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Author Topic: DIY Beam Drill  (Read 1162 times)

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Offline everythingwood

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DIY Beam Drill
« on: March 07, 2021, 08:53:36 PM »
So I have wanted to make a cordless beam drill for my upcoming build and have been looking at a lot of them made with sliding pipes and tubes.  My welding skills are not very good so I was still thinking I would probably just wing it as I have in the past.  Then the other day I was moving an old radial arm saw that I picked up for 50 bucks when it hit me!



 

It's a Craftsman Contractor 10" saw.  The arm and yoke are made of cast aluminum and the slide mechanism is rock solid.  It took about a half hour to disassemble it and I think this is going to work.  Mount it to a board and cut the yoke as shown to fit the drill.  I need to add some gusset plates on either side to which I can mount the drill.  I'm going to get a Dewalt 20/60 volt mixer drill... it has a side handle that is threaded and it has three positions.  I will drill holes in the gusset plates and the slide assembly to use the three threaded holes to mount the drill.  I'll post a pic when it's done.

So where does one get a 1-1/2" auger bit? that's only 10 or 12 inches long?  I googled it and see a lot of ships augers that are 17 or 18 inches long... a lot more than I need and I'm afraid they will be too unwieldy.

Here is a bonus picture of the log pile waiting for the sawer.


 

I'm fired up to get this project underway!  


Offline reride82

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 10:03:33 PM »
That seems like a great project! I'll be following with interest.
'Do it once, do it right'

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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2021, 11:03:35 PM »
 :P
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2021, 04:29:05 PM »
A traditional boring machine bit it around 11 or 12" long because we never try to bore a hole all the way through the mortise timber. We bore half way through from each side.
The only bit we will bore all the way through is for the peg hole. And we stop before it breaks the bottom surface of the timber so it doesn't "blow out" a huge chip. And finish the bottom side with a standard bit brace bit of the same size.
I have show this process in one  of my youtube videos.

And power drill bit of the size you want to make your mortises should work in a power drill. Any boring machine bit should not be used in a power drill.
The power drill turns too fast for a boring machine bit.

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Offline Crusarius

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2021, 05:09:46 PM »
oooh, I definitely want to see a finished product. I have an old craftsman radial arm saw I have never used. Especially since I got sliding compound miter saw.

Offline everythingwood

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2021, 06:56:22 PM »
And power drill bit of the size you want to make your mortises should work in a power drill. Any boring machine bit should not be used in a power drill. The power drill turns too fast for a boring machine bit.


I guess I should ask what bit for use in a power drill do folks here prefer?  I did some more searching and found the Wood Owl bits but there must be others.  

When I Google 1.5" auger bits I come up with ships auger bits, forstner bits, and some spade bits.  I fond the Wood Owl name on this site.  On my last (and only other) timber frame I freehand drilled with a forstner bit... got that baby stuck but good a few times before I learned to keep withdrawing it every 1.5 inches or so.

I do have some old "T" handle augers in several sizes and I figured they would not work with the power drill so they can stay hanging on the wall.  I may rehab one for the peg holes though.

Offline ShimodaLife

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2021, 03:16:47 PM »
I do have some old "T" handle augers in several sizes and I figured they would not work with the power drill so they can stay hanging on the wall.  I may rehab one for the peg holes though.
I can't help with the drill press question, but I did get a chance to use an old T-handle auger last weekend while building a shaving horse. I bought a couple of them on auction, and was surprised at how well they work. I intend to use them for all my peg holes on a current timber frame tiny house that is waiting to be raised right now. 
I have a feeling this picture isn't properly upright, though I've tried in this album editor to do it right. Sigh...


 
Currently tracking Phase 2 of a mountain homestead build.
Phase 1: Access to Mountain, Phase 2: Site Preparation, Phase 3: Timberframe Home Build, Phase 4: Landscape and Hardscape

Offline everythingwood

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2021, 09:14:24 PM »
Wow :o  are you drilling all the way through the house with those?  

The ones I have are probably about 14 inches long.  i have used them before and will for peg holes.  I just don't want to have to bore 9.5 inch through-tenons in 8" ash posts with them.

Be sure to post pics of the tiny house!

And post a picture of the shaving horse... I have one of those on the to-do list as well.

Online Jeff

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2021, 08:08:16 AM »
Boring a hole with a properly sharp auger in a properly dry timber is not a "have to" job in my view, its a joy. While never having built a pegged timber frame, i have experienced the return of the feel of the wood slicing up and out of the holes from the moderate effort you put into it and it is fulfilling.  
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2021, 11:29:25 AM »
I have a 2 inch model that's 5 feet long. Couldn't see any use for it until an elderly neighbor enlightened me. It's a stump getter. Drill a 2 inch hole under a stump, insert 1 stick of dynamite, light fuse and run.. Yes dynamite was readily available at local hardware stores back around 100 years ago. 
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Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2021, 01:57:03 PM »
Dynamite was readily available here in the NW until some time in the 1960's or 1970's when due to people making and using it for bombs the Feds put restrictions on it and a person had to get certified to be a powderman.

Offline everythingwood

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2021, 03:30:20 PM »
Boring a hole with a properly sharp auger in a properly dry timber is not a "have to" job in my view, its a joy.


You are correct, but having to do it several hundred times while making mortices for a frame starts feeling like "have to".  Especially when you have a day job!  I get the same feeling from a freshly tuned and sharpened hand plane... that sliiiiiiiick is a wonderful sound and feel and I use it on slab tops all the time.  I also have a planer and jointer when I need to size a few hundred board feet.

In my woodworkers guild there is a gentleman who builds all his projects exclusively with hand tools.  I already do all my dovetailing with hand tools but when I retire I aspire to do a lot more projects sans electricity. 

Offline everythingwood

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2021, 10:55:10 PM »
So today I got my drill and modified the yoke to hold it.  I was going to get a mixer drill but thought I wouldn't get that much use out of it so I went with a heavy duty Dewalt cordless.  It's a 20v Flexvolt drill and wow does it have some snot!  I chucked up a 1.5" auger bit and it blew through some dry ash from the firewood pile like it was Wonder Bread!

Anyhow, this drill has the adjustable side handle so I had to cut a hole in the yoke then grind away part of the yoke so the side handle would sit flat on the plate.  My brother is going to chuck up a smooth bar in the drill and make sure its parallel to the slide arm before welding the handle in place.  Since it still has to clamp he can only weld it on one end.  The handle clamp will hold the drill from rotating and I'll add a small hold-down at the top of the drill to help secure it in place.



  

I'll attach it to a good base board of course.  I thought I would add a few screws just protruding from the base board so I can kneel on the board while drilling to prevent it from moving.

Sawyer should be coming next week.  I have 74 logs awaiting.  8)

Offline Crusarius

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2021, 04:06:38 PM »
nice. 

what? no pics of the hole?

Offline everythingwood

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2021, 11:16:49 PM »
Well I finally got the drill mounted and the carriage fastened to a base.  I plan on a test run tomorrow night.



 

Online JRWoodchuck

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2021, 11:17:02 AM »
This thing is really awesome! Since I saw your first post about Ive began noticing all these old radial arm saws sitting on by people property!
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Offline everythingwood

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2021, 10:40:22 PM »
I chucked up an Irwin 1" ships auger and it sailed through the ash timber without any trouble.  The 1.5" Irwin bit taxed the drill a little but it bored through with no problems.  Both were done on low speed, which I believe is 600 rpm max.  I checked with a square and the 1.5" through-hole was perfectly square ;D.  I did jam the bit up on the through-hole using the short bit with extension... I know better, and tried clearing the chips but it got me anyways.  Had to detach the extension and use a needle-nose pliers to clean out the chips.



 


These are the test-holes on the end of a timber that will be trimmed.  I am very happy with the results.  


 

My brother mounted the drill by welding the auxiliary handle to the carriage (both are aluminum).  Since the handle has to tighten up, you can only weld one end of the "clamp".  I added an aluminum block on top to hold the drill down.  the block is bolted on and has a narrow piece of thick leather for padding. I had to be careful not to block off the holes for cooling the motor located on the back end of the drill.

Offline Stephen1

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Re: DIY Beam Drill
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2021, 11:19:10 PM »
I like it. Nice job. 
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