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drilling through pilings

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Forum topic by Koda1 posted 08-31-2019 09:57 PM 738 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Koda1

6 posts in 46 days


08-31-2019 09:57 PM

I have a new dock and bought some 1-3/4 rope I’d like to thread from piling to piling so I need to drill 15 1-7/8” holes through 10” pilings, should I use an auger or forester bit? Irwin makes a spedbor bit that’s looks interesting.
Thanks

-- Mark, Naples FL


34 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2014 posts in 670 days


#1 posted 08-31-2019 10:21 PM

I would go with a ship auger in a 1/2” heavy duty electric drill
with a slow RPM and high torque.
a cordless drill is not the one to use for this project.
I have made a LOT of wood signs using 6×6” P/T posts for the
National Park Service and their code calls for 3 or 4 holes drilled 8”
above the ground level for “break away” in case of impact with a vehicle.
fortunately, I was able to do this on the drill press under controlled conditions.
in the field like you are, it will be a little more difficult.
but, with a high torque drill, sharp ship auger bit and a sure footing,
you can buzz right through them.
(can you share some photos of your dock) ???

if you don’t have one, or access to one, check your local
pawn shops or craigslist. or your tool rental place.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

23776 posts in 3191 days


#2 posted 09-01-2019 12:47 AM

I used an Expansive bit, and a brace. When the lead screw just starts to poke through, go to the other side of the post and complete the hole.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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ibewjon

991 posts in 3301 days


#3 posted 09-01-2019 01:17 AM

SHARP ship auger is correct. That is how we drill utility poles. -1 on the hand brace, writer would probably like the holes done while being young enough to enjoy them!! The problem I see is I have never seen one over 1 1/4”. Time for 1” rope? Or forstner bit with extension.

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MSquared

716 posts in 422 days


#4 posted 09-01-2019 01:38 AM

^^ +1 on both ^^ Two very good suggestions. You need torque! Mr. Smith, I have a 1/2” Drill similar to the one you pictured. I bought it many moons ago from my brother’s friend who was selling off part of a woodworking business he had. I thought, ‘what would I ever need this for”?! He said the usual; ‘You never know’, and it was cheap. Came with some Auger bits as well. Low and behold, not three weeks later, I had to drill a 1-1/4”-ish hole in the 3-1/2 to 4” thick transom for depth/fish finder electronics of a boat I once owned. Took barely a minute and I didn’t burn up a cordless! Ta-Da!! I’ve used it occasionally for drilling access holes in house foundations and drilling similar holes in transoms for friends. Easy-Peezy! (Provided the bit is sharp!)

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

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Chenier

9 posts in 214 days


#5 posted 09-01-2019 01:52 AM


I have a new dock and bought some 1-3/4 rope I d like to thread from piling to piling so I need to drill 15 1-7/8” holes through 10” pilings, should I use an auger or forester bit? Irwin makes a spedbor bit that s looks interesting.

You’re going to drill, basically, 2-inch holes through your pilings so the rope can run free from end to end, with some kind of fastening at each end?

I wouldn’t do that. First, a 2-inch hole through a 10-inch piling is a mother to bore, never mind 15 of them. I’ve done 1-inch holes in pilings and that was more than enough. Second, it leaves your rope railing subject to stretch and the vulernability of whatever fastening you’ve decided upon at each end.

If it were my dock I’d just put a clove hitch at each piling, with an extra half-hitch at each end held down by a BIG staple. Simpler and more secure.

View MSquared's profile

MSquared

716 posts in 422 days


#6 posted 09-01-2019 03:11 AM

A picture or illustration would be helpful.

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2014 posts in 670 days


#7 posted 09-01-2019 11:17 AM

.

.

a few options to drilling holes. (and still have that nautical look)

for some really good ideas: google ”Pier and Dock Rope Rails Images”

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Sark's profile

Sark

196 posts in 868 days


#8 posted 09-01-2019 03:12 PM

Auger bit is the only way to go, if you are going to drill holes this big. Needs a slow and powerful drill. My Milwaukee right angle drill turns about 350 rpm. Plumbers routinely drill holes this size so its not that hard to get the drill and the auger bits to do the job. Rent the drill if you don’t have one and don’t want to buy one. Possibly the rental place has the auger bits too; but buy them if they don’t. Or better yet, follow John and Chenier’s advice and do a nice clove hitch which looks great, and will last forever, too.

View Koda1's profile

Koda1

6 posts in 46 days


#9 posted 09-01-2019 07:00 PM

Thanks all for the suggestions, it’s my first post here and I’m somewhat overwhelmed by all the helpful responses and interest, thank you! I’ve attached a picture, my last dock I had the rope wrapped around the pilings so I’d like to switch it up and run the rope through the pilings plus…I’ve already purchased the rope and wrapping will add a substantial amount so I wouldn’t have enough length. Looks like I’ll get an ship auger bit and rent a powerful drill.

-- Mark, Naples FL

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Koda1

6 posts in 46 days


#10 posted 09-01-2019 07:02 PM

Thank you John!


.

.

a few options to drilling holes. (and still have that nautical look)

for some really good ideas: google ”Pier and Dock Rope Rails Images”

.

.

- John Smith


-- Mark, Naples FL

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

991 posts in 3301 days


#11 posted 09-01-2019 07:44 PM

Be sure you use the long extension handle and low speed. You don’t want sprains or worse. It can happen FAST! Electricians drills, although a low speed, are not nearly as low a speed as a plumbers drill. Milwaukee makes both, and look identical except for the tags. Wear you life jacket too. Might sound silly, but…

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

452 posts in 2428 days


#12 posted 09-01-2019 10:54 PM

GFI,
Milwaukee hole hog, drill and hang on.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2014 posts in 670 days


#13 posted 09-01-2019 11:07 PM

Mark, since you are pretty much leaning towards drilling the holes,
I strongly suggest you round up a piling left over from your dock project
or get a short piece from the company that put it in for you and position the
extra piling in the same position as what is on your dock and PRACTICE
several holes before you go and possibly ruin one of your pilings that
is in place and not repairable or replaceable (cheaply, anyway).
option #2 would be to hire the dock company to come drill the holes for you !!

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8380 posts in 3305 days


#14 posted 09-01-2019 11:15 PM

If you could find a barefoot auger it would reduce the likelihood of the drill spinning you around in circles somewhat.
Another way to deal with that is to pre-drill a pilot hole for the lead screw. A lot of the danger with big bits comes from the screw pulling the auger into the wood too aggressively. Powerful drills can be unforgiving.

Oh yes …
Keep your fingers well clear of the trigger lock button.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

991 posts in 3301 days


#15 posted 09-02-2019 12:28 AM

Forget hang on. Use the extension handle

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