A friend of mine is having a huge underground bunker style room put
into his garden. It will be the length + width of his garden and will
be buried under 2' of soil. It will be connected to his bungalow for
access and will be used as a workshop for his various hobbies.
It's costing him a small fortune but he's not concerned about that.
The civil engineering firm will build the structure and top it of with
soil but everything else he has to do himself. This is where I came in.
He had concerns about getting natural light in over his workbenches and
I recommended sunlight pipes. He had a look at them and liked what he
saw. Now the problem is he doesn't want little clear domes over his
lawn so he is raising the domes 8' and having long sunlight pipes. The
company has assured him that the pipes will still work over the 11'
So after putting my foot in my mouth, my mate has told me that to hide
the ugly silver ducting he want to encase them in old telegraph poles.
To do so they need to be hollowed down the middle and these poles are
all 10' long. I've told him that the easiest way would be to split them
in half and channel out the waste then put the two halves together with
the ducting in the middle. But he doesn't like the fact that spilt
might be seeable and may cause concerns later on.
He has told me that no matter the expense, he'll hire whatever
equipment I need to hollow these poles out if there is another way to
do it other than splitting it.
So my quandry is how do I hollow out 10 x 10' telegraph pole without
splitting them down the middle.
If there is no other feasible way then my friend is willing to see
sense and relenquish the decision to me.
Sorry for the long windedness but I felt I should explain why I needed
nah, that machine is for drilling lots of small holes in sheets of
particle board very quickly. it won't drill the hole the OP is asking
I'd look at other approaches to concealing the pipe. for instance, this
sort of thing is done all of the time for zoos and museums, where
mechanical equipment has to be concealed from the public. a lot of the
time the approach used is to build a replica of the telegraph pole (or
tree, or rock or whatever) in steel reinforced concrete. very good
weather resistance and total flexibility as to appearance. really. I'd
present it to your friend not as a fake telegraph pole but as a garden
sculpture, and encourage him to allow the people who build the thing to
be part of the design process. approached right it could be a fun
project for all involved. I see you're in the UK, so I won't link to
any of the contractors on this side of the pond. look for somebody
somewhat local- easier to keep an open process and puts the money back
into your own community, as it were.
[top posted for your convenience]
My first impression (on a number of levels) is this guy has more money
than brains. Underground bunker? For "various hobbies"? Sure.
Okay, I'm not absolutely positive, but aren't those sunlight tubes
something like 8" in diameter (inside), at least? Where is
he/you/anyone going to find telephone/graph poles that are 10-12" or
more in diameter? And that's at the top of the pole, which nets at
least 10', maybe more, in length. Trees taper, you know.
Okay, assuming that issue gets solved, I don't see what the problem
with splitting them would be, because for all the rough exterior of
the poles, I can't believe anyone would ever be able to see the split
once they're glued back up. Especially from outside the compound. Oh,
yes, I firmly believe this guy has a compound.
One of life's lessons that took me a long time to learn was to not try
to solve other people's problems. Too often they like the situation
they're in, so your effort is fruitless. Other times they don't give
you all the information you need, so once you've expended the effort
to arrive at a solution, they throw another obstacle at you. Your
"friend" reminds me of this.
This post makes me wonder if this "friend" is like the guy who tells a
doctor at the cocktail party about his "friend" that has an itch or
bump or some other malady in order to elicit free medical advice?
Take the pole to the local military base and ask them to fire a cannon
round down the centre of the pole. Tell them your buddy with the
money will pay for the round. Those military guys are really very
nice and would have no problem doing this for you because they are
always looking for something to shoot at. The moment they say OK,
duct tape a bunch of chisels to the pointy end of the round just
before the fire it off. Should make for a nice clean hole.
(Red Green is my role model)
1) add planks around a tube core , then round over (as was allready
sugested) and make them look aged - use a belt sander with a coarse
belt to get the "surface finish", then paint them to match the looks of
an old pole.
2) to keep the exact appearance: make a silicone mold from an old
telegraph pole, split it in two halves, use fiberglass & resin to
obtain a shell that can be glued around the tube, paint in order to
obtain the old look (this is rather a joke, as it would prove to be
quite expensive, however this is how tree trunks are made for studio &
stage forest scenes)
Not quite answering your question, but I don't think a 2 foot depth
of soil is sufficient to dig a hole that'll keep a 10 foot pole
upright (even if it's hollowed out).
Plus, where the sunpipe enters the bunker, 2 feet isn't enough to
stop water ingress: the joint will leak.
Also, have you or your friend thought about how many sunpipes/poles
will be needed to illuminate the bunker? I have looked into these
for a project of my own: a 12-inch pipe will only light about 150 sq.ft.
and an 8-incher considerably less. You can get 21 inch pipes, these
may be easier to disguise as something else - and you'll need fewer of them.
It may be a good move to buy one sunpipe first and experiment with
ways of mounting it, before committing to a full-scale implementation.
You never know, when he sees it, he may like the look of the dome!
. never trust a man who, when left alone ...... Pete Lynch .
Since money seems to flow well for him, I'd have sheets of rustic wood siding
back scored for bending around the pipes...
Flash back to the 60's: Have the pipes "wood grained"... lol
My brother did that one on his metal kitchen cabinets.. fooled most folks..
First off, telegraph poles have very heavy chemical treatment so make sure
that you have priced into this proper safety equipment, and bear in mind
that between splinters and chemical treatment used telegraph poles are not
the friendliest things to have in your back yard. A better option if price
is no object would be to start with some ipe blanks or start with pine,
bore them, and _then_ have them treated to order. Ipe should last as long
as pressure treated and has the added advantage that its chemistry, while
allergenic to some people, is in general relatively benign.
The first hit on "ship auger" in Google was
<http://advantage-drillbits.com/auger.html . They'll make you an auger bit
however long you need it to be and should be able to advise on what kind of
power you need in order to drive it--one of their stock 84 inch bits run
from both ends should give you a through hole but it will have a step in
the middle. Keeping it concentric is another story--it's going to wander
in 10 feet but how much I have no idea. If you need exact concentricity
you'll need to bore an undersized hole and then put a boring bar though
that that is supported on both ends.
The longer the tube the less light. Use short tubes and put a hotbed
over it to hide "the dome". If he does decide to use ugly creosote
poles in his garden make sure he doesnt eat any of the veggies from the
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