with two sets of knives, and they can get close. But if the design is made so it takes 4 sets of knives, then you get a much better finished product and the product does not have a chance to float as much, plus the knives can be resharpened easier. Designs that are of the 2 sets of knives have 90 degrees at the blend area and that is a big no-no in our industry, because you can't resharpen them correctly and your bedplates, fences, pressure shoes and chip breakers are further away from the point of machining, thus leading to snipe, wood movement and the kinds of problem you explain. Have them try it with 4 sets of knives and you will see the difference.
From contributor O:
"The molder rep said dowels are never perfect."
I'm sure the molder rep would have accepted that excuse from the technician who installed his machine when it was new... Not!
From contributor L:
We run dowels on the moulder. On the larger sizes our dowels may be up to .010 out of round, the smaller ones being only .005. Dowels are a bit of a specialty, but certainly possible on a moulder with the right tooling, etc.
From contributor J:
Make sure you use a profile hold down shoe while doing this, especially if they are in multiples.
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