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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by 754 View Post
    I got a question... what is he making that requires drilling out in the hinterland ? My guess is an A frame or a tripod ?
    The details given suggest that he lives in the "hinterland", and is going somewhere farther out in it.

    This is not so unusual, it has been the normal state of things until the last hundred years or so. Workmen took their tools to the job, and it got done wherever it was. Only now (last 50 years or so) is it viewed as unusual.

    Everyone is so damn spoiled by "power everything" that people are surprised that I would consider a hand saw for cutting a board.... even though I am done before they would have even fetched the circular saw.

    (No, I am not advocating for everyone using a treadle type metal lathe, etc.)
    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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    • #32
      Originally posted by 754 View Post
      I got a question... what is he making that requires drilling out in the hinterland ? My guess is an A frame or a tripod ?
      I guess I should get over my reticence to say, I did say in another thread about a drilling jig I made him. He's making hand carved and wood burner decorated cannabis pipes. Honestly, I'm just thrilled he's being creative, previously all his non-academic energy has gone into climbing. But amazingly he can sell these for up to $40! He's made $700 at this in just few months selling a couple dozen of them.

      His plan after graduating college in the spring is to be a "dirtbagger", a sort of extreme sports gypsy, traveling the country and the world rock and ice climbing and guiding. He's already a professional ice climbing guide on an Alaskan glacier in the summers, making very good money, not many 21 year olds end the summer with $15k! So carving is a both a pastime and a way to make money when not guiding.

      This is why he needs a hole with a blunt bottom so it doesn't go through the bottom of the pipe. The spoon bit looks perfect, but some of the other ideas may work too. In my experience spade bits without the tip can get too wild even in a pre-existing hole, that's why something like modifying an Irwin 3 flute 'Speedbor' wood bit also has promise. Forstners take a lot of pressure, I'm not sure they'd work well with a brace. But on the other hand it's a pretty small hole. R&D to come...

      Click image for larger version

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      Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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      • #33
        That makes it easy - a spoon bit is the obvious choice. A (at least somewhat) round bottom hole is quite desirable in this application. If it is a bit too much of a radius, a little regrinding of a commercial bit (flattening the bottom) should achieve perfection.
        Location: North Central Texas

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Joel View Post
          That makes it easy - a spoon bit is the obvious choice. A (at least somewhat) round bottom hole is quite desirable in this application. If it is a bit too much of a radius, a little regrinding of a commercial bit (flattening the bottom) should achieve perfection.
          Not quite that easy - you would have to re-forge the bit first. The cutting edge has to be at the centerline at the bottom of the bit. Grind it back as is, and you’ll leave a plug of wood in the middle when cutting with it.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by JohnMartin View Post

            Not quite that easy - you would have to re-forge the bit first. The cutting edge has to be at the centerline at the bottom of the bit. Grind it back as is, and you’ll leave a plug of wood in the middle when cutting with it.
            From the video I'm not certain you're correct. It shows the blade starting out cutting a circular path, not spinning on a point as it would if the tip were on the center. And this bit sure looks machined rather than forged.

            Last edited by gellfex; 11-23-2020, 03:42 PM.
            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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            • #36
              I'm having a hard time understanding why the bottom needs to be dead flat too. But if that is a major requirement then a few minutes work with a hack saw, some files and using the shank of a Grade 8 bolt would produce a pretty serviceable bottoming cutter. It would have a single flute end with only the nose having a sharp and relieved cutting edge. The side would be left round so it doesn't cut to the side. In effect a "D bit" but with the single flute forming a more wood work friendly angle to cut and lift the wood off the edge.

              I've done a few drilling and counterboring bits along this line shown here. They work well for short or finish cuts such as counterboring or something like he's doing with the short flat bottom holes that are started with a boring bit or other style drill.

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              If sharpened better than factory a Forstner could do the job. But out of the package the edge scoring lip on many I've seen is too dull to use easily with hand drilling. If keenly sharp they do work like a charm. But getting them that way is a lot of fussy work to fix it without a Dremel or similar. And that means power.

              A 1/2" drill bit could be ground to provide a flat cutting end but without the pilot it'll also cut to the side and the sharp edges of the flutes will cut into the wood.

              So I'm thinking a fabricated bottoming cutter as mentioned which can be made using hand tools only and touched up with a file as needed.

              A two fluted example of this style is shown below. But this one has some relief angles.

              The tool of choice to turn such tools would be an old brace modified to use 1/2" Jacobs chuck. Or a keyless off a cordless hand drill. Something that supports torque in both directions without loosening.

              For regular holes of 3/8 and larger he won't go wrong with a brace and set of vintage boring bits. The prices on those is not totally outrageous at this point.

              As for working wood off the grid? There's a whole movement among wood workers along that line. Look up "Paul Sellers" and "Wood by Wright" on YT as two better known gurus of non powered tool work. Along with that "Chop with Chris" is a YT channel that focuses on using a hatchet, spoon knives and other woods lore basic tools to carve wooden utensils.

              If he's doing chairs and stuff like that then the spoon bit is the classic bodger's drill solution. The round end left in the hole lets the spreader tenons sink deeper in the chair legs.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #37
                I missed the use as a pipe.

                If you and he look into making tobacco pipes the proper shape for the bowl to allow easy cleaning out afterwards is in fact a spoon bit that leaves a more easily scraped clean rounded end hole. So time to fire up a forge and start hammering up a spoon bit or two or search for vintage tools to find one.

                New. Lee Valley Spoon Bits - Lee Valley Tools

                To sharpen these they need to be stoned or filed only on the inside. Leave the outside alone or it will bind in the cut. Plus they only work for so many sharpenings. Then they need to go back to a blacksmith to forge the spoon on the end back up to center to restore the cutting action for a clean center.
                Last edited by BCRider; 11-23-2020, 04:06 PM.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #38

                  Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                  I'm having a hard time understanding why the bottom needs to be dead flat too.
                  Never said dead flat, just can't have the long pilot of an auger poking through the bottom of the pipe. He's currently using a standard twist drill. I'm considering making a lightweight brace with a 1/2" toolholder style end rather than a chuck. Also it looks like machining a spoon bit is possible, easier than forging one accurately so small. Made easier by not needing to go very deep.



                  Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                  • #39
                    For such a shallow, low tolerance hole, a T-handle would probably work fine. Keep the bit short.
                    You could easily and cheaply try regrinding a flat spade bit to the desired profile (I would grind extra relief). He could start the hole with his curved carving chisel and then let the 'pointless' spade bit follow that shallow hole. Shorten it way down and add a little aluminum or wood T-handle - my guess is that it would work well enough, and be very small/light.
                    Location: North Central Texas

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by gellfex View Post

                      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.
                      Your son would enjoy the Self Made Documentary Alone in the Wilderness .This guy moved into Alaska Wilderness by himself in mid 1960’s and spent nearly 50yrs there,he had amazing skills.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Tundra Twin Track View Post

                        Your son would enjoy the Self Made Documentary Alone in the Wilderness .This guy moved into Alaska Wilderness by himself in mid 1960’s and spent nearly 50yrs there,he had amazing skills.
                        Sounds awesome, I'll look into it.
                        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                        • #42
                          That is a great movie. The gentleman's name is Dick Proenneke. IIRC, there are 3 movies now, with 'Alone in the Wilderness' being the first.

                          https://www.google.com/search?source...sclient=psy-ab
                          Location: North Central Texas

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Joel View Post
                            That is a great movie. The gentleman's name is Dick Proenneke. IIRC, there are 3 movies now, with 'Alone in the Wilderness' being the first.

                            https://www.google.com/search?source...sclient=psy-ab
                            I'm pretty sure I saw that, or at least something similar, on TV a few years back.

                            There was a similar story of a man who lived most of his adult life secluded somewhere in Idaho's Salmon River Primitive area. He was an engineer, from Pennsylvania as I recall, who went "primitive" sometime back in the 1920's. I first saw the story on a news segment done by the late (newsman) Tom Snyder in 1982 when I moved to Idaho. Then sometime later he was featured on one of the "On the Road With Charles Kuralt" programs. It was a very interesting story.
                            Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                            • #44
                              As a lover of antique tools, I have played with spoon bits and braces. The traditional way to use them is to gouge a small hole to set the tip in to start the hole. Otherwise it walks all over. A fair amount of downward pressure is needed to cut, obviously depending on the density of wood and sharpness of the cutter, requiring the work to be held securely. It's claim to fame is that some amount of correction is possible, which is an assist in chair-making and such where the bore must be at the correct angle. It does not like to drill holes close to the edge of a work-piece, as it will split the wood. The curly cue shaving is fascinating to watch.
                              I have a suggestion:
                              From the looks of the finished product it looks like he puts a significant amount of carving/decorating into the pipe. I doubt if it is as necessary to make the bowl rapidly as it is accurately. The bowl wants to be a nice 1/2 inch diameter bore down near the bottom. Space and weight are important. I would suggest that with an off the shelf brad point fitted with a T handle that was comfortable in the hand in a gimlet or auger style. The hole could be bored to a depth that was shallower than finished depth by at least depth of point. Then a second similar home-made tool that is basically a D bit shaped instead to a U that would scrape the bottom to shape. It might take 5 minutes to make the hole, but they would pack in a pretty small space.

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                              • #45
                                I got a crazy idea if he has a cabin or a bit of a home base.. pun intended.
                                take a treadle sewing machine, convert it to a horizontal drilling machine taking wood brace tooling .
                                I am spit balling that maybe a long peace pipe model might sell fairly good
                                have a sliding adjustable table to feed the wood into the drills... lever operated feed..

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