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  #1  
Old 03-10-2008, 11:26 PM
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colad colad is offline
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Default drilling through holes

Hi All,
I have been learning a great deal from the Gunny on plug building and have begun to amass the supplies and tools to do this myself. In my internet research I have discovered that drilling through holes appears to something that is very much a personal preference based on many factors including what tools you have. So my question is how and when do you drill the through holes for your plugs and why?
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2008, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: drilling through holes

I turn then, leaving the square ends attached (assuming they're square) I machine the eye and hanger holes.
Cut off the square ends then through drill

If the ends are not square I do it very differently. Cut off the ends then cut the lip slot. I made a jig that keeps everything square and is keyed off the plugs lip slot which slides over the metal piece at the front of the jig. The blank sits belly up so you can drill the hook hanger holes. You lay the entire jig on its side to drill the indents for the eyes (the reason for the cutouts on either side)

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After it's all machined I through drill.
Doing the through drill last allows you to be sure that the nose loop will always be exactly where you want it. It also brings out your most creative cursing skills when you screw up a plug that's almost done.
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2008, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: drilling through holes

Sudsy...Nice jig.


I drill my through holes on the lathe. I used to do them on a drill press and that worked pretty good, even though some would wonder and not come out where expected. It was a 3 step process. First with a 4" bit, then a 6 inch and finally a clean out with a 12" bit. I recently picked up a good deal on a lathe and tried through drilling. I start with the 4" and then the 6". The holes have always met in the middle, so the 12" hasn't been required. I haven't tried going straight to the 6", but maybe this weekend.... Works great.
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2008, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: drilling through holes

I do my through drilling on the lathe, a 6" parobolic bit, 1 shot each end, I cut the square ends off all but my bottles while the plug is spinning on the lathe, prior to drilling, this leaves a tiny centered dot on the plug, this allows for one less handeling of the blank...while retaining my center mark, depending on the style the lip slot is marked and the plug an be drilled..

for the weight and hanger holes I put the plug in a simple jig that can accomodate both lip and lipless plugs, a fence is set up onm the drill press so every plug is centered, drilling takes a matter of seconds

I cant show pictures for some reason I'm getting a message that my quoata has been exceeded...
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: drilling through holes

I also thru drill on the lathe , although i do it a way i havent seen anyone else do . it was more of a way i figured out using what ihad at hand , rather than running out and buying a chuck for the lathe or a drill press. drawbacks are that im quite sure this method is specific to the type of lathe i use ,and it is only good for plugs that are concentricly drilled (needles, pencils ,polaris ,etc...)dont want to start with the "this is the right way to do this" junk ,i know there are probably better ways but this has worked for me for a while ,is pretty quick ,and keeps your digits out of harms way. here goes...
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turn plug down to finish sanding (PIC2 ) rmove center spur (pic3) this is a 1/4 brass nipple that barely fits into the tailstock and helps to keep the bit centered (PIC4is hand drill with bit) (PICS 5,6) show bit being inserted into tailstock ,turn lathe back on at this time and gentlypush bit in as far as it will go . back it out ,shut off lathe ,flip plug and drill other end , dead center every time!! takes much longer to explain than to do.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2008, 07:05 PM
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mully537 mully537 is offline
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Default Re: drilling through holes

wow!!! i hope this helps someone ,what a pita.i also got the quota had been exceeded thing when i tried to load up the pics
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2008, 08:21 PM
OSSCA OSSCA is offline
 
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Default Re: drilling through holes

good stuff mully
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2008, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: drilling through holes

I'll give you two ways to do it...

I prefer the cut the ends off on a spinning lathe, thus leaving a small centered nub, by cutting off the sqare ends now I save alot of time but maintain my center for referance pourposes...

first is on a drill press, depending on the heigth of your drill press, you may or may not need the spacer blocks I show in the photos...

first make a board to fit your table on the drill press, directly in the center, drill a 1/4" hole and install a 1/4 dowel center, with the table low enough to acomodate a the plug and a 6" drill bit, use either a long drill bit or a 1/8" steel rod that has been ground to a point on one end, line the drill up to the dowel center by loostening the bolts on your wooden platform until the rod and the dowel center meet, lock up the table...

put a 3" drill bit in your drill, set the speed for approx 1200 for soft woods, 800 for hard, line up one end of your plug on the dowel center and drill from the opposite end, switch ends and repeat... now , put a 6" bit into the drill and repeat, be sure to clear chips as you go or the drilled chips will deflect the bit, use a slow advance , if needed the blocks, each of which has a 1/4" dowel in the bottom and a hole drilled for the dowel center can be used to "raise" the table without loosing your adjustments, on drill presses with a high table and short stroke, you may need to run the drill into the plug, then with the plug still on the bit, raise the drill head and insert a block...or you can finish the job with a long hand drill...

Next is the eaisest way, using a drill chuck in your lathe,install a 6" bit, lathe should be set to 1200 for soft woods, 800 for hard woods.. line up your drill bit plu and tail stock, the lock lever should be adjusted so the tail stock slides eaisily, switch on the lathe and SLOWLY advance the plug forward, reversing direction often to clear chips, once the end has been reached, switch ends and finish the job....

For the belly holes, I have a jig that lines up the lip slot or, if reversed, has a screw that holds the plug in place via the through hole, a removable tail stock accomodates any sized plug, by have ia adjustable fence on my drill press, I am able to slide the jig in place against the fence, thus the plug is centered under the drill for each operation, with no guessing or adjusting needed, spotfacing, and drilling hanger and hook holes takes less than 1.5 minutes from the time I grab the plug until I grab the next one...
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2008, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: drilling through holes

those are great jigs , both yours and sudsys roc.that piece of sheet metal to hold the plug makes it a cant miss that your belly holes are 90% to the lip. i like it !!
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2008, 10:49 AM
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colad colad is offline
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Default Re: drilling through holes

Thanks all for replying this is VERY interesting to me. Two questions:

1. Roc how does the plug remain on the lathe? is there an attachment to do this? (forgive me for sounding stupid!)

2. To anyone, when you have the block of wood that you will turn, and you have marked the center, can you drill straight through that on the drill press for plugs that will have a straight thru center? Is this a bad Idea?
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2008, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: drilling through holes

Quote:
Originally Posted by colad View Post
Thanks all for replying this is VERY interesting to me. Two questions:

1. Roc how does the plug remain on the lathe? is there an attachment to do this? (forgive me for sounding stupid!)

2. To anyone, when you have the block of wood that you will turn, and you have marked the center, can you drill straight through that on the drill press for plugs that will have a straight thru center? Is this a bad Idea?

Good questions.

you hold the plug in your left hand, the right hand guides the tail stock... unfortunaly, I couldnt get the camera in the right posistion to take a picture on auto while iI demonstarted....

you can drill straight through if: you have a long drill bit,and a high enough table to do so... but the longer the bit, the more likely the chance of deflection... the two step method works best, also you absolutly MUST clear the chips... if you dont, you'll make alot of kindling!
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: drilling through holes

i have found drilling through with my press is cake walk...however it took some experimenting and many plug abortions before i stummbled upon the best way to achieve consistancy. some hard woods are easier for me to drill before i even turn em to plug shapes...but for the most part i drill through with my press after the plug is turned and the ends are cut off. roc mentioned a detail i cant help repeating...make sure you clean out the shavings from the holes as you go...or your bit will want to walk.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2008, 07:36 PM
rclark12 rclark12 is offline
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Default Re: drilling through holes

is there need for a lathe drill and a drill press?
if so for a drill press is a 6" i/8" drill bit all i need for thru wires?
thanks in advance =)
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2008, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: drilling thru holes and stuff

As usual ,I do it different than most .but it works for me , and is easy. .. I drill my holes first. then turn the plug around the hole . both 1/16 " and 1/8" bits ,12" long are available at most hardware stores .
I gotta admit ,I did just aquire a chuck for my lathe so I can find out what I been missing.
Heres my first few of the season.
GF
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2008, 10:14 PM
rclark12 rclark12 is offline
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Default Re: drilling through holes

i think i mite try drilling first too... do you use 1/16 or 1/8 just depending on the size of the grommets you use..... and if get a twelve inch drill press then i cant use a 12" bit... or am i wrong.. im not exactly sure how a drill press works exactly i dont have one.. didnt even recieve my lathe yet so im still trying to piece together wut i need to get for plug building....thanks for all the info so far !

Last edited by rclark12; 12-07-2008 at 10:15 PM. Reason: thanks to every one
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