No matter how carefully I cut with my economy-model flush-cutting saw, it always left scratch marks on the wood’s surface. To solve the problem, I attached a playing card with double-faced tape. Now I don’t have to worry about scratches, because my carded saw doesn’t quite cut flush. Attaching the card limits the saw’s depth of cut, so I saw the dowel halfway, then finish from the opposite side. Sawn dowels stand a wee bit proud, but they’re easy to sand flush.