Drilling

Drilling the logs for plugging with spawn: Drilling and plugging the logs are the most labor-intensive part of starting a batch of shiitake logs. Imagine drilling holes about six inches apart in the row, in logs about four feet long, and five rows per five-inch-diameter log. That’s a lot of drilling, even for a modest project of, say, sixty logs. Two recommendations: Do not do this work with a shop drill! Way too slow, and the bits are not designed for cutting efficiently into green wood. Special drills are available to shiitake growers, but they are incredibly expensive. For home-scale projects, use an angle grinder instead (much higher speed than a shop drill and available for eighty to a hundred bucks or so), fitted with a chuck adapter and high-speed drill bit designed for drilling spawning holes in green logs. (See the resources page for a source for the latter two items.) And my other recommendation? Call in some buddies! Working up a batch of logs is another one of those tasks: endless drudgery if you tackle it by yourself, a party if you share the work with friends.

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