boring long holes

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Forum topic by trz posted 543 days ago 660 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 1069 days

543 days ago

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

1276 posts in 1581 days

#1 posted 543 days ago

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 579 days

#2 posted 543 days ago

I read that topic wrong.

-- Project Coordinator at Nord Alta Construction

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6062 posts in 1384 days

#3 posted 543 days ago

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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1118 posts in 1346 days

#4 posted 543 days ago

Gun boring bit.

-- BELT SANDER: Used for making rectangular gouges in wood.

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1074 posts in 1414 days

#5 posted 543 days ago

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


300 posts in 661 days

#6 posted 543 days ago

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


577 posts in 657 days

#7 posted 543 days ago

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.

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3031 posts in 1259 days

#8 posted 543 days ago

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.

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65 posts in 1069 days

#9 posted 543 days ago

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

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2092 posts in 772 days

#10 posted 543 days ago

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""

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6514 posts in 1266 days

#11 posted 543 days ago

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

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889 posts in 608 days

#12 posted 543 days ago

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.

3747 posts in 963 days

#13 posted 543 days ago

Gun drill on lathe

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6514 posts in 1266 days

#14 posted 542 days ago

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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