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Old 09-09-2011, 10:49 AM   #1
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


Hi, new to this forum- Greetings from upstate NY.

I'm wondering what the best drill size (power, torque, etc) and drill bit would be to drill 1 1/2 inch to 2" wide holes through logs. The logs would be about 14 inches long, and I would drill 2 holes-- 1 straight through the length about 11 inches down, and another through the side that would meet up with the first hole. These are for Swedish Torches, which would burn standing up. Any advice on the proper handheld drill/bit combo would be helpful, as I haven't bought a new drill in years. Thanks!

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Old 09-09-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


Not exactly what you're going to do, but I have built my own log home so have some experience with this. The biggest holes I had to drill were 1 inch, about 12 inches deep. Lowe's and Home Depot carry bits long enough for that. I don't know if they go as big as 2 inches, or if you'd want to pay what such a bit would likely cost. For what you're doing, I'd suggest a spade bit. I've seen them long enough for what you want to do.

As for the drill, get a good quality, 1/2-inch, corded drill (I have a Milwaukee). You definitely want one with a handle on the side so you can hold it with two hands. If the bit hangs up, the drill will twist right out of your hands, maybe smacking you in the leg (don't ask how I know). Spade bits may not be as susceptible to this. You'll also need at least a 12-gauge extension cord and a 20-amp circuit to plug into.

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Old 09-09-2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


On a 2" hole, I'd choose an auger over a spade.


A drill press would be ideal. If you're hellbent on a handheld, definitely go with a corded 120V unit of at least 8 amps. The Bosch SDS are good, beefy drills that are quite versatile as they work as regular drilling, hammer drilling and also miniature jack hammers. You can find great deals on reconditioned all the time online.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


I would suggest a Forstner bit and use a 1/2 drill here is a link to an affordable bit,

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...XV9X5088EKFY68
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:05 PM   #5
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


i thought the swedish torch was the one where you split the log in 1/4's almost all the way through.

i guess this is same idea, i assume you are drilling the horizontal hole for air intake?
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:07 PM   #6
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


Yeah, this is what I want to do-- they look very cool

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Old 09-10-2011, 09:01 AM   #7
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


A SHARP forstner or an auger type for those holes would be my choice. You are more likely to find a forstner bit in that diameter, with a decent shaft than an auger and at an affordable price point. You may have to take a new one to a sharpener to have it trued up so it does not wobble especially if purchased at a box store. A paddle bit that long and in that diameter would be rather dangerous. You will want a 1/2 drill to hold the shaft but also for the extra power. I would go with a corded one as suggested.

A company I worked for used to harvest lodgepole pines the forestry department wanted to thin out or get rid of and we used the forstner type bit most of the time for large diameter holes. We had to fit round rails into posts as part of the product line we sold.

Last edited by user1007; 09-10-2011 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:57 AM   #8
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


If you use a ship auger, you'll want a triple reduction drill, with a low RPM and high torque, such as this old Craftsman of mine. I used to run a 3/4" ship auger through treated marine pilings up to 14" thick for hours on end with this drill.

A self feeding forstner bit might be a little less likely to fetch up in the hole.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:07 PM   #9
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


Love seeing an oldie but goodie tool like that with some real miles on it. No neon plastic anywhere in the photo and as I remember, not in the motor gears either.

Although the marine supplier was not mentioned specifically, such a place might be a great place for you to find the diameter bit you need. If you have a sharpening shop near you? Mind use to have all kinds of treasures in terms of blades and bits people never bothered to pick up and that they sold for a $1. Nothing wrong with them.

I was sad when my sharpener closed. His crew did everything from bits and saw blades to kitchen knives and at a nice price point. They also balanced anything as part of the service.

No more dangerous a tool than a dull tool!
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:08 PM   #10
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


Get a spade handle drill! A Milwaukee 1660-6 or a 1663-20! The former triple geared at 450tpm;the latter triple geared w/ power electronics w/ a speed dial adjustable from 115-450rpm! I own a 1663! Beautiful well made powerhouse! I'd use a Milwaukee self feed bit!
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:17 PM   #11
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


Or here's a different twist! A Milwaukee 9072 impact wrench w/ a 7/16 to 1/2 inch square drive adapter! Use up to a 2 9/16 7/16 hex shank Milwaukee self feed bit! I buried a 2 inch self feed in a tree stump! With no torque twist!
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:57 PM   #12
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


I drilled a hole for a vacuum line shrough a 12" cedar beam with a forstner bit. It drills really well, lots of bite. The bigger the drill the better, 7 amps would be minimum. Best bet would be something like the drill pictured above or a 550 rpm Makita drill. I rented it from the hardware store.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:52 PM   #13
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How to drill 1 1/2- 2" wide holes in Logs


Quote:
Originally Posted by loneframer
If you use a ship auger, you'll want a triple reduction drill, with a low RPM and high torque, such as this old Craftsman of mine. I used to run a 3/4" ship auger through treated marine pilings up to 14" thick for hours on end with this drill.

A self feeding forstner bit might be a little less likely to fetch up in the hole.
I actually scored the drill you pictured on eBay for $51.00 plus $25 shipping brand new in the box It is a Dewalt Dw 131 in craftsman clothing! I mostly use my Milwaukee 1663-20 but for $76 I couldn't resist! What can I say I love drills!

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