drilling holes in dowels - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 10-27-2008, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Question drilling holes in dowels

This may be for another area but I will start here. I build custom fishing rods and what I'm trying to do is center bore or drill out a 1" long piece of dowel, I have a metal lathe so starting the hole is easy but with the long brad point bits I notice that half way through it starts to wobble, coming out the other end it is off center. Are there shorter bits I can buy or is there some other way to drill out the dowel? My drill press although good enough for short holes, it is not precise enough to drill the holes same problem as on the lathe.
I'm drilling out 1/2" dowel with 1/4" brad point, gluing in 1/4" dowel in the hole, then drilling 1/2" hole in reel seat stock then turning.
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-27-2008, 08:13 PM
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Big Fish,
How long is the hole you are drilling? Can you drill it halfway and then flip the piece in your lathe and drill it from the other end to complete the hole? Make sure you keep backing out the drill to clear the chips. The chips can easily fill the flutes in the bit and cause it to wander.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-27-2008, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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That's what I ended up doing but used a different type bit. The dowel is only 1" long, had to think a little while before I worked it out, just extra work doing it that way, just hoping an easier way, than drill 1/2 turn drill other 1/2.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-27-2008, 09:17 PM
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Bigfishbite take a 4x4 about 10" long and cut a "v" cut out of the middle across the 4x4. Clamp the 4x4 down to your drill press table with the "v" on the side and then with a c-clamp clamp your dowel in the "v" cut. It will stand the dowel on one end and use a drill bit made to drill metal to drill all the way through your dowel. If the "v" cut is right and straight, it will work for you. You can also use the 4x4 to drill a hole through the side of the dowel by clamping the 4x4 down to the table with the "v" on top. I have one hanging on the wall in my shop made of oak. I use it a lot to drill holes in shafts for cotterpins.

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post #5 of 7 Old 10-28-2008, 09:12 AM
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Big Fish,
Another way I was thinking of is to take a piece of wood slightly larger than your finish diameter and drill a hole in the center on your drill press. Chuck it up on the lathe using the hole as your centerline and turn the outside down to what you need. That way the ID and the OD would be concentric to each other.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-28-2008, 10:19 AM
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BigFishBite - with your dowel only being one inch long - I would not thing this should be a problem on a drill press. As was stated removing the chips - backing the bit - should lessen the wobble. I needed to do the same thing, except with bigger dowels. This is the method I used. (Note - these photo are not from my project - but where I got the idea.) I first drilled the hole into the 2 x 4 to accept the dowel I was using, then found the center of the dowel. I clamped the 2 x4 to the drill table and drilled the hole, again backing out the bit to remove the chips, and drill clear through the dowel making my hole. The hole came out the other end of the dowel right on center. I also drilled a small 1/8" hole in the side of the 2 x 4 and into the dowel - placing a nail into that hole - to stop the dowel from turning. Also as shown in the photo - if you drill the hole into the 2 x4 and do not go through all the way, you have the small hole showing and you can place many dowels into the hole and make your center mark on each one - thus saving a lot of time trying to find the center of the dowel through other methods. Also check your bit and make sure that it is not bent a little, that could cause a wobble.
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Last edited by LarrySch; 10-28-2008 at 10:30 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-28-2008, 01:42 PM
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I think you could buy short solid carbide bits...It dosen`t sound like you are having trouble finding center...just the right bit... Rick

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