boring long holes

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Forum topic by trz posted 01-13-2013 12:26 AM 1059 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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90 posts in 2119 days

01-13-2013 12:26 AM

what’s the best way to bore a centered hole through an 18 in long 3×3 turning blank?

14 replies so far

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David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2631 days

#1 posted 01-13-2013 12:59 AM

Shell auger should be the best. The nicest ones use air to blast out (gun drill) but otherwise pull out often to clear chips.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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18 posts in 1629 days

#2 posted 01-13-2013 01:04 AM

I read that topic wrong.

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View StumpyNubs's profile


7069 posts in 2433 days

#3 posted 01-13-2013 01:08 AM

In the old days they would use a pair of squares standing next to the auger bit so they could sight down the bit and stay straight as they turned. They’d drill half way through, flip it end for end, and drill the other half. Windsor chair makers still do the eyeball trick. It’s pretty accurate if your bit is sharp and you take your time with a brace and not a power drill.

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1541 posts in 2396 days

#4 posted 01-13-2013 02:21 AM

Gun boring bit.

-- BOVILEXIA: The urge to moo at cows from a moving vehicle.

View GaryL's profile


1093 posts in 2463 days

#5 posted 01-13-2013 02:40 AM

Cut the blank in half, using a core box bit in a router table make matching grooves and then glue it back together.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 1711 days

#6 posted 01-13-2013 02:52 AM

If you have it, a lathe would be handy to drill a hole that long. You’ll need a hollow center on the tailstock and an auger to drill with. I made mine out of a long electrician’s bit. If you don’t have that, GaryL’s idea would work fine.

View REO's profile


910 posts in 1707 days

#7 posted 01-13-2013 02:55 AM

for lamps we cut the groove first then glue up to turn. used gun drills for fishing lures. feed very slowly so the drill doesn’t track the grain. for through holes on 6” spear fishing handles it was one shot through. for the 12” drill from both ends and then run past the meeting point.

View Grandpa's profile


3258 posts in 2308 days

#8 posted 01-13-2013 03:03 AM

Like these guys said when I built a lamp I used a router and a core box bit. Mark the ends so you can get them centered and glue them together. After I parted the ends off I had to drive a rod through the hole to knock the glue out. There was squeeze out. Worked well for me.

View trz's profile


90 posts in 2119 days

#9 posted 01-13-2013 03:24 AM

thanks for all the advice. just to get all the answers I can, i asked the same question to the turners on there forum. thanks again. might try the lathe

View MonteCristo's profile


2098 posts in 1821 days

#10 posted 01-13-2013 04:47 AM

Lee Valley sells parabolic tip drill bits that drill straight in end grain, but 18” is too long for them . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View bandit571's profile


16650 posts in 2316 days

#11 posted 01-13-2013 04:54 AM

I have three very long drill bits, right about the 16” to 18” range. The 3/8” one is an auger style. A 1/2” one I have stashed somewhere, is about the long, and is a spade style bit. I’d have to look at the third as to size and length.

Ships augers, or electricians installer’s bits. At least that is where i got mine. “Sparky” was bad about losing them long bits. later, I’d find them as I was cleaning up the job site. If you want, I can find them, again..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View runswithscissors's profile


2426 posts in 1658 days

#12 posted 01-13-2013 07:49 AM

Traditionally, boat builders bored long shaft holes with a barefoot auger (no spur or lead screw), using simple jigs to line up the drill. They tended to be very long because propeller shafts often had to be long. The barefoot configuration is to avoid being deflected by the grain. Otherwise, I agree with the router groove in 2 halves.

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Rick M

9239 posts in 2013 days

#13 posted 01-13-2013 07:55 AM

View bandit571's profile


16650 posts in 2316 days

#14 posted 01-14-2013 01:25 AM

i managed to find two of mine. Both are about 16” long. one is a 3/8” auger, the other is a 7/16” drill bit.

Still haven’t tracked down the 1/2” spade bit that is the same length.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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