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I recently was near the end of making a bandsaw box for my wife, and I needed drawer pulls. At the time I didn't have a lathe and I didn't want to run up to town and purchase metal pulls. I had the idea to chuck some wood into my drill press, and use files to shape it. After trying that, I quickly changed direction and instead used a hand-held electric drill and the process I detail in this Instructable.

Feel free to watch the movie to see the process in action. Please ask questions or make suggestions for how I might improve the Instructable after you have read through it!

Step 1: Gather Tools and Supplies

Tools/Supplies Needed:

  • Small pieces of beautiful hardwoods (and some means of cutting them square)
  • Various diameter dowels – I used 1/4" and 3/8" dowels
  • An electric drill
  • Drill bits the same diameter as your dowels
  • An assortment of sandpaper
  • Wood or CA glue

Optional, but recommended:

  • Electric belt sander
  • Electric spindle sander OR sanding drums for a drill press
  • Vise (to hold the drill)


  • Drill Press
  • Hand Saw
  • Hole Saw

wilwrk4tls2 months ago
Just curious, but is there a reason you chose to work with the drill hands free instead of using the drill press? Just wondering.

I like the lathe free part for sure.
AnandM543 months ago
Great idea !! Without lathe circular project is possible !! WOW..
Great work, Doug! The drawer pulls look beautiful and nice bandsaw box too!
dnhandcrafted (author)  handmadewithashley4 months ago
Thanks so much Ashley!!
Eh Lie Us!4 months ago
heck yeah! Getting it done!
dnhandcrafted (author)  Eh Lie Us!4 months ago
Thank you!
terrefirma4 months ago
Beautiful- your wife is a lucky woman! Do you ever use linseed oil?
dnhandcrafted (author)  terrefirma4 months ago
I’m the lucky one :) I haven’t used it before but I want to try it on a project. I’ve even thought of trying to make my own boiled linseed oil without the chemical drying agents. Do you use it?
OutofPatience4 months ago
Beautiful work and very creative...thanks for posting!
dnhandcrafted (author)  OutofPatience4 months ago
Thank you!
stevemoseley4 months ago
Great Instructable and video! Make sure you enter a contest.
dnhandcrafted (author)  stevemoseley4 months ago
Thank you! And thanks for the suggestion about a contest!
smcmasters14 months ago
This would actually be a great way to make plugs for people who stretch their ears. I, being one of those people am to a point where my ears can't go to the next size, but the current one is too loose. I could make my own half size. I always love wood plugs too, so why not make my own.
dnhandcrafted (author)  smcmasters14 months ago
I bet that would work great! Please comment back if you end up trying it.