Boring in green wood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-05-2020, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Boring in green wood

What is the best method/tool for boring in a green piece of wood. I've started to try vases and hollow forms and i've been using a 2" forstner bit in a jacobs chuck to bore down the center. It starts out ok but as i get deeper, the wood starts to bind from the heat.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-05-2020, 05:34 PM
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Why are you using green wood? Even if you get a good job, you are looking at the possibility of faults as the woods dries out.


GMC
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-05-2020, 06:42 PM
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I hesitated to reply. A 2 inch Forstner bit is fairly large. I assume you know the basics for drilling with a large Forstner bit?

* Make sure your bit is clean. Very clean. Sap, tar, and resin from green wood will be on the Forstner bit and increase friction a lot. Use a blade and bit cleaner. I have heard that Formula 409 (household cleaner) works almost as well, but have not tried it yet. Use a plastic or brass brush, not steel.

* Drill at a slow speed. For a 2 inch Forstner bit, the speed should be 500 RPM or lower. Maybe as low as 250 RPM. Some drill presses cannot go that slow. My old drill press was limited to about 800 RPM at its slowest.

* Drill only a little bit at a time, maybe 1/2 inch, then pull the bit completely out. If you're not actively cutting, then the bit should not be in the hole. The wood may tighten around the bit if it's stopped. If the bit is still rotating in the hole (but not cutting) then the spinning bit will create heat from friction.

* Blow out any shavings and sawdust still in the hole between drilling steps. I use an air compressor. Shavings and sawdust create friction heat when cutting.

* Allow the bit to cool between drilling steps. It takes much longer than you think. You must be patient; there is no magic. Your bits will last longer if you keep them cool, too. I try to speed it along by using the air compressor to blow air over the bit.

(I have heard of people using acetone to cool off their bits. I'd worry about cracking or weakening the bit with the sudden coolness. Maybe someone else here can share their experience with that.)
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-06-2020, 01:33 AM
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I believe we had a member (J.C something I think) who was an expert at working with green wood. I dunno what happened to him I just remember that he he did an awful lot of green woodworking and timber framing.



-T
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-06-2020, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Why are you using green wood? Even if you get a good job, you are looking at the possibility of faults as the woods dries out.


GMC
Green wood is so much easier to turn than KD. I usually rough turn, soak in pentacryl then let dry out for a while, then after i forgot about i go back and finish turn it. If you rough turn to a consistent thickness you don't get cracking all that often, warping yes but the rough turning is always thicker to account for that.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-06-2020, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
I hesitated to reply. A 2 inch Forstner bit is fairly large. I assume you know the basics for drilling with a large Forstner bit?

* Make sure your bit is clean. Very clean. Sap, tar, and resin from green wood will be on the Forstner bit and increase friction a lot. Use a blade and bit cleaner. I have heard that Formula 409 (household cleaner) works almost as well, but have not tried it yet. Use a plastic or brass brush, not steel.

* Drill at a slow speed. For a 2 inch Forstner bit, the speed should be 500 RPM or lower. Maybe as low as 250 RPM. Some drill presses cannot go that slow. My old drill press was limited to about 800 RPM at its slowest.

* Drill only a little bit at a time, maybe 1/2 inch, then pull the bit completely out. If you're not actively cutting, then the bit should not be in the hole. The wood may tighten around the bit if it's stopped. If the bit is still rotating in the hole (but not cutting) then the spinning bit will create heat from friction.

* Blow out any shavings and sawdust still in the hole between drilling steps. I use an air compressor. Shavings and sawdust create friction heat when cutting.

* Allow the bit to cool between drilling steps. It takes much longer than you think. You must be patient; there is no magic. Your bits will last longer if you keep them cool, too. I try to speed it along by using the air compressor to blow air over the bit.

(I have heard of people using acetone to cool off their bits. I'd worry about cracking or weakening the bit with the sudden coolness. Maybe someone else here can share their experience with that.)
I am definitely guilty of not cleaning my bits, are you saying to use formula 409 or similar to just clean or also as a cutting fluid while you're boring out??
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-06-2020, 07:10 PM
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I have only heard of Formula 409 being used as a bit and blade cleaning solution, a replacement for "blade cleaner." I am still using blade cleaner that I bought at the woodworking store, but I have been told by knowledgeable friends (in the woodworking club) that Formula 409 household cleaner works well. As I said, I have not tried it yet, but plan to use it once I run out of the blade cleaner.

Apply it to the bit and let it soak for a few minutes. Take a plastic or brass brush (not steel) and clean the bit. Remember to apply oil or wax before putting it away so it won't rust. If you're drilling into green wood, the moist residue may also encourage rust.

Additional points I forgot to mention above:

* Make sure the Forstner bit is sharp. You can resharpen Forstner bits if they are not too worn.

* Use light pressure with the drill press. Let the Forstner bit do its job. If you feel a need to press hard, the bit may not be sharp or it may be damaged.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-07-2020, 06:09 PM
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Here’s my suggestion - I sometimes do this drilling big holes on the lathe.

Start your 2” hole. Go about the depth of the bit, just enough to guide it later on.

Then, drill a smaller hole say 1-1/2” to the desired depth.

Then, go back and finish up your 2” hole. Since it now needs to remove less material and the 1-1/2” hole provides a place for the chips to go, drilling should go a bit smoother.
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