I recently purchased a dowel blade from a hardware store, and it won't cut through a 2x4. Is there anything I can do to cut dowels from the 2x4 for mushroom cultivation?

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    Since you tagged the post with 'drill-bits', I want to assume that the tool you're asking for help with is something similar to this?: homedepot.com/p/General-Tools-Plug-Cutter-Set-3-Piece-S31/…
    – rockerpult
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 21:11
  • Possible duplicate of How can I make my own dowels? Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 22:18
  • close, but i want to use the drill bit since i'm making about 1000.
    – a coder
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 1:42
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    It is unclear why you want to use this specific inefficient approach. Just buy some rods and cut them to length.
    – Kromster
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 5:10
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    Unless you got a carbide-tipped plug cutter there's no way that it'll survive making 1000 of them, even in a soft wood like construction lumber. Most of the cheap ones are just that. Plus you don't really want to use them without a drill press because any lateral movement at the bottom of the cut will break the teeth off. If you really want to make hundreds of feet of dowel you need something much more efficient. If you just want to use hundreds of feet of dowel you should really buy it, not make it yourself. Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 15:59

1 Answer 1



Return or sell the 2x4, "drill bit" / "dowel blade" and/or skip lunch and use the money to buy a pack of 1000 ready-made dowels online.

Is there a way to extend the length of a dowel blade?

I am not familiar with "dowel blades".

There are blades for dowel-cutting saws which are the same as flush-cutting saws. These are for cutting through the protruding ends of dowels.

dowel saw

I don't see how you can use these for manufacturing dowels from a 2x4.

To cut up a softwood 2x4, I would use a regular full-sized handsaw of the sort you can buy for the price of a hamburger meal at McDonalds. It would be extremely tedious to do this by hand to create 1000 typical-sized dowels though.

i want to use the drill bit

Plug Cutters

If you are using a plug cutter, there is no way to extend the depth they can cut to

plug cutter

I've never seen one that could cut all the way through a 2x4. Obviously, with a table saw you could rip the 2x4 into thinner planks to suit a plug cutter.

Is there anything I can do to cut dowels from the 2x4

Making dowels

I would use a table saw to rip the 2x4 down to square rods with width equal to the desired dowel diameter, saw to length then hammer those pieces through a series of dowel plates

dowel plate in use

See also Paul Sellers' Poor-man's dowel maker

Ready made dowels

You can buy dowels online in fairly large quanities. In my part of the world they are typically beech wood.

A 100 pack of 8x30 dowels might cost you the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

or you can buy 1000 from eBay for not much more

1000 dowels

You can buy longer dowels in the form of 1m or 1 yard rods and cut them to whatever size you need using a hand saw or whatever cutting tools you have.

100 4x600mm dowels

It may be worth keeping the 2x4 for some other purpose and buying ready-made dowels.

for mushroom cultivation?


Do mushrooms really need circular cross-section dowels?

I'm no expert but I guess they just need small chunks of hardwood?

Maybe you could attack the 2x4 with a regular hand-saw and axe, hachet or chisel?

  • 1
    Good form to answer the Question asked before offering alternative solutions to the underlying problem. Now that said, your way is a bit of a sledghammer to crack an egg don't you think? (I'm guessing the OP isn't a regular woodworker and doesn't own a table saw.)
    – Graphus
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 3:43
  • @Graphus. Well OK. I have attempted to extend my answer. Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 10:02
  • I think that covers everything! Nicely done.
    – Graphus
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 12:42
  • Not sure why I stumbled here, but, for some fungi, the mycelium is inoculated into hardwood dowels, and the dowels are hammered into a dead trunk/branch/log, spaced a few inches apart. (and then you wait 2 years for them to do their thing). If I didn't have a table saw, I'd use a hatchet to rive some straight-grain sticks, and punch them through a 3/8" washer. I support the bag of dowels.
    – ww_init_js
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 18:29

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