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drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: Peter Chan (---.hsd1.mi.comcast.net)
Date: July 26, 2010 02:01AM

This is my first attempt at making a cork fly rod handle for a light, 2 weight fly rod from individual cork rings that are not pre-drilled. I am looking to fashion a 6 inch handle from twelve, 1/2" x 1 1/8" rings. I need to drill a hole that is centered on the ring that is around 3/16'' in diameter. So far, my attempts at using a regular 3/16" wood drill bit has ended with the holes being off-centered and not emerging directly opposite the top entry point where the bit comes through the bottom. In addition, the holes are chunky and a bit bigger than 3/16". I have rendered at least 3 or 4 of the 12 flor grade rings useless! I have tried a drill press at work and a hand held drill at home. Both drills using a regular wood bit seem to catch the cork and would create uneven holes. I hand held the cork and did not clamp it down.

Do I need to start with a smaller bit at a higher speed and then progress to the desired bit diameter once I have a smaller hole drilled? Or do I need to use an entirely different type of drill bit and approach?

Anyone out there sell high grade cork rings that are pre-drilled to a diameter less than .25"?

Thanks for anyone's help and suggestions!

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Re: drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: Bill Eshelman (---.skylan.net)
Date: July 26, 2010 06:36AM

If you have a simple round file in your tool box, that could get you started. Until I bought my reamers that was all I used. Just becareful to keep your hole centered and perependicular to the ring. It is really easy to get off on an angle.


Bill

Ohio Rod Builders

Canton, Ohio



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2010 06:37AM by Bill Eshelman.

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Re: drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: Mike Winkler (---.samuelmanutech.com)
Date: July 26, 2010 06:49AM

I do every thing with a hand drill. Run your drill in reverse when using a wood bit. Takes a little longer, but it doesn't bite and tear like it does in forward. Makes a cleaner edge too. You think you need to start with a smaller pilot hole then work your way up in size. Do your final fit with reamer or round file. The other thing is to make sure as you go you are keeping the hole clean.

Mike

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Re: drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: Gary Henderson (---.mco.bellsouth.net)
Date: July 26, 2010 09:35AM

I use cone-shaped bits in my drill press. Mark the cork centers, and the drill press will make certain the bit emerges exactly opposite its entry point. Very suitable drill presses are available new from about $40...even less used.

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Re: drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: July 26, 2010 09:45AM

This might give you some ideas:

[www.rodbuilding.org]

If you have a lathe with a self centering chuck, you can bore them that way as well. One key is to use a regular twist drill bit and bore at a fairly high speed. This keeps the cork from tearing.

..............

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Re: drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: Peter Appel (70.158.139.---)
Date: July 26, 2010 10:40AM

Another approach, along the lines that Tom suggested, would be to use a 1 1/8 " Forstner bit (the kind that removes the wood from the drilled area) or a sharp wood bit of the same size, and drill a pocket just under 1/8 " deep in a piece of scrap wood about 1 1/2" in thickness. The center pilot of the bit will provide a mark to drill the 3/16" hole through the rest of the piece. You will need to be careful to keep this hole straight (use the drill press at work). Put the cork in the pocket, flip it over and clamp it to another piece of wood on the workbench. The compression of the cork will keep it from spinning and reduce the chipping/tearing at the hole edges, and the hole in the wood will act as a drill guide to help keep you centered and straight. Run the drill in reverse, and I think you'll be able to get the results you're looking for. You also might get better results by deepening the pocket to just under 1/4", and drilling 2 corks at a time - the extra thickness and compression provides better support and helps to reduce the tearing.

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Re: drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: July 26, 2010 11:04AM

[www.rodbuilding.org]

I just use a round tapered file in the drill press. By reaming a hole rather than drilling a hole, you never tear up the cork.
Also, by using a cork jig as shown above, the hole will always be well centered.

Take care
Roger

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Re: drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: July 26, 2010 11:09AM

Might be a lot easier to get cork with the 1/4" hole and build it up where it will sit

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: drilling holes in small cork rings & messin' up!
Posted by: J.B. Hunt (---.ppoe.dsl.logantele.com)
Date: July 26, 2010 06:58PM

I use a small conical shaped Carbide Burr to drill cork, probably like Roger is talking about. It actually grinds it's way through. I use a drill press but a hand drill will work good also. Just make sure you start in the center of the cork ring.

J.B.Hunt
Bowling Green, KY

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