It’s been my pleasure to meet and work with many fine and interesting folks through doing Mushroom Logs. One of those is John Michelotti of Catskill Fungi. John and I have a very enjoyable working relationship and I supply logs for many of his inoculation workshops. Through that we jointly designed this log drilling bench for use in his classes beginning this spring. It was a ‘winter project’ which led to the development of a full-length production inoculation bench system (actually 2) which I am building as of this writing and will be available in the spring also.
But the drilling bench is available now and I have already sold 2 of them, so John will be getting newer ones. Improvements get applied as we think of them. So each one may appear a bit different than previous versions. The bench stands with an average height over the top of the log of 36″ from the ground. Construction is from rough sawn 2×4’s and 1×12. The wheels are commercial quality.
The bench was designed to allow the user to rotate the log with a single hand by reaching over the top and rolling back slightly, allowing the log to rotate. Once the log sits on its own weight in the cradle, it remains very stable for drilling. The bench includes two holes to allow for drilling tool storage for either left or right handed users while swapping logs.
Not shown in any of these photos is a provision that was added to hold the standard drilling tool. (I’ll get that up as soon as I have a chance along with better photos not taken in a cluttered winter shop.) The wheels are 24″ apart which allows for drilling logs from 24″ and longer. This is heavy construction based on a timber framing sawhorse. The lumber is milled by myself from local trees and everything is screwed (not nailed) together. DISCLAIMER: These benches are intended for drilling average sized mushroom logs which vary in weight from 10 to 60 pounds. Using this bench for working on large logs such as totems weighing in the 150 pound (or more) range is not advised and may cause damage to the bench and/or serious injury to the user. Neither is the bench designed as a mechanism to hold logs while chain sawing. Such use is at your own risk and in no way advisable. I can make you a heavy saw buck for that purpose if you like, which will work much better and be a lot safer.. I can also modify this design to handle heavier logs if you like (weight, diameter, and length), but chain sawing is still a very bad idea.
This drilling rig is $165.00 and is available either directly from me or through Catskill Fungi beginning in April and pre-orders will be accepted of course. Some modifications may also be done by request, so it never hurts to ask. If you are interested or have questions, give me a call. This drilling bench is proving to be popular with medium sized growers as an inexpensive alternative to the commercial rigs that are available.
Lastly, here is a poorly done video which includes the use of this rig. It was done to simply explain the process for folks who have never seen it. You get a peek at the larger production system also. I will replace this with something better once the weather gets a bit nicer.