American Woodworker

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Winter 2013-2014

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Dowel Rod Storage


I build a lot of projects that require using dowel rods. It has always been a problem for me to store 3 foot long dowels without having them bow or get broken. Especially the very small dowels. And it is sometimes difficult for me to distinguish between sizes without getting the calipers out. I decided there had to be a better way.

I resolved the problem by buying 8' long fluorescent tube lamp guards at the local home improvement center. I then cut them to slightly over 3' long. So I get two for the price of one, and the remaining 2' section can be used for shorter pieces. I then bought two 1¼" PVC caps and a screw eye for each piece of tube. The shields that are pictured here are made by Lithonia, and th caps fit perfectly.

I drilled small pilot holes in the top center of one cap for each tube, and screwed an eye screw into it.

I pushed one PVC cap with a screw eye over one end of the tube, and one cap without the screw eye on the other. The caps fit snuggly enough that no adhesive is needed.(When I went back for more, the tubes they had were made by Westinghouse. The Westinghouse tubes must be slightly heavier, as the caps fit too tightly. So I had to use the black caps that came with them for the time being.)

I then labeled each tube with the size of dowel rod that it will be holding, and hung them on a small board on the wall.

I can now keep the dowels safe from damage, and see what I have on hand and when it's time to replenish my stock.

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