How to Drill a Hole in a Long Stem Pipe

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Drilling out a pipe stem requires patience, time and a good drill.
Drilling out a pipe stem requires patience, time and a good drill. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Pipe-making is one branch of wood working that people have devoted themselves to for centuries. From the bulky, heavy pipes of Victorian days to the long stemmed, church warden pipes, there is artistry and function in these well crafted pieces. If you have a long stemmed pipe that you need to drill out, all you need is an appropriately sized drill, a vise and some time to make your perfect hole.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill driver and bit
  • Vise
  • Pipe stem

Place the pipe stem in the vise and turn until the stem is held tight. If you are drilling a hole down the length of the pipe stem to hollow it out, then make sure the stem is held vertically. If the stem is already hollow and you're drilling a hole into the top of the stem then hold it horizontally.

Place an appropriately sized drill bit into your drill driver. 4mm, 5/32 inch and 9/64 inch are popular hole size choices for hollowing out a pipe, but the hole's size should be based on the size of the stem. If you're drilling into a pipe stem from the horizontal point, the hole size is up to you.

Drill into the pipe stem. Press down with a gradual pressure, making sure that the hole is straight and smooth. When drilling down the length of a pipe stem, try to drill the entire pipe stem at once. If not, then drill halfway down the pipe stem and then turn it over, drilling the other half. When drilling into a pipe while it's held horizontally, apply steady pressure until you drill the hole into the hollow interior.

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