I don’t have a lathe and was building cradles for my grandchildren. I made this jig to mill the dowel on the ends of the square spindles rather then purchasing them.
I made the box frame to fit my model belt sander. It may vary to different models. Then I inserted a piece of PVC pipe just slightly above the top of the belt. 3/4″ pipe for 1/2″ square spindle. A stop block was used to control the length of the dowel.
Then by adjusting the angle of the belt sander to create the size of dowel you require, you slowly feed the 1/2″ square spindle thru the PVC pipe rotating it to sand a perfectly round dowel. Then simply flip it and you have a dowel on each end of your square spindle. Be sure to cut your spindles to length before doweling.
By using this method I also was able to rip my spindles from scrap lumber that I usually throw out.
– Gary A. Bates Sr.