Step 3: Drill Through the Five Remaining Pieces
While the glued up three bottom layers were drying, I drilled through the remaining five pieces of wood. A drill press would have been super useful for this step, but I don’t have one so I simply used an electric drill.
I started by marking the centers on all five. This is as easy as drawing the two diagonals with a pencil, and the point where they intersect is the center of the piece. You need to do this on one side only.
Then I secured one of the pieces and drilled a 25mm circular hole through it with a spade bit. I’d recommend drilling only half-way through, just about until the tip of the bit shows up on the other side. Then flip the piece and continue drilling through the other side. Drilling the hole in just one go can easily cause the wood to chip as the bit exits through the bottom side.
Another piece of advice that I have is to use a quality bit. I tried using a cheapo bit first — it was dull and crooked so my hole ended up looking terrible.
Step 4: Glue the Five Top Pieces
Once you’ve drilled a hole through all five top pieces, you can glue them up together. First, I figured out how I wanted them to be stacked, again flipping the grain direction for every layer. Once I was happy with the arrangement, I drew an X across all five so that I’d know I haven’t switched any pieces around later.
When gluing the five pieces together, I applied glue only to the surfaces where the pieces were going to touch. The top and bottom do not need glue yet, even though the second picture above may lead you to believe otherwise.
To make sure that my pieces are aligned perfectly, I let them dry around the test tube, as seen in the photo. This was a decision not well thought through, as some of the wood glue had stuck to the tube on the inside. But I was able to pull it out with a little bit of persuasion. The glue came off the glass easily after I let it soak in a jar full of warm water.