Marking the exact center of a dowel, especially one with a small diameter, can be tricky. To pinpoint dead center each time, try this jig.

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First, in a piece of 34 "-thick stock, use Forstner bits to drill a series of 38 "-deep holes that match the size of your dowels. Drill a centered 14 " hole through the dimple made by the Forstner bit's center point.

To use the jig, insert a 14 " dowel center (no. 42341, for an 8-pack, 800-279-4441, rockler.com) in each hole, point up. Fit the end of a dowel into the appropriate-sized hole and press the dowel into the jig or tap it with a mallet. The resulting dimple clearly marks the dowel's center.
—Len Urban, Rancho Mirage, Calif.