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Reply by Lazyman

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Posted on Hollowing logs

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Lazyman

3873 posts in 1867 days


#1 posted 10-17-2018 01:05 PM

Thank you for your feedback Lazyman!
I actually found a forstnerbit this big on the internet and I originally planned on making multiple drills and using a bigger bit each round.
But you actually brought up another idea in me!if I use a metal lathe and drill a first small hole (2 inches) in the middle with a twist drill. After that i use a long wood turning tool, mount it on the cross slide of the lathe and increase the diameter a bit more each round?

- Arthropod

I just did a quick search for 4” forstner bit. Most of the ones I found are intended to be used more like a hole saw in thinner stock for putting a large pipe through a board or drywall. They have 1/4” shafts on them so I would be skeptical that it could handle drilling a 4” deep hole in end grain. I did see one on Grizzly.com that has a 1/2 shaft and carbide cutters that might be beefy enough but it would probably still be a good idea to make multiple passes with successively larger bits and/or drill a more shallow hole.

Your idea to mount a wood turning tool on a metal lathe might work but might be pretty slow going. You will have to make sure that you have the log well mounted in a chuck. If it shifts at all while hollowing you’ll have a problem. Might be a good idea to shorten the log to 6” to make that easier as well as faster to hollow.

Since your goal is to fill it with bamboo to create the nesting tubes here are a few thoughts. First, instead of hollowing and filling with bamboo, why not just drill a honeycomb of holes from each end with an appropriately sized (3/8”?) drill bit. The holes probably only need to be an inch or 2 deep at most but you could go as deep as you want. You could even vary the sizes of the holes to give a more interesting look which might even be better for different types of bugs. This could be easily done on a drill press and maybe even just with a hand drill. This might actually be a more stable design as well. A tube of wood exposed to the elements might crack and fall apart fairly quickly? If you want to stay with the bamboo, then perhaps you could simply hollow out about 2 inches from each end and just insert a bundle of shorter sections of bamboo in from each end. This would be easier than trying to completely hollow the entire 8” log and may result in a more weather stable design. You would need to use some epoxy or maybe even hot glue would work to secure the bamboo bundle.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.


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