Shaft Log, We Got All Black And White To Do It.

George Butler and his self made Mallet.

Sometimes in life, the old way is the best way. Timeless work is work that knows there just is no better way to do it regardless of modern stuff. Such is the case of drilling the shaft log hole. After burning through about 4 feet of 12×12’s I had to call in the expert.  George Butler. And man oh man, did he deliver. Bad / good  jokes and all. He used old tools, and just kept at it.

One is where I had measured where the hole should go, the other George. At least I knew enough to stop..

Some measuring, lots of measuring. Now I know why I had to learn my Goes-intos. You can see the pencil  lines on the block

Just watching him work is a gift. Yes, watch! I had messed up enough. So enjoy today, I chose Black and White because, sometimes timeless is best captured in tones.

Wayne, clamping the blocks of wood together. And yes he is joking around.

A still life of life standing still

A second of time stopped in BW

Using the railway is the best time tested place according to George. We spent a week trying to find a drill press and all sorts of scemes.. George just took it out to the rail and some clamps..

The Drill. I took this photo, in color, to show the ER Dr. Hey! They would want to know what ripped his arm off. We had dialed 91… to speed up the process.

Here is a short video …also in color to get what is involved. 3 sets of old man eyes.


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A human eye. Is it level? Keep it lined up.. Dear god.. And the smell of turpentine! Yup.. I learned something

Yikes, George has got to be in pain today. My photo click finger is even a little sore..

Oh heck ya! The light at the end of the tunnel.

Back to adjusting the angle

The grinder is the tool! George sculpts with it like Rodin. Art! Pure Art.. On a boat part

And done!

Ready to go in.. Stay tuned..

17 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    George is da man!
    That half inch drill motor is a thing of beauty, even though a beast to handle. Great update

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    LOVE that fact that you have a guy ready to unplug the drill when she fetches up!
    That has to come from a painful experience.


  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Cheers to the old skool ways! Love the toggle switch on the drill instead of a modern safety trigger switch. If that drill and auger bit could talk and regale us in the past jobs it performed.

  4. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    Nice to see it being done by a pro. I could have loaned you the attached tool. and you’d still be drilling. 😀.

  5. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    And its sad we are losing these masters as the years go by, so does there expertise. I spent my Sunday sharpening my friends chain saw, adjusting the chain slack, cutting 2 trees too close to their mom’s house they were afraid to cut down for fear of hitting the house. These are simple skills you would think people who own a saw would learn when you have so many trees on your lot. It did get me free beers at the local craft brewery though. So not a total loss of a day.

  6. Wudzgud
    Wudzgud says:

    Now I am thinking twice about getting a colonoscopy.
    It always pays to have the right tools and operators.

      • Wudzgud
        Wudzgud says:

        I am envisioning the header picture with Dr. George at the drill and Nurse Wayne watching on with that damn grimace on his face

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      Things you don’t want to hear when you go in for you colonoscopy:
      Patient, “Where should I hang my pants?” Doctor, “Right over there next to mine.”

      Patient in for prostate check as he bends over gurney: “I’m just a little nervous.”
      Doctor: “Nothing to be nervous about unless you feel both hands on your shoulder”

  7. Royce Humphreys
    Royce Humphreys says:

    Reminds me of using my father’s old Thor brand of heavy duty drill when I was building waterfront steps with bridge timbers. My neighbor was making fun until he saw how well it was made and how well it performed! So good to see craftsman ply their trade! Wish they taught more of this!

  8. wolfgang
    wolfgang says:

    It is sure nice to see a pro work like that. I’ve got one of those older all cast aluminum 1/2 inch chuck drills. Tried to use it to rotate the internal on a 4 cylinder engine. Instead it rolled the whole engine block and all right off my small table. Crashing to the floor. I don’t know how I did not get hurt. Second most powerful drill motor I’ve ever seen. The 3/4 inch chuck drill motor I sold. Watched my father take a steel plate in the gut when the drill bit stuck on that one. I could just barely lift it.

  9. Duster
    Duster says:

    Now that was really something. Love love love it.
    This was such a fascinating satisfying read. Love the old school way. Great post. Can’t wait to see the next step.

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