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Arthur Dollhouse Kit
Doll House woodworking plans.
Turn your own
Wooden Knobs and Dowels!


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I wasn't able to find oak parts for my rocking horse so I decided to try making my own. First I must admit my lathe experience is quite limited, but I was able to produce some pretty nice looking pieces! You can too, you will need a lathe of course, with a face plate. We'll also make a couple of jigs to help size and shape these pieces. Lets look at the knobs first.
First I glued up my blocks. They needed to be large enough to screw to the face plate (that's the jig that lets you turn with out the tail stock). I started out with 3" blocks. The length of the block was the diameter of the ball plus extra stock for the face plate mounting screws, plus 1/8" extra fudge factor.
After laying out the center and the diameter of the ball (again add a little extra) I used my band saw to cut around my layout lines and then turn the block sideways and make the shoulder cuts.
This is a tool I made to help guide me to the correct shape of my wooden ball. It's made from 1/4" ply.  First I cut a 2" hole with a forstner bit. Then cut the hole in half. When the stock is in the lathe you can easily check your progress. I should of taken this pic at the lathe for clarity, but i think you can get the idea. I made a similar jig for the smaller ball and for the 3/4" dowel rods.
Forstner Bit Sets
Forstner Bit Sets

Hole Saws
Hole Saws

Here's the completed work still screwed to the face plate. The square waste allows for easy placement on the chop saw to cut off the ball leaving approx a 3/4" flatspot. Then clamp the ball in a wooden clamp and using a 3/4" forstner bit, drill a 1" deep hole into that flatspot. Later use epoxy to glue the ball to your dowel.
To make the dowel rod, I installed a 1" square piece of oak between the centers. 
Then working with a sharp gouge I gently rounded off the corners and made a round stick about 13/16" in dia. I used the same type of jig explained earlier. 

Sorby Standard Tool Set
Sorby Standard Tool Set

To get a uniform diameter across the length of my dowel I used a flat piece of plywood with a full sheet of 100 grit garnet paper stapled to it. Continue checking with your gauge...and be careful not to remove too much! 
If you would rather just buy your oak dowels, you can find many sizes and species right here!

Click here to see my rocking horse, and how these parts fit!

Dowel Rods - Oak - 48''
Dowel Rods - Oak - 48''

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