How to Cut a Dowel in Half

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Things You'll Need

  • Dowel

  • Measuring tape

  • Pencil

  • Cardboard

  • Hand saw

  • Fine sandpaper

Tip

If the dowel is particularly thick and you have no wood-shop-grade worktable available, you may need a partner to hold the ends of the rod as you saw through it.

A dowel jig can make the the job of cutting a dowel rod simpler. The dowel is inserted into a hole that matches the diameter of the dowel. The handsaw is then inserted into a notch (called a "kerf") in the appropriate place to cut the desired length.

Warning

Be careful using the hand saw. Keep your fingers away from the blade at all times. Children should never use a saw unsupervised. If children are involved in this project, adults should always be present and watching.

Dowels are rounded wooden poles that come in a variety of thicknesses. They are available at almost any home-improvement or hardware store, and they may be used for a variety of purposes around the house. Often gardeners use dowel rods to hold up tall plants that may not stand well on their own, where as someone making a wooden toy car may use a dowel rod to serve as an axle between two wheels. Dowels make good wands for children playing magic, or a thick dowel rod may be put up between two walls in a closet so people can hang their coats. Dowels are often cut into very small pieces to make dowel pins, used to hold together pieces of furniture. The point is, dowels aren't made to serve any one purpose--they may be good for a number of purposes.

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Step 1

Measure the dowel from end to end.

Step 2

Divide the length of the dowel rod in half, then hold the measuring tape to the dowel again. With your pencil, mark the dowel at the half-way point.

Step 3

Lay the dowel on a worktable. Use clamps to hold the dowel rod in place. If a wood-shop worktable is unavailable, spread out some thick cardboard on the ground in a good work area like a garage or on your back porch.

Step 4

Lay the dowel so that the pencil mark at the halfway point is clearly visible.

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Step 5

Hold one end of the dowel in place with the hand you will not be using to cut the rod. With the other hand, use the saw to cut directly through the halfway mark.

Step 6

Use the sandpaper to smooth down the edges and wear away any splintered ends.

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Leslie Rose

Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.