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Y.T.

Problem with cannon ball shelf. Please help.

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I have problem building cannon ball shelves around deck gratings. Wood strip is 1 x 3 mm walnut. Need to drill round cavities for cannon balls with 1.5mm drill. Wood splits and chips off all the time. I already tried drilling with 3 drill sizes as in sequence: 0.6 mm then 1mm then 1.5 mm. I secured strip into a vice. All this did not help. May be someone knows a technique how to overcome this problem?

Thanks

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From what I see, the holes themselves are not that bad.  They are far more even than the ones I have tried to make.  Once filled with cannon balls, they would look fine....almost.  I think the problem is with the wood.  I have found walnut to be brittle and coarse grained.  My preference for something like this is boxwood, if you can get it. :dancetl6:  If not box, anything with a finer grain and less brittle.   Others with more experience with wood should be able to recommend.

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Thanks, I tried a lime wood strip 1.5 x 5 mm. It drills no problem! I can sand it down to required size. Wood texture is beautiful But the color is white. It does not match well with surrounding colors. Painting the wood I consider a sacrilege.

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Posted (edited)

It looks like you only need to make an indentation really with the final drill - so try running the drill in reverse.  I reckon that this will work with that particular wood, just work away at the hole gently

Edited by No Idea
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A couple of questions, YT.   Are you using a standard drill or a ball bit?   I find the ball bits work better for this.    Also,  hand drilling?  drill press? or mill?   If a drill press, clamp a guide piece down to slide the wood against and every hole will be the same.   Also set the down stop so each hole is the same depth.   The hand drilling is the tough one... practice, practice, practice is about the only way.  Last thoght... put a line on the bit if handheld or drill press without a down stop such that the line will give you a visual reference on the deep so you'll get consistant depths.

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You might try soaking the wood in super glue before you drill it.  This will harden the surface and bind the fibers together making it less prone to splintering.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks very much to all. Very informative answers. No, I do not own any power tools including drill press or mill. All is hand drilling.  I neither have Dremmel. I also do not have round head bits yet. I think I should get some. I meantime found some 2 x 5 mm mahogany strips. This wood appeared to be much more workable compared to 1 x 3 mm walnut per kit instructions. Out of 2 x 5 mm strips I made 1.5 mm x 3.5 mm strips with a little plane (see below) and using a digital caliper. I started to drill again. Soon I realized making so many little holed one beside the other without CNC machine is a task not rewarding. Whatever one does holes are always visually a bit out of proper line and spacing. I decided to make sort of a trough out of the strip and this is what I got. I am almost satisfied. What do you guys think?

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Edited by Y.T.

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Posted (edited)

I do not know now. The chiseled one also look good in context. I had straightened and squared the shelf up.

 

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Edited by Y.T.
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For aesthetic reasons the trough would seem to be the answer BUT  in real usage it would be very impractical. Remove one ball and they roll, move two it gets worse, remove three and the movement bounces balls out the end. The drilled one, whilst being a PITA to make, is the way to go. IMHO.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Y.T.

 

Looks like the trough might be a viable solution, I imagine those cannon balls could easily roll off a ‘dimpled’ shelf in a seaway, adding fiddles forming a trough would help secure them.

 

If you’re keen on the straight shelf rather than the trough, you don’t actually need to dimple it, drill straight through, with a ball on each hole you can’t see the hole. As Jim said, start with a larger piece and finish to size after making the holes.

 

I’d also suggest a simple jig to drill the holes, something like the one here,

https://www.todayshomeowner.com/video/diy-jig-for-drilling-perpendicular-holes/

add a spacer on one arm to set the drill bit the approprite distance from the side of your shelf, put a notch on the underside of the other arm so you can slide the shelf along after each drilling operation. I’d also put a second hole in the base the appropriate distance from the corner so you can drill the first hole in the shelf, line that up over the second hole in the base and drop a dowel through to index the next hole.

 

Mark

Edited by mgdawson
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Hi Mark - mgdawson, your jig idea was EXCELLENT. I made up a jig and drilled 40 holes with it so accurate - no need CNC! See here. Cannot show the jig now as it was from wood and now is in repair so I can continue with another 120 holes.

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