Drilling large holes

Ceramic ES lampholderI haven’t managed to complete any craft projects since my last post, but I have made a start on my Edison-type lamp.  I sourced a suitable lampholder from China – it’s the ceramic type that is really meant for use with infra-red heat bulbs, but it will do; it has parallel sides that will fit neatly into a drilled hole.  It is also non-conductive, but that doesn’t matter so much since I bought three-core flex instead of two-core because I think it looks better, which means I have a third core to use as an earth if needed.

My intention is to sink the lampholder into a hardwood block so that it is just below the surface and will be more or less hidden by the curve of the bulb.  Actually, I’ll need to insert it from underneath.  Now, drilling a hole of this diameter (35mm or 1 3/8”) neatly isn’t easy without a) a Forstner bit, and b) a drill press.  Fortunately, the one Forstner bit we possess (bought for fitting hinges into kitchen cupboard doors when we refurbished the kitchen 15 years ago) is just the right size.  So I dug out the seldom-used drill press from under a bench in the garage, found it was seized solid, disassembled and lubricated it, put it back together again and then discovered that the clamp that holds the drill vertically wasn’t big enough to take our cordless drill.  Clearly, the drill press hasn’t been used since we acquired this drill.

Back to the drawing board.  I tried drilling holes in some scrap timber but the Forstner bit wandered all over the place and I just ended up with oval holes and a lot of surface damage.  I turned to YouTube, like you do.  One suggestion for using a large Forstner bit without a drill press was to constrain it by clamping another piece of wood with a hole of the correct size through it on top of the piece of wood you want to drill.  There’s an obvious chicken and egg problem there: how to drill that first hole in scrap timber?  I called on the services of my dear husband, who sensibly fitted an extra handle onto the cordless drill and was then able to hold it steady enough (after a few initial wobbles) to drill a nicely circular hole right though a piece of ½” thick pine.

Forstner bit

Forstner bit and the hole it produced in scrap timber

Clamping this on top of my block of hardwood worked a treat, the bit just didn’t get chance to wander because it started off in a hole that was already ½” deep.

Hole in hardwood block

The finished hole, with a small pilot hole drilled through to locate the centre on the underside

The next step is to cut a larger hole on the underside of the block, to allow the lampholder to be pushed up from below and providing somewhere for it to be screwed onto.  This larger hole will also provide room for the flex to be connected using a terminal block.  I’m going to use a router to do this, but for that I need to wait for good weather, it’s just too messy and dusty doing it indoors.

Slipped stitch socks

I’m working on my green and yellow Alternating Slip-Stitch Socks.  This is the first time I’ve knitted a slipped stitch pattern on socks and there’s an issue I hadn’t anticipated: the patterned instep is shorter than the plain stocking stitch sole, because the slipped stitches (which are slipped over four rows) draw the fabric up.  I couldn’t decide when to start the heel, because when the underside of the foot was at the right length, the upper side was still too short.  In the end I went by the sole measurement, on the basis that the heel is on that side.

Alternating slip stitch sockNow that I am safely round the heel (Fish Lips Kiss again) and can try the sock on, it seems to have worked.

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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