Brad point bits are available that are about a foot long and then
there are extensions to lengthen the bits reach. You will have to
pull out the bit periodically to clear the chips.
If the limb is less than straight, the hole will off center at some
point wouldn't it. You can attempt to drill half way through from
both ends. You may get lucky at the holes will meet.
EXPENSIVE!!! Especially for one or two lamps. I know, I use them in my line
of work, I've got half a dozen or so. Find a phone or cable guy and you
might get lucky and he'd sell you one for a little of nothing. Otherwise,
saw it in half, cut a channel and glue it back together.
If you do go with the long bit, and it's green wood, a spade works
better than the threaded auger bits. I made a lamp or three, and the
auger clogged way too quickly to be worth the money I paid for it.
They do work well in dry timber, though.
Good luck, whatever you go with- I don't envy you that job! A 14"
lamp of green wood was a lot of hassle to deal with, I can't imagine
I made a lamp using about a 20inch section of Birch just a few months
ago. Since I only have a small bench to drill press, I did it in two
steps. I intially clamped the piece to the table on the drill press
that had been turned - rotated - to be parallel to the drill bit. I
then centered and drilled a beginning hole as long as my press would
allow. I followed on with a long drill bit mounted in a cordless
drill. But now I at least had confidence that the hole would be
directionally accurate. It takes a little time to get the hole
drilled. But it worked because I then screwed a long threaded lamp
post that I then cut to size with a hack saw.
After mounting it on a hardwood base, the project came out really nice.
Hope this helps.
I don't know whether this will work for for you or not, but I've made
holes thru long pieces (always with a rectangular X-section, though) by
ripping the piece open on the table saw, cutting a dado in one side, and
glueing the two pieces back together. For your tree limb that's not
straight, you'd have to fasten it to something straight to run against
the fence. Also, the kerf thickness that's lost might cause a problem
when you try to realign the curved surfaces. This is just a thought
that you might keep it in mind if you don't get a better solution.
A) "*VERY* carefully"
B) "with a three foot long drill bit"
C) laser cutter?
The 'easy' way is if you can rip the piece in half, excavate your center
channel, and glue the pieces back to together.
Another alternative is to chop the piece into, say, a dozen 3" sections,
drill each section individually, and re-assemble.
If you don't like either of those alternatives, see the smart-ass answers
list above. :)
You need a 'limb-er' bit. *groan*
To _drill_ all the way through, the piece has to be 'straight enough' that
there is a "straight-line" path through the piece. (Well, if you're _really_
good, you can drill from both ends, and have an angle where the two holes
Either of the 'divide and conquer' techniques mentioned above will work
where the stock is _not_ 'straight enough' for the straight through approach.
What's the diameter of the limb? I'm assuming it's fairly large and you
don't mind hogging out a lot of material.
I'm thinking maybe this could be done in stages. Start with a 2" diameter
forstner (or maybe a spade) bit and drill a hole (say) 4 inches deep.
Next, take a 1-1/2" diameter bit, attach it to a drill extender (a nice
looking one is http://www.whitney-tool.com/html/collet.html ) and drill down
another 4 inches. Because the first forstner left a flat-bottom hole, and
you're picking up with a smaller bit, you are able to adjust the axis of
the hole to follow (within limits) any bends in the limb. And chip
clearance should be easier with the stepped hole.
Repeat with a 1" bit and a longer extension. And again with a 1/2". That
should get you 16" deep. Repeat from the other end. You've now got 4" in
the middle to go through with a regular bit (on a long extension). Play
with the details as needed to make it all work out.
You'll end up with two more-or-less stepped conical holes meeting in the
middle. Assuming it all works. I've never actually tried anything like
this; I'm just thinking aloud.
I would only attempt this on a drill press, and would invest a lot of time
building some nice jigs to hold the workpiece firmly at the required
angles. I'd also practice on some scrap before putting metal to the real
thing, just to make sure it all works. Things might get pretty floppy once
those extensions get long.
What about a boring bar? Never done it myself, but it seems like it would
work, if riflers can use it to bore accurate holes.
My uncle once made a lamp from a limb that had a crook in it, and a knothole
at the crook. He drilled through the end and out the knothole, then changed
direction for the other half of the limb, drilling into the knothole and out
the other end. He fished the wire though, easier now because of the halfway
access, and then filled in the knothole with filler and stained it to match.
It worked well, and people had to ask to figure out how he got the wire
through that thing.
- Owen -
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