Yes, I boiled it because it was epoxied, and the normal 1x4 trick didn't work. It took all of 30 seconds in the pot to loosen it. Also, the old handle made it unscathed. As for the dowel, I went with oak this time, as I used a 3/8" dowel as apposed to the normal 1/2". It was the only kind of hard wood available in this size at my local shop. I do try to use hardwoods over pine for the extra stability. The oak was a bit harder to work, because of the larger grain structure.