How to make dowels accurate to 1/32nd?

I have a customer who would like a set of dowels made to 1/32 accuracy ranging in size from 23/32 to 29/32. She has purchased some standard size dowels as base material.

I have found several dowel plates like this one ttps:// but none of them go beyond 5/8 in size

I found this which goes bigger but only does 1/16th accuracy and its way to expensive to buy for one small job anyway.

And I’m not making my own set of metal plates for a one off job either :wink:

There’s no way I can turn a perfect dowel at that accuracy without a machinist lathe…

Any other ideas?

How to make Wooden Dowels - Homemade Dowel Cutter - DIY Dowel Jig - YouTube Check this out, Andy, maybe you can make your own.

I saw that, and several others where you basically drill holes in metal but I would spend so much time making the tools that it wouldn’t be worth me charging her for the job.

If anyone here would like to do the job for the glory and fun - I’d be glad to put you in touch.

What does the job consist of? How many, what size and dia.and length, and what material. What is she using them for? What finish also?

The only cheap solution I think of wood be to mount a cheap cross slide vise on a wood lathe. I have one i got from harbor freight that would work. Don’t know how long the dowels need to be, but this should work for pieces 6 inches and under, otherwise the deflection on the workpiece will make holding tolerance real difficult


After looking at this a minute, something else pops up. The sizes and tolerance are the same. So if you make a slightly fat 24/32 you have the 24 and 25. Sand a little for the 23, same for the 27. i kind of doubt that this is what your customer has in mind. Probably they are looking for size +/- 1/64.

@HerbStoops - They are using them for ring sizers to make and fire ceramic rings. Each ring size is slightly different. She needs 4 or 5 in each size IIRC.See RING SIZE - Carrera Casting no finish its the size that matters. But they need to be accurate enough to tell the difference between the sizes and they cant vary along the length

@Nikonbill - Yes that is what they are looking for. If we tried for half sizes then we would need to go down to 1/64th but in wood that’s sort of getting crazy. A damp day would vary the sizes by more than that I suspect :wink: Yeah I thought of making some vice jig but again its a lot of work for a small job.

I’ve told them to find someone with a machinist vice and it will be a simple job.

I assume this would be for displaying the different size rings.
Or is this to cast or form the rings. Wood is in my opinion not right to form the rings. Maybe some metal rod would work too, short pieces could be chucked in a drill motor and filed while the stock rotates.

This is a whole different world.

I thought the same but they assure me wood is what they need and it’s outside my knowledge base.

I’ve asked a few other folks the general opinion is to find someone with a machinist large which is what I told them originally

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That one video showed the long rod for sizing,with steps of sizes from small to larger.
Anyway it is out and beyond me, if they have the dowels already then chuck them in a drill press and sand them down to size.