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OT: How would you drill a 1/2" x 1/2" in wood off the grid?

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  • OT: How would you drill a 1/2" x 1/2" in wood off the grid?

    My son the mountain man has projects that require a low number of 1/2" x 1/2" blind holes in wood. How would you do it manually other than a classic brace or egg beater drill? Problem with the brace drill is it works best with self feeding drills, but the hole needs to be blind. I don't think the push drills like a Yankee would work that large. Perhaps a smallish 7-12v cordless that could be solar charged might work.

    Is there such a thing as a 'wind up' drill like a giant wind up toy? I guess that could be a project for me, right off the bat it looks a bit tricky, most wind up toys have low torque.

    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

  • #2
    https://en.stihl.ca/STIHL-Products/C...540/BT-45.aspx

    Cordless electric would be my choice though.
    But a good brace and the correct bit would make short work of it.
    Beaver County Alberta Canada

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    • #3
      Originally posted by redlee View Post
      https://en.stihl.ca/STIHL-Products/C...540/BT-45.aspx

      Cordless electric would be my choice though.
      But a good brace and the correct bit would make short work of it.
      LOL! I think you missed the point. Small and low tech, not just not AC. Something appropriate to take camping, if living full time in a tent or teardrop trailer can be called camping.
      Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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      • #4
        How about one of the original cordless drills and a forstener bit?
        https://www.ebay.com/itm/Teaching-Su....c100005.m1851



        https://www.homedepot.com/p/DIABLO-1...-003/100098838



        Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
        Specialty products for beating dead horses.

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        • #5
          Start the hole with a conventional brace and bit, finish with a bit from which you've ground away the point.
          Southwest Utah

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          • #6
            Interpolate the holes using a CNC router powered by a generator, nothing could be more simple.

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            • #7
              I'm having a hard time imagining why the little screw holes left by the feed screw (it's called the snell) of the auger are unacceptable in those blind holes. If it's because the material is so thin they'd penetrate through, then maybe a forstner bit turned by a brace would work. Or start the holes with an auger, then finish to depth with a 1/2" end mill.

              Or grind the centering and scoring spurs off of a spade bit and scrape the bottoms clean and to depth.

              Or heat a 1/2" rod red hot and burn the holes in. ...would take several heats per hole of course.

              Is there such a thing as a 'wind up' drill like a giant wind up toy?
              ...Well you could fashion something along the lines of the bow and cord used as a primitive fire starter, that could turn a drill by sawing back and forth.
              Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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              • #8
                Spoon bit, as would be traditionally done.
                https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/GT-SB.XX

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                  Spoon bit, as would be traditionally done.
                  https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/GT-SB.XX
                  I had not heard of those before. Pretty cool and looks like something a guy with a machine shop at home could make.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by alanganes View Post

                    I had not heard of those before. Pretty cool and looks like something a guy with a machine shop at home could make.
                    A decent blacksmith can make that. Hence the ones found from hundreds of years back.
                    3751 6193 2700 3517

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    If you look closely at a digital signal, you find out it is really analog......

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                    • #11
                      What is the real question- what bit to use for the blind hole, or how to power the bit? I would think a brad point bit would work just fine, and if you need to get rid of the tiny dimple, then follow with a speed bit with the point taken right off. Maybe the spoon bit does the job, I don't know- don't think I've ever used one, that I know of anyway.

                      If the question is how to power the bit, then cordless drill seems to be the way. In which case, the real question might be how to charge the battery when you don't have ac. You might have to figure out how to modify a charger to work from a solar panel system voltage.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                      • #12
                        I just looked up spoon bit. I see that in the traditional fabrication of it, it's using a brace to turn it. Fair enough in the old days- I don't see why it can't be turned using a cordless drill on slow speed. Is that still too fast for it? Is it going to lose temper at 600 rpm?
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                        • #13
                          I would go with a battery operated drill charged from the car battery/alternator or solar. Or use a 12v to 115v converter off the car battery.
                          Glenn Bird

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                          • #14
                            He hasn't invented solar cells yet for recharging.

                            Long long before any power tools, "brace tool" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brace_(tool)

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                            • #15


                              Originally posted by lynnl View Post
                              I'm having a hard time imagining why the little screw holes left by the feed screw (it's called the snell) of the auger are unacceptable in those blind holes. If it's because the material is so thin they'd penetrate through, then maybe a forstner bit turned by a brace would work. Or start the holes with an auger, then finish to depth with a 1/2" end mill.

                              Or grind the centering and scoring spurs off of a spade bit and scrape the bottoms clean and to depth.

                              Or heat a 1/2" rod red hot and burn the holes in. ...would take several heats per hole of course.

                              ...Well you could fashion something along the lines of the bow and cord used as a primitive fire starter, that could turn a drill by sawing back and forth.
                              Yes, the 'snell' would come out the other side of the work. I like the bow and cord idea, it would appeal to his low tech side, would probably work best with a modded spade bit or better yet a 3 bladed self feeder with the snell ground off. I'd already gotten to 2 stage drilling, I was thinking pilot it with a Yankee, then basically turn in a 1/2" by hand or brace. The brace & eggbeater I have are too big ( the eggbeater has a shoulder brace!) but it could be 'right sized' would work.

                              Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                              Spoon bit, as would be traditionally done.
                              https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/GT-SB.XX
                              That's pretty awesome! Never seen that style bit, I always thought the self feeding augers were standard for a brace. But that vendor seems to have a stock problem. I did a test with grandpa's brace and a freshly sharpened split point 3/8 (didn't have a cut down 1/2 to fit it) and it worked pretty well on a chunk of mahogany. I'm thinking a scaled down one perhaps made of 5/16" cold rolled (grandpa's is 7/16") with a simpler bit holder might work well and be much smaller and lighter. He's talking about flying to Patagonia again next winter. One of the climbing spots there is an 8 mile hike in from town.

                              Last edited by gellfex; 11-22-2020, 10:26 PM.
                              Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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