You read it right....I have ventured into making knitting needles out of dowels. I bought oak dowels when I could, but one size they only had in soft popular. Oh well.
I'll take you though the steps.
One is to round the end of the dowel. I used a dremel tool, but you can whittle too. I used a course sanding barrel bit.
Once you have the end rounded, sand down a little further from the end (or whittle).
Then concentrate on forming a ruff-draft (so to speak) tip. You don't want to sand it all the way down to "the perfect point" in this stage. You just want a ruff form. You will be sanding it down by hand with sanding paper and this is how the tip will be perfected. When you get to sanding, you want to start with fairly course sandpaper, and then move to fine and then superfine. This gives the wood a nice smooth, professional finished look.
Take your needle gauge with you to the hardware store when you are ready to purchase some dowels. I noticed that the dowels that are just a smidgen too big for one size, will fit that size after sanding. Here are a pair of size 13's which I thought were 15's, but after sanding...turned into 13's!
Here are size 13's, and size 15 needles. Regular cost retail for these: 7.99 a pair for bamboo or wooden, actual cost spend for these two sets: 1.88 (!!!!). Yes, I do have a project ready to try out the 15's as soon as they are finished. I cut the dowels to around 14-15 inches long. I rounded the ends to make smooshing them into some polymer clay easier. I made polymer clay ends, dusted them with micro-pearl Pearl-Ex powder and they are baking as I type. I'll place more photos in another post as five pictures is the max per post.
You will want to seal the wood before gluing on the end caps with either Linseed oil, or Tung oil, or any other wood finishing oil that you prefer. I would not recommend using any stain, or poly-seal. I have tung oil, so that is what I will be using. You want to apply the first layer, let sit for about 20 minutes, wipe off the excess, let dry for a couple of hours and then repeat and let sit overnight. I dunno if I can wait that long!! LOL
Until next time...