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Oak Floating Shelves - drilling holes

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hurworth1967

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Hi all,

A novice, I’m looking for any advice on how to drill some straight but deep holes into solid oak floating shelves. The shelves are 270mm wide, and the hole depth needs to be c. 255mm (14mm diameter), 3 holes per shelf, for housing the strong steel posts I’ll be using to anchor to my wall. I don’t have a drill press (and suspect the depth would be too great anyway). Currently I’m planning to use a hand drill with an auger bit but I’m wondering if anyone has experience & ideas about how I make sure I keep the drill straight & avoid risk of breakout ?

Thanks .....

Dan
 

Pete Maddex

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Clamp them horizontal and pou a large washer on the shaft of the drill, it will move backwards or forwards if you don't have the drill horizontal, you will have to rig something up to make sure its in at 90deg to the edge like a batten clamped so you can check the bit is parellel.

Pete
 

sunnybob

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Back in the day.... of apprentices, drilling a long straight hole was a two man job.

the apprentice stood at 90 degrees to the man. The man looking down knew if he was going left or right, and the apprentice knew if he was going up or down.
Not everything new is for the better.
 

hurworth1967

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Thanks Pete, Bob .... the washer solution sounds marginally cheaper than taking on an apprentice ! Not sure it will ‘slide’ on my auger bit due to the depth of the waste channel in ‘the twist’ but I’ll give it a try. My alternative is to try to make a smaller ‘block with hole’ as a jig to start the hole straight, then freehand it with a square as a guide from there. I’m just a bit nervous as it’s some very nice quartersawn oak & would be a pity to mess it up. Thanks both.
 

will1983

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sunnybob":9ookgqek said:
Back in the day.... of apprentices, drilling a long straight hole was a two man job.

the apprentice stood at 90 degrees to the man. The man looking down knew if he was going left or right, and the apprentice knew if he was going up or down.
Not everything new is for the better.
Done this hundreds of times over the years! I was usually the apprentice!
 

sunnybob

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after a couple of test pieces such as; "Is that picture straight on the wall" and "hold this pencil vertical", even a significant other can be pressed into service. =D> =D> 8)
 

Phil Pascoe

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I've just done some in end grain oak worktop for a neighbour. Are you sure you need that depth of hole? He's given me the brackets and they're 13mm but only 120mm long. You need to be able to start the hole accurately, once it's started the bit (assuming it's half decent and sharp) will follow the existing hole. Good luck with keeping it true over that depth. I was fortunate, I thought ahead when I got my Meddings and kept the old Bosch S7 drill stand - it bolts to my bench through dog holes and swings out towards and/or over the vice so I can put large stuff in the vice.
DSCF0121.JPG

(his scorches, not mine :D )
 

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hurworth1967

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Hi Phil,

Yes ... the brackets are a bit strange. They are 250mm long and with the ‘plate’ being 4mm thick, that’s where I’m getting my 255mm from, allowing 5mm for the recess that the plate will sit in. They also have 65mm of spur that goes into the wall for extra strength, I’ll use resin and anchor bolts for the wall side. I’m a bit paranoid that the shelf + cookbooks weight will make them sag, hence all the hardware. FWIW the purchase of the oak from The Quartersawn Oak Company in Edale (Derbyshire) was a pleasure, I went across to collect and it’s a great little setup with a truly huge Wadkin bandsaw and some beefy looking sawmill kit. And friendly to a beginner like me ! Thanks .... Dan.
 

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