Recent project; building what the Dutch call a "dam". This is a canal crossing with a 2' diameter pipe through it, allowing the canal to still flow water and machinery to cross the canal.
The dam consists of 2 hardwood ends, a pipe and a soil backfill. In this case, each of the ends is made of azobe.
The ends consist of a 20' long horizontal 8" square beam with 2 uprights, and a series of 2" x 8" planks, all screwed & bolted together. A finished dam end weighs about 3/4 ton. All straightforward stuff, the hardest part was drilling the holes for the bolts at the beam joints. 1 1/4" diameter holes, 14" long. This was to take M24 studs.
Azobe is incredibly hard and dense - it sinks in seawater. Not the easiest of woods to work.
I made up a wood drillbit with an extension shrunk on, fine so far. Then I tried turning the drill. Oops. My electric drill wouldn't even look at it, and there was no way of getting almost 1/2 ton into my drill or mill. Another solution was needed. So I ended up using this:
I'd made the tractor drill to drill holes for planting trees, and it works really well at that. A bit of modifying let me use it to drill through the azobe. I had to pull the drill out a dozen times to clear the chips, but it got there in the end. Obviously, being a swinging arm type of drill, alignment was a problem, but it's easy enough to roll the tractor back & forth to keep everything sort of aligned, and greasing the drillbit helped.
The steel drill guide worked perfectly; all holes came out exactly where they were expected.
Here's one finished endpiece, ready to go in:
In place, just need to backfill:
Just need to make the second one, and that's another job out of the way.