As with all endeavors of this sort there is a wide margin for error and often there is failure and disapointment. But dont fret,this is part of the process. We learn from these failures even if we do everything right and we still fail, we learn. So not to spoil the ending here but... This atempt crashed and burned in the end. But Im still creating an instructable for you to learn from and take what you will. Some of this is me playing with new tools but the method is tried true and quick. succes rate with it can be 50/50 though or worse or much much much better.Even with failures at this number its a faster method than any other for make a didje from a solid branch or tree. and your failure rate really depends on the wood and what it will do and its basic line/straightness, and your willingness to push your luck in the hopes of geting a better instrument.
im posting this as is for now. I will revise a bit later add a tool list and clean up few things gramar spelling and things that dont make sense. hope you enjoy.
Weve got our tree our dimensions are good. Now controled destruction. Gloves might be good. The sap will get all over you hands and make the black and sticky. My weapon of choice here is a hatchete quick simple and effective. You could use a pruning saw or those heavy duty pruning shears for cutting small branches. Cant rember what there calles right now but they have a crecent shaped blade ane long handles. Anything cuting tool will basicly work. use your best judgement and be safe. Dont need to bleed on christmass.
take the tree in your left hand and hold it from the base cuting the branches one at a time from the bottom up. The picture with the hatchete leaning against the partialy de limbed tree show the direction you should be cutting.
If you cant support the tree with one hand lean it against someting. Some thing that you wont mind scratching up or hitting with a hatchete (and that wont damage your hatchete) A sharp edge is a must here, A SHARP EDGE IS GOD WHEN IT COMES TO CUTTING TOOLS LIKE A HATCHET. A sharp edge makes your work quick efeicent and safe because you dont have to over exert your self or force your tool to do work they cant do. A hatchet will glance off wood if its tool dull posibly cutting you. If you dont know how to handle a hatchete or cant sharpen it so that bites into the wood when strike it. Please pick a differnt method for your safety here. I consider this hatchete i have hear some what dull but very usable. Which is to say that its probably sharper than most of the knives in your average kitchen. It will cut you if you disrespect it to much. Most hatcehetes and axes are blunt about as sharp as a shovel. Im going off on a tangent here so back to the step.
Remove the limbs till you have exposed the length of tree you want. which would be the 3rd picture here.
the skinny end here is about 2 and 3/4" rember if its under 2 inches you should probably get a differnt tree.
Inspect your tree. Is it reasonably straight? does it bend woble or curve along its length? Are there any deep notches?
you want it to be straight. the straighter the beter. If you notice the one end is bent a little on this tree. You should cut something like this off. This took off about 8 inches. which still left plenty to make a good Didj.
pick the size bit your going to use. this tri flute is 1-1/4 inch with a 12 inch extension.the extension is for spade bits or anything with a 1/4 inch shank. The rule of thumb for your margins are about an inch bigger than your bit for the piece your drilling. Callipers are great for figureing this out. wood isnt always round. So choose bit size based on where its narrowest , in the area you will be drilling.
Im starting the hole with the bit in the extension to save time and to help true up my angle as i enter the wood. Put the bit Dead center. Measure if you want but most of the time i eyeball it. Limbs and branches usualy arent round you'll have to measure in 2 differnt axes to find the middle not just one. This is the narrow end by the way (i belive). You want to start the hole with the bit that will work on the small end. But you dont have to start drilling on the small end. It doesnt really matter which side you start on.just that the bits the size your going to drill in the narrowest portion of your didj.Rember you cant make the hole small when your done but you can always make it bigger if you want, and the bigger you go the more likely you are to tear out the side.
Coninue this to you get to the bottom of your extension. Pull the bit out of the hole and flip the didj to the other end so your read to drill and just repeat the last step.
Now where getting close. your about halfway and your bit has come tearing out the side of the wood :). This is good. a little more drilling and you should feel the bit find the hole thats coming through the other side. if there close your inluck if there not the bit should follow the path of least resistance. keep drilling. If you know your definetlu halffway and you still havent felt the bit hit the hole flip the didj around and drill from the other side. still nothing? take out the bit from the didj. and blow through the hole. make a seal with you lips and blow.. does the air rush through? yes than youve got conection to the otherside most likely.
look through the hole can you see anything? no ? get light you shine into it examine whats going on here. is it just a blockage? Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? I can.
take a sharp knife and cut around the edge of the whole. For the next size bit. It needs a place to start opening up the whole and this is what it need to keep it centered. This is what your doing here as your cutting open the edge. once you start drilling it goes much faster than before.but. YOU STILL NEED TO CLEAR YOUR CHIPS EVERY 3 INCHES!!!!!!!! this is even more important now. you dont know how thick your sides are around your bit. do you have a half inch?a 1/4? an 1/8? think you know? your hole meet cleanly and you went in straight? dont count on it. work carefull and work slow. stop drilling and see if you can feel hot spots around where your bit should be. do you feel heat on one side but not the other? if so the hot spot is a thin spot be careful and dont go to next size bit probably. it might be good to even stop drilling if you want to not ruin hours of work .Or..... boldly push on and hope for awesome and success.
Now to expalain whats goining on. Your drilling from the thicker end of your didj. (the bottom) halfway to two thirds of the way up. this is creating what will be essentialy a tapper internaly.
the largest bit your going to use on the bottom does not goe all the way to the half or two thirds point of the didj. how far up you go is a judgement call on your part.
About half the length or less of the bored hole should be narrow the bottom quarter to third should be as big as you can make it and the inbetween should well be inbetween those two extremes.
For anything above an inch and a half you basicaly need forstner bits. spade bit really arent ideal for these long holes the slap around inside and a 1-1/2" spade bit has more more torgue on the drill than a 2-1/4" forstner bit.
Measure around where you want to drill up to. Ive got about three inchess at this point in didj so i can go up to a 2 inch forstner bit. The hole is 1-1/4 inch so you will use a 1-1/2 bit drill out to that depth with the frostner bit in the extensions. drill a little shorter with each progressively larger bit. Opening up the end of your hole more as needed with your knife to accomodate the larger bits as you go.
This happens as ive said. Your drilling along and your bits arent where you want them. Why? Becuase they do that the drift they wander the grain of the wood your angle etc. etc. etc. i have thrown my drill after doing this 3 or for time in a row in differnt branches/wood. i kid you not.
Its best to not throw our tools and get pissed. this comes with the territory.failure. but 8 hours of work and nothin to show can suck and make one moody.
this was about a 2 + hour project including snaping the pics.
This was fun however. This was an experiment in many ways and a time to play and blow off steam. The side got torn out. No harm no foul. cut out the side for a beter view of what was going on and thin/thick the sides were and where the bit really was in the didj. There was plenty of wood. everything got done right. Maybee my electricians extension made it take an angle i dont know. but this is what happens. You get a thin side and it just gets thiner and than you go to the next bit size and you have no side.
if this would have been a succes the resst of this instructable would show the clean up drying and eventual finishing process but this is where this didj ended so this is where this instructable ends.
but if you do make it this far without failure and have your didj bored out to the size you want set it aside to dry. Assuming youve been working with a green tree like i was. several weeks minimum dry time. leave the bark on. when it seems to be dry peel the bark off and work on finishing it up. urethane will do fine for finish but its not really the best choice acusticaly. coat inside and out, tune apply wax and enjoy. If this had been succesful i would go in more depth with this bit all ya get.