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Drilling out a Butt Cap
Posted by: Tom Wewerka (---.bltmmd.fios.verizon.net)
Date: January 18, 2021 04:53PM

Most of us have had to enlarge the hole in a butt cap in order to fit the blank perfectly. Some are easier than others especially ones that are drilled straight through. In the link below is one that is neither drilled through or flat in the bottom to help a bit. I was wondering if anybody has drilled this type and if so any suggestions on keeping it perfectly vertical would be appreciated. In the past I have done this on this cap but it was a rather difficult process. Your thought are appreciated .



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Re: Drilling out a Butt Cap
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: January 18, 2021 05:51PM

I do a lot of these fighting butts. I have a 29 piece titanium nitride drill bit set that range in size from 1/16” to 1/2” in 1/64” increments. I pick a drill bit that snugly fits the hole and turn it until it bottoms out, then grab the next size drill bit and repeat the process until the butt of the blank fits the hole in the fighting butt.. if you use a cordless drill let the fighting butt slip in your hands to keep things centered. You should be able to keep the fighting butt spinning concentric to the drill bit. If you have a wobble you aren’t concentric. Only takes a few minutes to drill to size hole you need. The drill bit set makes it easy to keep the hole centered. I bought the drill bit set from harbor freight a number of years ago.

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Re: Drilling out a Butt Cap
Posted by: joseph karow (---)
Date: January 18, 2021 09:35PM

You could wrap masking tape around it so it fits inside a pvc pipe to help keep it 90 degree vertical on a drill press or table .

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Re: Drilling out a Butt Cap
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 18, 2021 11:29PM

There is one way that is virtually fool proof.

First take the butt cap and use masking tape to build up any part of the cap that is smaller than any other part of the cap. i.e. you essentially want to create a uniform cylinder.

Then, assuming that you have a lathe: chuck the butt cap into the chuck on your lathe, with the side that you wish to drill pointing toward the tail stock on the lathe.

Start by using a center point bit in the tail stock and while spinning the butt cap at a low to moderate speed, advance the center point bit into the butt cap far enough to insure that you have a well marked perfect center in the butt cap.

Then, start with a drill that is about 1/2 the size of your final hole and chuck it into the tail stock and with the butt cap spinning at a slow to moderate speed, advance the tail stock and drill bit into the butt cap.

But, before starting to drill, measure the butt cap so that you know how far you wish to bore the hole. Then, take a piece of tape of your choice and wrap the drill bit at the measured depth to insure that you do not bore the hole too deeply.

After that hole is bored, then go to your desired bit size - making it just a touch small so that you will have to exert slight pressure in the butt cap to seat it onto the butt of the rod blank.

Clean up the butt cap and when appropriate, glue the cap in place, generally using epoxy - and stay vigilant after gluing with DNA handy to be able to quickly clean up and remove any excess epoxy from the joint.

For any sort of object that you can put into the chuck of your lathe, you can always get a perfectly centered hole if you spin the object and advance the stationary drill that is being held in the tail stock into the object being drilled.

This picture is an example of drilling a wood grip using the method outlined above:


Enjoy your success.

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Re: Drilling out a Butt Cap
Posted by: Tom Wewerka (---.bltmmd.fios.verizon.net)
Date: January 19, 2021 01:08PM

Well Roger and Norm that was good information, and i as well have a full set of drill bits to try that , and as well as a couple spare grips. Roger, know exactly what you mean on the lathe. I teach woodworking at the county wood shop and what you are describing is how we drill out pen blanks. You do get a perfect hole once you get the piece lined up correctly. I don't know why I didn't think of that one. I was going to put a square block of wood on the lathe and cut it in a taper to fit the butt cap inside and drill it out. Thanks guys for you suggestions I really appreciate it


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Re: Drilling out a Butt Cap
Posted by: Gary Goldsmith (---)
Date: January 20, 2021 08:31PM

I'm still a newbie but I just did one today and just used a reamer. I just held it in my hand. Took a little longer because I couldn't go all the way through. Came out perfect..

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Re: Drilling out a Butt Cap
Posted by: Michael Sutheimer (---.wi.res.rr.com)
Date: January 22, 2021 06:11AM

Another option that I have done. May or may not work depending on dimensions of things. I have taken a scrap of blank that fits the butt cap tight. Want a section about double the depth of the hole in the butt. Now your I.D. of the rod blank needs to be smaller than the section of blank in the cap. Hopefully things are close for this method.

I then will do a bushing of tape on the blank section in the buttcap as close to the buttcap as possible. I use 1/8 inch tape cannot go too wide as your fitting the blank section into the rod which is tapered from big to small. Once fitted a good amount of paste type epoxy will fill any gap ahead of the tape bushing. For glue up coat the rear section of the blank and insert into the buttcap. Then coat the front portion and insert into the rod blank. Clamp the handle assembly.

Only downside of this method is you need to plan ahead for the extra length of hanging the buttcap off the rear of the rod blank. One advantage that has helped me more than once with this method is balancing the rod. In the section of blank you can add whatever weight you need epoxy in place then attache to the rod blank.

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