10-11-2012 08:05 AM
Someone requested that I make some wooden gnome houses out of logs (for the kids or maybe the garden) but I’m unsure what type of tool or bit I need to hollow out the middle of the logs. Whatever it is will need to cut holes ranging in diameter from 2” up to maybe 8” (in 2” increments) with a cutting depth/length of 6” to preferably 12”. Originally I was thinking something that could cut a usable core out of the log would be best so I could use the core for other projects but I’m having trouble finding anything like that so even a more typical drill bit would be acceptable if that’s all I can find. Also, money is VERY tight so I’m hoping to find something that wont break the bank either. Does anybody have any suggestions as to the best method for doing this, the tool/s I need, or the best type of bit/s?
10-11-2012 08:26 AM
Years ago log planters were real popular. To make one you cut off either side of the log with a chainsaw. Then the middle was cut out and the two sides nailed back on. Unless you looked really close you couldn't it wasn't one piece. Would something like that work for you?
10-11-2012 08:39 AM
krumy205747: Maybe. That's basically my question . . . how do I hollow out a log from end to end in diameters ranging from 2" up to 8", preferably keeping the core for later use?
10-11-2012 09:05 AM
To me, ripping the log in half makes the most sense. Then depending upon the diameter of the log, using an Adz or some type of a gouge to hollow it out. As far as saving the center of the log for future use is concerned, there isn't anything to save in a 2" diameter log, and what you would save in an 8" log wouldn't amount to much in my way of thinking. An 8" log hollowed out with 1/2" walls leaves you a 7" diameter log. When you throw out the pith in the center, it only leaves you with a couple of very narrow 1x's for use.
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10-11-2012 09:33 AM
Don't rip the log in two, don't use axes or adzes, and because it's on the inside of the log, don't worry about what the birds, gnomes, squirrels, etc., think about the inside finish.
Now what did your mother tell you so many years ago, at the dinner table? TAKE SMALL BITES, AND CHEW WELL!
Get the largest Forstner bit you have, also get a bit extension and make multiple overlapping holes to your desired depth until you have your desired hollow. Take small bites, and chew well!
10-11-2012 09:44 AM
Someone who actually knows what they are doing should respond to this suggestion. Could you do it like a band saw box? Use 1/4" blade, cut through and core out, exiting through the same kerf, then glue it back together??
10-11-2012 05:36 PM
Try the category "auger" when looking for long bits. You can buy hole saws in small-diameter increments, but anything much deeper than 2" seems to be very specialized*. I'd suggest you start the hole on each end with a conventional hole saw, as deep as you can drive it*, then use augers (maybe 3/4" diameter) to drill a series of holes between the two new end cavities. Use chisels to empty the remaining material and dress out the interior. I think it will take some practice to drill straight, but the hole saw at each end will give you a good looking visible end.
*Realize you are going to have to be careful with the larger-diameter and depth hole saws in timber. There is a lot of torque, increasing greatly as the saw diameter increases. If you're not careful, you can break an arm if a large diameter hole saw jams up. Take it slow and careful. And rig a clamp for the timber; don't try to hold it between your feet.
10-12-2012 04:11 AM
I also thought the bandsaw box technique should work , first, ensure the ends of the log are cut smoothly and squarely as possible. A jig on a miter saw or bandsaw would allow you to do this easily. I made a bird house using that technique just playing around. Thought I had a picture, sorry no time to take another.