I need a 24" long tube made of wood

I need to make a tube of wood 24" long with a 1" interior diameter and a 1.25" outer diameter. The outside can be round or square as long as the square doesn’t exceed 1.25". I do not know how to do this. My thought was to pare down a 2x2 and then use a drill press to cut the middle hole… I’ve never used a drill press, but the nice man on the Internet made it look easy. Is this a good solution? Can it be done with the tools at Asmbly? If either question’s answer is “no”, then my question becomes: what is a good way to do this? Note that I need to make several of these tubes, but the others are shorter.

Are you doing them in softwood or hardwood? It would be possible to turn the outer portion as well as the inner diameter on the lathe if you were using hardwood.

Whether round or square, you could always cut the lengths to around 3/8-1/2" longer than the proposed 2 feet. Use a thin blade like a jigsaw and split it long ways and labeled the pieces so you can put them back with their respective counter-part. Then use a drill press with a 1" bit through the center to get the inner diameter. Then glue them back together to make the full length again.

As long as you made aligning marks so that you could get them to line back up perfectly then once sanded after glued together the seam should be invisible.

Theoretically speaking of course.

I made wood handles for an outdoor spinny thing a few years ago and had a hell of a time drilling a hole straight down the center, and they were only ~8" long.

What about splitting it long-wise, run each half on the router table with a cove bit, and glue back together? throw it on a lathe to round the outside after the glue dries and you can guarantee ID and OD concentricity.

Many ways to do this but “the best way” depends on tools you have (or available at ASMBLY), I agree that splitting a larger piece, cutting semi-circles and gluing back together might be the best for the inside. “Chase” the hole with a properly sized drill bit or auger to get the finished size you want. Do the hole first and the outside second. An electricians auger bit might be the best “off the shelf” tool.

Then for the last bit use a bit extension (or two) to do the last 7" - 9"

be sure the shank of the 1" bit will fit the extension.

Getting the uniform 1/8" wall along the length could happen on a lathe or a jig to hold the work piece so it can rotate and run it above a straight router bit. If a lathe, you might want to look at the way high end wooden pens are made using a mandrel that stabilizes to work piece. Get some ideas from that before deciding on the best way to go.

the hard part about using a drill press is that you’re going to have to cut the 24" piece into smaller bits and then glue all the pieces back together to fit perfectly, so you’d need to make one-off gluing jigs or something.

In case you need more help getting analysis paralysis, here’s another option:

  1. pare down to your square blanke, 1.25" x 1.25" x 24", but actually I would make it like 1.5" x 1.25"x 24" to account for the kerf of the blade in the next step

  2. rip it in half through the 1.5", so you have two blanks that are < 0.75" x 1.25" x 24"

  3. on tablesaw, use a sine table or your trusty scientific calculator to figure out the height of the blade at various points throughout the circle. Don’t forget to take the width of the tablesaw into account, you want to measure from the center to the outer edge of the blade when to the left of the midpoint of the arc, and to the inner edge when to the right of the midpoint, where “outer” and “inner” are with respect to the guiderail.

  1. carefully adjust blade and distance of the rail, and cut the profile of a circle into each half, one ripcut at a time.

  2. you should have a “stepped” semicircle in each half of your blank now, which you can sand down by hand before gluing the halves back together.

  3. re-pare because now you have one side that’s 1.5" minus one saw kerf.

Curl up a very thin veneer.

Using the split-in-half variant, could you use a CNC to just have it run a straight line with a large bit that makes a semicircular cut? Attach your two pieces end-to-end and do it in one 48” shot.

Note: I genuinely don’t know if this is possible, so I’d be interested to hear feedback on the concept.

I like this answer^^^ You might have to start off with the stock square, use the cnc to cut out the middle, glue it together, then turn it on the lathe.

If the stock is around turned, you might have to create a jig for it.

Curl up a very thin veneer.

This one isn’t an option because of the next step in the process for which the tubes is but a first step. I explored this as well as living hinge ideas. :slight_smile:

could you use a CNC to just have it run a straight line with a large bit that makes a semicircular cut?

I think this is easier to do with the table router rather than the CNC, but something along these lines is sounding like the right approach.

Oak or pine. I like working with oak better, but I’ve found some beautiful pine wood that I might want for the rest of this project.

Just to add another 2 cents to this thread…
buy a coil of hardwood veneer (used for edging plywood) and wrap it around a wood rod or dowel (well waxed or wrapped in wasted newsprint to prevent sticking). wrap it like a twist drill but each layer in a different orientation left hand and then right hand twists.

I want to hear about this when it’s done

Get a bigger hammer.

(Or route out two halves and glue then together…split it first if you need it to look pretty)

I’ve done this before, on a lathe, a restaurant had me make a bunch of wooden hookahs, main piece was basically a 20" tube. I drilled from either end, meeting in the center. If you’re careful about setup and centering, there isn’t much offset when the holes meet, but there is some, usually just a faint line. The thin walls would be my biggest worry, but you can get around that by drilling into a larger stock, dropping a dowel into the hole for support, and then turning down to the final size. I would recommend maple for this, tighter grain will survive the process better.

The split in two method other people have mentioned is definitely easier though.

You all missed an option: grow hollow trees! I was able to find bamboo growing down the street from me that is greater than 1" diameter internal!


If that works, congrats!