When building a toy project, I wanted to use 1⁄8" dowels to join two small pieces.

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When building a toy project, I wanted to use 18 " dowels to join two small pieces. A dowel center would take the guesswork out of drilling the mating holes, but the smallest dowel center I could find was only 14 ". So I made my own from blind rivets.

First, select a blind rivet the same diameter as your dowel. Push the rivet's head down the shaft until it rests 116 " from the end and glue it in place with a dab of cyanoacrylate glue. When the glue dries, cut off the rivet's shaft flush with the head. Drop the rivet/dowel center into a hole in your workpiece, clamp the two pieces you want to join together, release the clamp, and drill on the indentation.
—Stan Warmath, Tallahassee, Fla.