Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Trimmer For Protruding Dowel And Plug Ends

This modified Dremel router attachment makes a great trimmer for protruding dowel and plug ends. It's a real worksaver.

(Unfortunately, Dremel appears to have discontinued the model 230 attachment. There should still be some way to rig an equivalent, though.)[1]

I made an offset base for the router attachment from a scrap of 7/16" poplar plywood. With the cutter height adjusted to just barely above flush, the tool makes short work of dowel and plug ends left protruding from flat surfaces, like so.

What slight protrusion remains can be sanded, or pared away with a very sharp chisel.

If you're trimming oak plugs with it, you have to be mindful of each plug's grain direction and angle to the surface. Oak is brittle, and it's easy to tear a notch out of a plug if you approach it with the cutter from the wrong side.

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Needless to say, wear eye protection.

When I first started using this tool years ago, I caught myself being tempted to upend the tool, and sweep off the underside of its base with my hand at times while it was running. Thankfully, I had the good sense to let that temptation pass. Keep a banister brush handy for sweeping away dust accumulation, and never have the tool running when you're not actually applying it to its work.

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Friday, June 7, 2013


[1] I emailed Dremel about that, and they did reply to me decently. It seems that they have nothing in their current product line that can replicate the trimmer function shown here. Progress, eh?

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