How do you drill a long hole down the length of a piece of timber?

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haggis999
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How do you drill a long hole down the length of a piece of timber?

Post by haggis999 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:30 pm

The attached drawing shows a hardwood batten that is intended to form part of a bespoke bracket for mounting a security light on a wall of our house that has a 350mm deep covering of ivy. The hole to be drilled along the length of this batten is for cable routing.

A 400mm drill bit is far too long to fit into my pillar drill, so I pre-drilled a hole in a spare bit of wood and clamped it to my batten to act as a guide. However, this procedure failed to keep the drill bit parallel to the side of the batten and I ruined a nice piece of iroko. I'm not quite sure what went wrong, but perhaps the 2 sides of my guide block were not exactly parallel.

Before I spoil another piece of hardwood, I would appreciate any suggestions for how to drill this hole in an accurate manner.
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Hardwood batten for security light.jpg

promhandicam
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Re: How do you drill a long hole down the length of a piece of timber?

Post by promhandicam » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:09 pm

Welcome to the forum. If I had to do it exactly as you have shown, I'd rip the piece of wood in two, one piece 20mm wide the other 35mm wide and then using a core box router cutter in a router mounted in a table I'd route a semi circular groove in each piece and then stick them back together using cascamite.

haggis999
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Re: How do you drill a long hole down the length of a piece of timber?

Post by haggis999 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:46 pm

promhandicam wrote:Welcome to the forum. If I had to do it exactly as you have shown, I'd rip the piece of wood in two, one piece 20mm wide the other 35mm wide and then using a core box router cutter in a router mounted in a table I'd route a semi circular groove in each piece and then stick them back together using cascamite.
Many thanks for that advice.

As it happens, that was my Plan B (suggested to me earlier today by a local joiner) in case no one could recommend a reliable way to drill the hole. I was only continuing to pursue the drilling option as my timber supplier has already made a replacement for the iroko batten I ruined. Splitting the new batten in two would not work, as the saw cut would reduce the height, but I could have it milled down to make the bottom section. There is also enough unspoiled wood on the original batten to have it modified to make the top section.

I will now have to practice my routing skills on a bit of spare timber...

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will1983
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Re: How do you drill a long hole down the length of a piece of timber?

Post by will1983 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:01 am

I would do similar but as its just for a cable and therefore doesn't necessarily need to be a circular hole I would just cut two pieces, then cut a groove in one of the mating faces with the table saw and then glue it back together.
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promhandicam
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Re: How do you drill a long hole down the length of a piece of timber?

Post by promhandicam » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:20 am

will1983 wrote:I would do similar but as its just for a cable and therefore doesn't necessarily need to be a circular hole I would just cut two pieces, then cut a groove in one of the mating faces with the table saw and then glue it back together.
I agree.

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Re: How do you drill a long hole down the length of a piece of timber?

Post by promhandicam » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:26 am

haggis999 wrote:
promhandicam wrote:Welcome to the forum. If I had to do it exactly as you have shown, I'd rip the piece of wood in two, one piece 20mm wide the other 35mm wide and then using a core box router cutter in a router mounted in a table I'd route a semi circular groove in each piece and then stick them back together using cascamite.
Many thanks for that advice.

As it happens, that was my Plan B (suggested to me earlier today by a local joiner) in case no one could recommend a reliable way to drill the hole. I was only continuing to pursue the drilling option as my timber supplier has already made a replacement for the iroko batten I ruined. Splitting the new batten in two would not work, as the saw cut would reduce the height, but I could have it milled down to make the bottom section. There is also enough unspoiled wood on the original batten to have it modified to make the top section.

I will now have to practice my routing skills on a bit of spare timber...
Unless I have misunderstood, you now have two pieces the same size - one new and one with a wonky hole. There should be enough usable timber to rip both pieces down to do as I suggested, and if the hole doesn't need to be round you can use any method you want to cut a groove.

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Re: How do you drill a long hole down the length of a piece of timber?

Post by woodsmith » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:51 am

I would think you could just drill this hole by hand, it's only 165mm deep if you drill from each end. I'd get some softwood and have a practice at drilling before having a go with the real thing.
Keith

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