Cutting your own dowels - Jemsite
Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-16-2015, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 983
Cutting your own dowels

I have been doing some tests lately on :
- making dowels using 2 methods
- best woods for dowels

I don't know if those will apply to any guitar I have, but I did them just for the sake of completeness and training. It all started when I saw my tech doing this to one neck heel hole of my UV70p, in which he used Indian Rosewood plug 8mm which he cut himself. The threads felt so good, tight, almost like screwing into metal (ok... not really but close) . So I thought of doing the same to the rest 3 holes, which probably never do, I will hand it to the same tech to do the job, but it got me into dowels, woods, etc.

I tried 2 methods for the dowels :
2) A variation of

and 4 woods :
1) Indian Rosewood
2) Beech
3) common kitchen cutting-board softwood
4) common Greek pine

Greek pine was apparently the wrong piece, not dried and subsequently very soft, not usable in my case. Cutting board's wood was also soft, and used this to install the plugs in. Beech is a lot like maple, very nice and friendly to work with, and also adequately hard. But hey, the neck has already maple, so we need to go to the next level. Enter Indian Rosewood! This wood is a hell to work with hand tools, like hand-saw. It smells bad, especially under stress or burning, but is hard a a rock.

Method 2 gave me more freedom in options, but I got my share of failed rosewood pieces. Method 1 almost always resulted in plugs slightly smaller than the intended diameter.

Used for re-drilling/tapping, Rosewood is so much harder than beech (or maple) (about 2 times), so for a 3mm interal dia, 5mm external dia wood screw, I'll drill the holes with a 3mm bit for beech but with a 3.5mm bit for rosewood.

I also used three different glues to secure the plugs into their test "host" wood. 2 CYA's and 1 PVA. Again PVA behaved like always, reliably, whereas 1 CYA (UHU) failed me.

So, Indian rosewood is smelly and hard to work but is so hard that it makes IMHO the ideal wood to accept neck screws.
panix is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 437
Reviews: 15
Re: Cutting your own dowels

That video was great. Makes me want to try it.

An added benefit is that you also get sawdust that you can use to fill any imperfections with that and superglue. Sweet.
lespauled is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 983
Re: Cutting your own dowels

To be fair :

I repeated the test, and had one loose plug fail with PVA, whereas the new superglue test I did turned out really strong. I redid the failed PVA plug with more PVA and worked good this time.
panix is offline  

dowel , heel , indian , plug , rosewood

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Would U change pickups by cutting the wire? Dave Goodland Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 13 12-14-2011 05:02 PM
Cutting out the backplate newbieguitarmaker Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 4 11-01-2008 01:45 PM
iPod Cutting Out Songs from iTunes? AKMG Off-topic / Miscellaneous 1 01-22-2007 08:55 PM
Cutting strings... Adagio_777 Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 43 05-21-2005 09:05 PM
What's the best tool for cutting strings fettouhi Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 3 03-08-2004 01:46 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome