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Plug Building - Got Wood? Got Plug?

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Old 04-06-2007, 01:41 PM   #1
Sweetwater
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Through Wire - Question from a novice

I'm having a lot of problems drilling a straight hole for the through-wire. The bit wants to "travel with the grain" and doesn't center on both sides.

I've tried drilling from both sides and meeting in the middle with poor results.

What's the technique or type of drill bit for getting a 'centered' hole on both sides of the plug? Thanks, these are my first attempts at plug building.

Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:45 PM   #2
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What are you using to drill with? A drill press? A lathe? By hand?
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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What kind of wood and what's the method you're attempting to employ?

I've always used a regular bit to drill each end on a drill press using a simple jig, then finished the middle with a hand drill and a long bit.

Go slowly and be sure to clean out the shavings frequently.

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Old 04-06-2007, 01:58 PM   #4
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This must be the most asked problem....
The important thing is to have everthing lined up, Salty was kind enough a while back to post a suggestion on using a dowel center, tthat was an improvment over the finish nail I used to line up my plug on...

Keep in mind, if you spin the drill too fas5t, you will have problem, if you do not continualy clear chips you will have a problem.

If I'm using the drill press I normaly start with a 3" bit and drill from each end, then using stepping blocks finish the job..

If I'm using the lathe, I dont even bother, I can run the 6" bit through from each end and meet every time, the key is slow to moderate drill speed and clearing the chips...
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:59 PM   #5
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And with the lathe...
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:12 PM   #6
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Brad point bits. Go slow, back out the drill from time to time to clear the dust, and follow the steps that Rockfish outlined.

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Old 04-07-2007, 10:30 AM   #7
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I agree with Rockfish........ You MUST have everything lined up and use a dowel center. I also start with a short bit to get the holes started exactly straight then use a longer bit to drill the rest,,,,, A brad point bit with the spurs ground off has been a good improvement also,,,, Do not rush or force the bit or it will drift the hole away from Center,,,,
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:37 AM   #8
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I think the thickness of the bit matters a lot when you are having wandering troubles and starting out perfectly in line will help tremendously. I have the best luck with a 5/32" bit. An 1/8" bit is good for shorter plugs but tends to wander on a longer plug. The beginning first 1/2" to 1" have to be dead nuts, everybody does it the way they are most comfortable with. I use a lathe and have no problem, I can also get by with a hand drill once the ends are started on the lathe.
the advice you got so far from others is what you need to know. Start with short bit , then go to a long one and see if that helps.

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Old 04-07-2007, 03:10 PM   #9
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Dont forget the importance of SHARP drill bits. A dull bit will wander for sure. Try not to keep them in a drawer rolling into one another.
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Old 04-07-2007, 04:03 PM   #10
Bob Senior
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I've had almost no problems since I got a drill sharpener that's capable of splitting the point. Oh, and I drill them on the lathe, 50-50. I'm using maple for most plugs, some AYC for poppers. The maple is the most challenging for drilling.

FWIW, I drill the blank first. Then I center it around the hole cuz the hole is always off at least a little bit.

I found that the drill tends to try to wander less at about 1500 rpm compared with 500 rpm.
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Old 04-07-2007, 06:16 PM   #11
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All excellent methods and advice.
Every problem i've had was from getting antsy or forcing. Letting the drill do the work and taking your time will help.

" Choose Life "
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:12 PM   #12
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I'm using mostly maple and oak stock that a friend gets me from a furniture manufacturer. It's not the best wood, but it's cheap (i.e., free)

I wasn't able to get on the lathe this weekend, but will try the great advice out next weekend. Thanks to all for their comments!

Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.
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