|12 inch long by 2.5 inch diameter aluminum round bar with both ends cut square to the axial length using a lathe. While still in the lathe center holes were drilled in both ends for later use in the drill press. Ideally the center of the bar would have been drilled on the lathe but I do not have a lathe large enough to handle the 12 inches of material and another 7 to 13 inches of drill bit.
|At the Drill Press an initial 3/8 center hole was made through the entire bar. Five additional holes were layed out evenly around the bar and 3/8 inch pilot holes drilled. These five holes will later be enlarged to just over 3/4 of an inch.
|3/8 inch holes were used as the initial size because I felt at this size the extra-long drill bit would be stiff enough to not wonder off course as a 12 inch deep hole is very long and hard to drill straight.
Initial hole enlarging. Be very careful doing this as normal two flute bits can get stuck easily twisting a hand drill from your hands or ripping the bar from the securing jig on the drill press.
|Well after many many hours of drilling holes on the drill press and lathe I have the main cylinder done, and from the front it looks great.
|But from the rear the ultra deep holes (12 inches long) proved to be just a little too hard for me. two of the six wondered just a little and the 1/16 i was trying to leave at the thinest point between the holes was was breached by the drill bit. Here at the end and again about half way down the left two holes.
|While this seemed like a fun project the tolarances i selected proved to be too much. I am now abandaning this project as i have no desire to spend another 50 hours drilling holes