How Do You Cut Dowels Into Small Pieces For Your Toys?

Handmade Wooden Toy Dowel Cutting Jig With Japanese Pull Saw & Clamps
Handmade Wooden Toy Dowel Cutting Jig With Japanese Pull Saw & Clamps

For some reason never have understood many people want to use a complicated jig or some big power tool like a 12-inch sliding compound miter saw, table saw or bandsaw to cut dowels. The will go to a lot of trouble to build jigs to accomplish this without throwing pieces all over the garage or cutting their fingers off. You don't need to go to all this trouble.

Pictured above is the jig I use. I didn't make this jig for cutting dowels. Originally this jig was an experimental wrench rack for mechanics combination wrenches made from big box store plywood. One day I need to cut some axels for a toy car I was building and was looking around for an easy way to hold the dowel and cut it straight when I spied this in the scrap pile. Its been on my workbench ever since then.

To use it measure and clamp on a stop where the point you want to cut lines up with the edge of one of the slots. Clamp the dowel in place and cut away. Hold the saw against the side of the slot to keep it vertical and square. Rinse and repeat. That's all there is to it.

I can cut a lot of dowels with this pretty quickly with the 20 TPI Japanese pull saw in the photo. One full-length stroke is more than enough to cut through most dowels.

I build a lot of toys from reclaimed wood, and so I do a lot of cut-to-fit on my axels. It works great for this too. Clamp it in place and cut.

If I ever wear out my dowel cutting jig, I will build another one. I already have a couple of ideas on how to improve my jig.

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