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How to drill a really long hole in deep wood.

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Forum topic by mmh posted 1846 days ago 21075 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mmh

3382 posts in 2348 days


1846 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: drill deep hole drilling into long wood crotchwood drilling into cross grain wood

Got your attention? Great! I have a very unconventional task and would appreciate your expertise.

Q: How can I insert a 1/4” metal rod inside a 36” cane shaft?

The project is a cane shaft made from crotchwood Claro Black Walnut. Yes, crosswood of 36” long, grains going all directions but lengthwise. The shaft is 7/8” at the bottom diameter, increasing to 1 1/4”- 1 1/2” oblong diameter.

I have a 12” drill bit, and one thought is to cut the shaft at 22” length, drill into the bottom piece – bottom end upwards, middle section downwards and the top piece – middle section upwards as far as possible, (and re-attach pieces) but the diverse direction of grain can make the bit travel off center, not to mention the roundness of the shaft is hard to clamp down.

Another thought is to rout out a 1/4” strip along one side of the shaft to insert the rod, then fill gap with wood. This will cause an unsightly strip of different grain, but the task would be complete. Again, the shaft is shaped so there are no straight (non-rounded) edges to clamp down.

Saturating the shaft with thin CA glue has come to mind but is not as secure as a metal rod to take the weight of a 200+ lb. person. The 1/4” metal rod w/ epoxy seems to be the most adequate method I can think of (short of not using crotchwood to begin with).

Laminating two pieces of crotchwood with longrain hardwood will be another experiment, but meanwhile I’d like to figure out this task.

I could use a lathe with a lathe chuck and a center rest to hold the shaft in place in order to drill sideways. The lathe is only 34” long, but I could cut the shaft to 22”L as stated earlier if this option would work.

So, now you have the problem. Got any legitimate answers?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe


21 replies so far

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SCOTSMAN

5347 posts in 2211 days


#1 posted 1846 days ago

You could seperate it right up the middle with a fine tooth blade such as a bandsaw metal blade .Taking extreme care to keep it central.Then route the both sections with a ball nose bit large enough to take your metal rod then glue it back around the rod.Not perfect but this is a dificult job to get perfect by any means the only other option which is the recognized option is to mount it in a lathe and long hole bore it like you do for a standard lamp but with a piece this thing you need to be careful you dont drill out through the side it can be done with patience though actually this is the correct way to do it.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2565 days


#2 posted 1846 days ago

A most insteresing problem. I might try to slice the whole thing in half and route a cove in each then glue it back together.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

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pommy

1697 posts in 2317 days


#3 posted 1846 days ago

MMH i take it have not made the cane yet so if it was me i.d router the slot for the metal bar in to two blocks and epoxy two peices together the grai difference would be so small you would hardly know

just my two pence worth

Andy

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1278 posts in 2363 days


#4 posted 1846 days ago

set the cane on a lathe and drill at least half way through. Then turn it around and drill the other half. Your holes will come out much in line with each other and more centered. You will need a lathe that has a hole in the headstock. Make sure you buy a drill bit long enough to take in account the headstock, chuck and final depth of material. You can use a 1/4” drill bit that is used in the alarm or cable installation business.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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lew

9992 posts in 2381 days


#5 posted 1846 days ago

Meilie,

How big is your lathe? They make some really long drill bits for the electrical industry. Maybe you could get a hollow tail stock center and use a long bit to go thru the center of the stock. I am just not sure how you could keep it from tracking off center as you get further into the wood.

Lew

edit: just saw the lathe length, sorry

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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SCOTSMAN

5347 posts in 2211 days


#6 posted 1846 days ago

if you go down the drilling on the lathe then remove the drill and clean it every few seconds or it will build up swarf and wander .This will work ok I have done it many times the sell a long bore drill just for this for making holes in wood for lamps and standard lamps.Good luck practice on apiece of scrap if you wish first take courage and go for it working slowly it is doable very much so.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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a1Jim

112010 posts in 2203 days


#7 posted 1846 days ago

Johns got it handled

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2512 days


#8 posted 1846 days ago

a1Jim said it!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

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Karson

34870 posts in 3027 days


#9 posted 1846 days ago

I like John’s idea of drilling through the head stock into the blank and then turning the blank around and go at it again.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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SCOTSMAN

5347 posts in 2211 days


#10 posted 1846 days ago

I don’t get that if you come from the tailstock towards the headstock and reach the headstock there is surely no need to turn it round as your there already. you need to drill through the tailstock which must be hollow and work halfway and then turn it around not throught the headstock surely??? Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2302 days


#11 posted 1846 days ago

I have deep drilled for a Kentucky rifle ramrod a couple of times. I soft soldered a drill rod on to a drill bit. With the open part of the ramrod channel inletted (about 24”) to use as a guide, the drill went straight through the 16-18” of solid curly maple right in front of the trigger guard. It’s easier than it sounds. If you use the lathe method above, it should be easier yet.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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hObOmOnk

1380 posts in 2754 days


#12 posted 1846 days ago

Here’s an extra long drill bit that I use to drill out holes for rustic lamps:
Lee Valley

I would cut my cane stock in to three equal pieces, drill each piece, then assemble the pieces on the rod.
I’d use spacer washers made from a contrasting wood.

Glue it all together, then shape the shaft in you favorite way.

-- 温故知新

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1278 posts in 2363 days


#13 posted 1846 days ago

The reason to drill a bit past the middle and then turn the stock around is to insure better accuracy and less possibility of the bit to wander off center. It is very easy for a bit to wander with varying degrees of hardness, grain angle, etc. Wood is wood and one must respect and deal the nature of the material.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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Broda

313 posts in 2145 days


#14 posted 1846 days ago

what if you could do it the same way they make digeridoos?
drill in as far as you can then push a very hot rod through the middle?

-- BRODY. NSW AUSTRALIA -arguments with turnings are rarely productive-

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Kindlingmaker

2654 posts in 2153 days


#15 posted 1846 days ago

HF has really long drill bits, 24” to 36”. ...but… I would take a steel rod and sharpen the end into a drilling point then slowly bore through the entire cane and once through cut off the rod ends and leave it in place. (I always do things the hard way.)

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

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