Sourcing Large Dowels for Door Construction

Suppliers typically have minimum order quantity requirements. March 22, 2013

Every now and then we make a passage door. We like to dowel the stile/rail joint. I haven't had success in finding a 5/8" or 3/4" x 6" dowel. I'm pretty sure a few years ago I saw them on a cabinet shop tour. Can anyone share any information about this?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor H:
I had the same issue a couple years ago. After finding that suppliers wanted to sell them in large quantities I just went to a door shop and bought some from them. It helped that they were friends of mine.

From contributor O:
I cannot remember where I got mine but I ran into the same problem a couple of years ago. I ended up buying the minimum quantity of 250 each, 5/8" x 5" (or 5.5"), fluted dowels.

From contributor Y:
What I've done in the past when I doweled stiles and rails together, is I took a 1/4" thick steel plate and drilled a hole slightly smaller than the dowel diameter. Then I took a triangular file and made v cuts around the hole at an angle so one side of the plate had a larger diameter than the other. I would then just take a regular dowel and beat it through the hole from the wider side and it would crush the wood to be like a regular glue dowel. If the v cuts are too sharp they will cut the wood instead of compressing it though.

From contributor D:
I suppose if you only wanted enough for a door or two, you could also chuck the end of a smooth dowel in a variable speed hand drill and run it up and down through a die in a vice. Coarser thread like acme square would be ideal.