Step-Boring

A forum to discuss the arcane art of making uilleann pipes, reeds, and set maintenance.

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texasbagpiper
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Step-Boring

Post by texasbagpiper » Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:59 pm

I know this topic was brought up in the past, but would like to start a thread just about step-boring. When I started pipe making I would round off a blank and drill a pilot hole all the way through the wood with a gun drill. Then, I would step drill from the smallest bit up to the largest last. After I heard Bill H. say he doesn't use a pilot hole and step bores from the largest diameter first down to the smallest. I gave it a try with spur bit's and it worked out very well and I didn't have the problem with the bits getting steaming hot from step-boring from smallest to largest. The problem I found with spur bits is it makes a very slow cut and actually takes quite a bit of torque compared to twist bits. I don't mind that it takes a little longer to do it this way when it comes out nicely. I would like to hear of alternative methods used by you other pipe-makers/hobbyist. :mrgreen:

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dirk the piper
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Post by dirk the piper » Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:36 pm

I'm doing it by boring larger to smaller, because that's the way Kirk Lynch and Tim Britton suggested I try it. Since then I learned that BillH and David Quinn also bore that way, so given that endorsement, I'm going to keep working on this technique.

Other than the first 3/8-inch hole, I start each step with a step D-bit, and finish off with a gun drill. This method, unfortunately requires a fairly big investment in gun drill bits.

So, far it has worked well for me on D-chanters. However, I recently have had a bit of trouble keeping the bore straight enough when making a very narrow bore for my first attempt at a C or B chanter. I suspect I need to remake my step bit which steps from 3/16th down to 1/8 inch. Perhaps I also need to be a bit more ginger with the 1/8 inch gun drill. It's pretty bendy compared to the other ones.

-Dirk
I'm a piper, you're a piper, he's a piper, she's a piper - wouldn't you like to be a piper too?

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DMQuinn
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Post by DMQuinn » Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:24 pm

Do you two (Texasbag and Dirk the) have the means to post photographs of the bits you are using?

The terms "spur bits" and "step D-bits" might not mean the same things to everyone, and pictures would be helpful both to others who want to try something new and to those who already have a system worked out.

upiper71
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Post by upiper71 » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:31 am

I'd be curious to see as well to see your pictures of the bits you'd use, and what size of gun drill bit you are using to step-bore. I'm researching gun-drill bits in the area to buy, because I don't have the tools necessary to make them.

D. :?

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dirk the piper
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Post by dirk the piper » Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:07 pm

I'll figure out how to post some pictures soon. Good idea.

-Dirk
I'm a piper, you're a piper, he's a piper, she's a piper - wouldn't you like to be a piper too?

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the plod
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Post by the plod » Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:59 pm

Dirk, if you need I can host the images for you. (I am actually working on a way to integrate uploads into the forum), but in the meantime just let me know....

Jeff

Kevin Popejoy
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Post by Kevin Popejoy » Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:25 pm

dirk the piper wrote:I'll figure out how to post some pictures soon. Good idea.

-Dirk
Hey Dirk,

Here's the address of the free hosting site I use. Very simple to use:

http://www.imageshack.us/

knock yourself out, k

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dirk the piper
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Post by dirk the piper » Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:49 pm

Guys, that's great! Thanks for al lthe help. It looks like I can host images at Comcast, too, where I have an account, and I'm also looking into a place where I used to host web sites, and will again someday. If I have trouble with one of those, I'll email them right to you, Jeff.

Anyway, since I'm working at my real job, I just need to snap some photos and get them to you.

-Dirk
I'm a piper, you're a piper, he's a piper, she's a piper - wouldn't you like to be a piper too?

texasbagpiper
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Post by texasbagpiper » Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:06 pm

http://www.hunanie.com/1001.jpg


The real name for spur bits is Brad Point bits..



These are a new bit I'm trying because they self center on the bore. I also use some gun drills and D-bits..

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dirk the piper
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Post by dirk the piper » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:32 am

Since my two-year-old son wouldn't let me approach the camera last night, I'll at least mention that the step D-bits I made are supposed to be like the ones David Quinn describes in his article on Taylor drones on his CD Rom. I will post a picture of these home-made bits as well as a couple gun drills as soon as I can manage it.
-Dirk
I'm a piper, you're a piper, he's a piper, she's a piper - wouldn't you like to be a piper too?

MHay
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Post by MHay » Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:29 am

I put some pics of step drills I made that seem to work well. The last photo in the slide shows drill that have front pilots for use after you have drilled an initial bore all the way through. They work alright, but the OD guided step drilling works better and is significantly faster.

http://img124.imageshack.us/slideshow/p ... 576fq.smil

(This is my first time posting pictures, hope it works)

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dirk the piper
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Post by dirk the piper » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:47 am

MHay,

Nice pictures! I plan on remaking some of my step bits. They are much like yours - the first ones in your slide show, except that I had filed them beyond the step. I think that the tip of my smallest step bits (1/4" to 3/16" and 3/16" to 1/8") are a little crooked, or allow for a little too much flex, and may be causing my difficulties in keeping the bore straight through the throat area. I also made them on my wood lathe, using a file before I had a metal lathe.
-Dirk
I'm a piper, you're a piper, he's a piper, she's a piper - wouldn't you like to be a piper too?

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dirk the piper
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Post by dirk the piper » Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:11 am

Here is a useful link with information on boring and making different types of bits for the job:
http://www.bagpipeworld.co.uk/MakingBagpipes/Drill.htm

-Dirk
I'm a piper, you're a piper, he's a piper, she's a piper - wouldn't you like to be a piper too?

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