How Are Round Wood Dowels Made?

How are round wooden dowels made?

Round wooden dowels are typically made in two different processes to maximize the yield from the raw material. In the case of smaller diameters of 1” and less, these dowels are typically made on a molder. Boards are molded with a set of knives cutting a half round on the top of the board and another set cutting half round on the bottom. With careful set-up of the molder, a several-inch wide board can “extrude” multiple round dowels at once from that single board. Set-up of the molder is key to ensure accurate diameter and true roundness of the dowels.

A second process of making round wooden dowels is via a single rod machine/dowel machine, such as a Hawker brand, which has been used for over 100 years.  This process involves feeding a square into the machine and a rotating knife spinning around the square creates the round dowel. This works best for larger diameter dowels, where raw, defect-free, material is more difficult to access and improves yields. Dowels produced in this manner are typically not as smooth as molding, though sanding cleans them up nicely.

To see a sampling of some of our dowels and their applications, click here to view our gallery.