Making Square Pegs
                                                        (Pegging Mortise and Tenon Joints)

I became frustrated and was very time consuming for me using a shop made dowel plate for peg making. If you have  made pegs before, at least for me, is very tedious, and I just don’t like making them. So out of that frustration, I have found a cool way to make “square pegs for a round hole.” 

  • Peg stock is Cherry
  • 5/16 die coarse thread. (A die is used to cut and/or clean damaged bolt threads)
  • Drill Motor - variable speed and reversible
  • Vice
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Razor knife…


Rip some cherry stock (long grain) into ¼ inch square strips. Then cut to final individual length.



Carefully chuck your peg stock into your drill. Insert exposed peg end into a pencil sharpener, gently start your drill, slowly trim the end to round, it doesn’t take much.



Using a pencil, mark a cut line for the pegs shoulder. Being right-handed, I reverse the drill motor direction, so the peg stock is rotating away from me. Your left-hand, (oops sorry left-hand in pic is holding knife) hold your drill motor down against your bench, run your drill at medium speed. Right-hand is holding the razor knife then lowering your razor knife to the spinning peg making the actual “cut line” for the peg shoulder. This is an important step, because this eliminates any chip-out to the peg top portion.


Insert your die, (taper side down) into any vice, switch drill motor to forward, run at medium speed. Now carefully cut your peg.





Using a razor knife to a piece of spinning wood, may not be safe and don’t you do it. I’m showing you what I do. A better choice is to use a sharp chisel, and the peg laying on the bench, to make the cut line.



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Comment by Mark Wisecarver on April 24, 2014 at 6:54am

Very cool. I use an old Lawn Mower blade with varying holes I've created in it that have a bur.
Check Izzy Swan on Youtube he has a cool method also.

Comment by Mak Hunt on May 14, 2011 at 4:27am
Hi, I just tried this, it worked a treat. I didn't have a die set, so I drilled a series of holes in some brass sheet, and used this instead.
Comment by Ace HoleInOne on May 7, 2011 at 7:56pm


Hey John...I just noticed the forum must be tightened down to tight on the "offensive" language. What you think?


Take a look at the beginning of the blog.


Seemed to take place after the website name change?



Comment by A-1 Jim on May 7, 2011 at 7:24pm
Nice work Ace that's quick alright. Looks like Charles Neils Lowboy design , It,s coming along nicely.
Comment by Ace HoleInOne on May 1, 2011 at 5:35pm

Rob...if you can click on the lowboy picture and zoom in. Have a look of the front scroll board, on either side, is a finished peg. I forgot to mention, after drilling the round hole that receives the peg. I will take my 1/4 mortising chisel over the hole and give it a tap with the hammer to square up the opening. Then hammer the peg down into the hole to seat the peg.



Comment by Ace HoleInOne on May 1, 2011 at 11:28am

Robert, those pegs will be sawed off just proud of the surface then sanded flush. I use a hammer to drive the square portion of the plug shoulder into the wood. So the exposed portion of the peg is the square shape, not round.

Wayne, You bet,  different size die will achieve different size peg shafts.

Mak, not sure if stacking the die will make a tapper?

Guys...I tell ya...once you have your peg stock cut, you can just fly cutting round pegs

Comment by Kenneth Hakala on April 30, 2011 at 3:22pm
Like Wayne I have to try this!  I use a lot of pegs on my Adirondack chairs… thanks.
Comment by Wayne Mahler on April 30, 2011 at 2:56pm

I really like this. I am going to have to play with this in my shop. I would assume you can use different dies for different size pegs ?




Comment by Ron Altier on April 30, 2011 at 6:09am

A few years ago, Rockler had their peg makers on sale and I bought the 3 sizes they offered. Their instructions are very similar to yours, using the drill. The pegs are very nice and can come out as smooth as a pruchased peg.

The only problem I have had with them is that they are a real pain to adjust. I wanted to make a peg slightly larger and messed up the original setting, bad move. I was able to finally get it back, but it makes very rough pegs. I haven't fooled with it for some time now, but I'm sure it can be returned to it's proper setting.

Comment by Larry Jenkins on April 29, 2011 at 8:00pm

I turn 'em on my Metal Lathe..  The old "Eye/Hand" thingy.  Just turn the cross-slide hand wheel in just a little as you go in power feed.

Ya gotta do that when yer cheap..


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