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Longer than usual wood drills

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xy mosian

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A very long time ago (in the workshop where I taught) I had a hollow centre that fitted in T rest, for drilling the up the middle of table lamps and we used a shell bit, as you say about 30" long. History now. I don't have a hollow centre or long shell bit and I haven't seen either in a long while. Do you know who I might supply them? I don't remember that the holes were particularly precise either, which didn't matter as we only had to thread the lead down it, not the reasonably tight fit of the piston of a slide whistle. I think I'll get some of the long bits recommended further up the correspondence and take a bit more care clearing the shavings.
Thanks
Martin
I/We have drifted from the original post somewhat.
However long hole boring bits and pieces are available from Turner's Retreat and Axminster. A friend used to make long hole boring bits by welding extention bars to the blunt end of jobbers twist drills. Tailstock end support can be fashioned from tapered bearings and plywood.
xy
 

Jake

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For me, standard practice when boring almost any hole in either wood or metal, especially in the smaller sizes and/or with especially long holes, is to frequently withdraw the drill, using a short stiff brush if necessary to ensure that the flutes remain completely clear.
That's the routine I mentioned - life's too short unless it is a handful of holes.
 

Phil Pascoe

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As for straight line drilling in a lathe then a 1/2" lamp standard bit through a hollow tailstock will generally give good results. I used to regularly bore holes of 1 1/4" diameter using a similar method, daed straight up to 30" long.
Why would you want a half inch lamp standard bit? The fittings are 5/16" or 3/8". What was the arrangement on the tailstock end to allow a 1 1/4" bit through it? One hell of a wood lathe.
 

xy mosian

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Why would you want a half inch lamp standard bit? The fittings are 5/16" or 3/8". What was the arrangement on the tailstock end to allow a 1 1/4" bit through it? One hell of a wood lathe.
You are of course correct Phil. The problem I had was finding a recognised name for the bits. I learnt that they were Dodds Pattern Shell Augers, nearly 50 years ago, however previously at school they had been referred to as Lamp Standard Shell Augers. The latter term throws up more results on the all knowing machine.

I see that Salaman refers to them variously as Carpenter's, House, Ship, Dodds, Scotch Ship, Long Pod, or Trenail augers. The difference seems to be in the driving end. Salaman page 29, 1975 edition.

Sorry I cannot find an image of the Lathe. The bed was made of old loading bay joists, courtesy of Dad's workplace, the headstock, tailstock and toolpost slide were of 3/4" ply. Clamping, of the slidey bits was by cams, everything else by wedge. The lathe had to be demountable. Dive shaft was a Picador shaft with 4, or 5, step pulley.
The motor was a 1/2 HP device by one of the well known manufacturers, bought from Army surplus stall in the weekly market. Flaming heavy to carry home I remember. Drive belt was an elastic emergency belt, basically red bungy. I still have that belt which of course means no tensioning required, wish I had bought two but it will likely see me out now. From memory the bed was 6 feet long, why shorten the timber? The centre height was around 8".

Now the augers. I friend had asked me to make an adjustable height, double desk music stand. Thus the need for a long straight hole in the material. After some just about OK trials, about two stands, I realised that the Shell auger was the way to go. Record, bless em, had stopped showing the augers in their catalogues within the two previous years. However a chat with their midlands rep and some good fortune led me to an out of the way toolshop in Warwick about half an hour before closing one January saturday morning. They sold me their entire stock for £1 each.


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The hollow centre tailstock. Now I was going to make my fortune using scarce augers to drill long holes through wood wasn't I? Anyway I mounted the outer ring of a 4" tapered bearing onto a ply, thing, clamped to the lathe bed, on centre of course. A suitable plug, oak, for the inner race was screwed to the workpiece, it had a suitable hole for the auger, and drilling commenced. The hole was bored, slowly to within about 1/4" of the drive end. Next was to knock out this plug and replace it with a home brewed expanding mandrel, in oak, and on to the turning of the outer of the pillar.

I sold quite a few of those stands and went on to produce an adjustable stool to match the shortest of the three available heights. That used an 1 1/2" screw thread and had the clearance bored, with a suitable auger, as outlined above. The lathe is still, in stripped down form, about the place. It was last used about 15 years ago, could be more, to make bed legs. Legs for the head being octagonal 45" in length with a bit of turning at the ends.

Sorry for the lengthy response, xy
 
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