Drilling a hole through the center of a short dowel sounds tricky, but this method makes it simple.

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Drilling a hole through the center of a short dowel sounds tricky, but this method makes it simple. Clamp a scrap board to the table of your drill press and drill a hole into it the same diameter as your dowel. Without moving the board, insert the dowel into the hole. Chuck the bit for the smaller hole into your drill press, and you're ready to drill through the center of the dowel.
—from the WOOD magazine shop