This isn't exactly a home repair but someone in this group probably
knows the carpentry techniques or tools to use. I have a shiitake
mushroom garden in the basement; they grow in oak logs and have been
producing well for about a half-year now.
What I would like to do is to remove some plugs from these logs and
use them to innoculate new logs with mushroom spawn by inserting the
plugs into holes drilled into the new logs. The plugs should be about
1/4 to 5/16 inch in diameter and about an inch long. Is there some
sort of tool or attachment to an electric drill that will do this?
Plug cutters are available in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2", other sizes too. They are
used to cut plugs that are about 3/8" deep; best used in a drill press but
can be done by hand.
There are also plug cutters that will cut deeper. Not cheap and you need a
I guess I'm missing something here. Plug cutter cuts vertically down
into the log, but what causes the center of the plug to separate from
the log. Just twists off? The grain of some woods might not allow
You can try making your own. Not hard if you have a lathe- just sharpen
one end of a stick of steel tube, cross-drill the other end, and put a
bar through it to twist with. Not like you are trying to drill through
the donor logs- you just need to get about 1/2" to 3/4" in, right? Maybe
put a few tiny notches in the sharp end to give it some bite. Wax it
inside and out to make it able to penetrate easier. If your wrists are
not up to twisting, use a slightly thicker pipe, and just drive it in
with a mallet. May want to have a drive cap on it, and a rod to punch
the plugs back out. If you don't have a lathe, it is a little harder,
but some patient work with a grinder and hand file should still give a
usable cutting tool. Unless you have some way to harden it, the edge
will need touchups pretty often.
Any leather working stores in your area? The punches they sell for thick
leather may be sturdy and deep enough.
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