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Old 05-30-2019, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default Drilling a 4ft long hole in a post.

Short story is, I've been asked to drill a hole lengthwise in a Cedar 6"x6"x4' post. The hole needs to be 4ft long through the center of the post. Diameter isn't critical as long as one 12/2 MC cable can pass through it.

Any ideas or experience on drilling this hole?
I was thinking of using an 1 1/8" auger with two 18" drill bit extensions. I'd drill about 24" from each end and hope the holes meet. 1 1/8" will give me a better chance of the holes finding each other compared to 3/4". The other option is a 1 1/8" x 18" auger with one 18" extension.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:04 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have a plan that will work. All I can say is don't use the long flexible drill bits, and don't ask why I know


Tim.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:09 PM   #3
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Rackatiers sells a gadget that lets you make an extension of any length with threaded rod.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:11 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have a plan that will work. All I can say is don't use the long flexible drill bits, and don't ask why I know


Tim.
I have one of those 4ft Flexible bits, I can imagine the damage they can cause. I heard of one guy drilling ceiling joists in the living room, the bit went up through the floor and through the front of a dresser.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:12 PM   #5
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Rackatiers sells a gadget that lets you make an extension of any length with threaded rod.
Thanks, I'll look at that.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:04 PM   #6
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I'd stay with the heavier bit, as you'll have more control with it. Can you lay the post on it's side? If you can, then level it, mark the center on each end, and start drilling. If you have someone that can monitor that your drill is going level and square (eye balling from the end) you should be good. Even using a string line ran down the long axis of the post, below it, and about 3' past it might help You should be able to drill both ends to the middle too, so long as you are square and level while drilling.
I saw it on Timber Kings where they had to drill something similar. Just remember there'll be a fair amount of torque on your bit if left to do the whole thing, so I'd be leaning to frequently pulling the bit out to clean it up.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:19 PM   #7
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Go with the 18" auger bit, I use one for log homes and they will stay straight, just keep an eye on it.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:18 PM   #8
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Another way to go, you could take it to a window & door shop. They have bits made for coring doors, they are used for electronic locks / strikes etc., those go to 48" - 54" for big doors. They are made to drill super straight so they don't ruin the doors.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:22 PM   #9
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This is the one, I couldn't remember the name, the Javelin

https://www.rack-a-tiers.com/product/the-javelin/
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:35 PM   #10
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In the old days one would drill at a 30 degree angle down the post and chisel out an area for a square patch. Do that for the length of the pole until you get far enough along to do what you need to do. There are many better options today, but just make sure and practice on some scrap first if you can.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:55 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. There has been good advice here. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeFL View Post
In the old days one would drill at a 30 degree angle down the post and chisel out an area for a square patch. Do that for the length of the pole until you get far enough along to do what you need to do. There are many better options today, but just make sure and practice on some scrap first if you can.
Damn Mike...How old are you?
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:00 PM   #13
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good luck I think you may need a little.
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:59 PM   #14
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I've drilled ten foot down thru Ohia tree trunks that were used in the interior of fancy houses as posts for balconies and beams . Jeff Johnson (deceased) was the builder. Anyway up along Ke-nui road there are a dozen of houses Jeff built using this type of post. We welded a 7/8" Greenlee ships auger into a 1/2" Galvanized Rigid conduit. On the other end we welded some stock that was just like the beveled dumb end of a ships auger bit. That became our Ohia tree bit. We would drill it down to the chuck. Then use another bit to drill out a spot to fit a switch box into. The cables were already coming thru the top beams by the time we stood up the posts. We fished the cables into the posts as we stood em up and then Jeff nailed em off. End of story.


And now to piss off Sabrina: Jeff Johnson's nephew is the singer songwriter Jack Johnson. End of story.
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:18 AM   #15
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We drilled two posts and it worked out well. I screwed long 2x4's to the post as guides, one for horizontal, one for vertical. It took about an hour on each post because the cedar was wet and stringy. We spent more time cleaning out the saw dust than we did drilling, but it worked out.
Thanks for everyone's advice.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:47 PM   #16
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It's cool it worked for you. Just for discussion, what if you used some 1/2 EMT as a sleeve for long flexible bit to stiffen it up from bending?
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:29 AM   #17
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It's cool it worked for you. Just for discussion, what if you used some 1/2 EMT as a sleeve for long flexible bit to stiffen it up from bending?
i like the way you think.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
Rackatiers sells a gadget that lets you make an extension of any length with threaded rod.
True but I learned the hard way on 4x4 posts that using an auger with a 12" - 18" extension adding as you go keeping them plumb as possible as you go works best with no need for flipping the post.

I had to drill down from the top 42" and then drill in from the side under the deck to run UF for post lights.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:48 AM   #19
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It's cool it worked for you. Just for discussion, what if you used some 1/2 EMT as a sleeve for long flexible bit to stiffen it up from bending?

I am just thinking about it too, it's harder than it seems at first glance... I like the ideawith the pipe but I don't think it would help - an emt follower would only narrow the hole a little bit. The shaft can flex enough with in that hole to get off track.



The Bumper Balls for flex bits might be something close...






They don't make these in small sizes but if you found a hole saw that made slugs the right size, and made a bunch of slugs, that might do the job.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I have one of those 4ft Flexible bits, I can imagine the damage they can cause. I heard of one guy drilling ceiling joists in the living room, the bit went up through the floor and through the front of a dresser.
That may or may not have been me
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