Woodworking drill bits

Discussion in 'Other Tools' started by ozarkhunter, Mar 15, 2019 at 10:07 AM.

  1. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    With my hobby business, I drill literally hundreds of holes in a variety of softwoods, hardwoods and exotic woods each year. I have bought brad point bits from Grizzly tools, local box stores and from Amazon. All seemed acceptable. For my specific task, I need a bit that does not chip the face of the wood, and does not chip out on the back side of the wood when it goes through. If you have ever tried to drill through 3/16" thick osage orange with no backing board below the wood, you know that is a tall order to fill. I had gotten to a point that I literally started every hole with a forstner bit to keep from chipping the face of the wood, drilling about 1/8" deep, then switched to a brad point bit to finish the hole to keep from chipping out the back. Last weekend alone, I drilled no less than 240 holes. With switching bits, that equated to 480 holes.

    This week I received an order from Lee Valley tools of some "lipped brad point" bits. The idea is that the "lip" of the bit scores the wood before the bit begins to clear the stock. OH MY GOODNESS! Drilling my pilot holes for 1/4" bolts ... the bit seemed to just disappear into the hard woods with no pressure. Drilling the holes through 3/16" thick osage left no chip on top, or on the bottom of the material. I will try to get close up pics this weekend. Time will tell how long they remain so sharp, but I think I have found a new "go-to" drill bit for precise holes.

    http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/page.aspx?p=42247&cat=42240

    [​IMG]

    If you are just boring rough holes through plywood or 2x material, it may not matter so much. When you need precision holes cut into a project that requires no chip or tear out... these things are amazing!
     
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  2. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Grey Owl Supporter

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    I've used this type bit for many years. It's still a good idea to use backing to prevent tearout when possible. Another thing I do when drilling surfaces that are not flat is to drill until the point just "pimples" the bottom surface, then turn the piece over and insert the point into the pimple and drill out the remainder from that side. It helps to use some finesse and not apply too much pressure when through-drilling.
     
  3. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    You have just discovered the light sabre of drill bits lad. + 1 on the backing plate. joe
     
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  4. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    Unfortunately, there is no practical way to use a backing on my application. I will get pics, as they are worth a thousand words. :4:

    Envision a small bowl, or pot with a thin bottom. I have to drill holes through this bottom surface of a hollow, shallow "bowl". To make it even more complex, there is a "pedestal" turned inside of the "bowl". That said, the hole that I drill is between the "pedestal" and the wall of the "bowl" in a channel less than twice as wide as the bit. Pics will help make the description more meaningful.
     
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  5. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    And you didn't tell me about them, why? :4:

    This is closer to what I have been using:
    [​IMG]

    This style cuts a fairly clean hole, but sometimes "skates" on the surface, marring the wood or caused a chip on the surface. The hole drilling process is at the end of my turning process and just before finish sanding and application of finish. Blowing out an item that would sell between $45 and $85 that late in the process is not conducive to a happy moment. :mad:
     
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  6. Dukejb

    Dukejb Scout

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    Everything I’ve bought from Lee Valley has been top notch. Their stuff isn’t cheap, but it’s been worth it.
     
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  7. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Grey Owl Supporter

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    That is an unusual configuration compared to your first picture. I have a couple different sets and they are like your first picture. I love forstner bits too. I need to drill flat bottomed blind holes for my cane handles and they do a great job.

    Forgive me for not knowing, but what is it you are making?
     
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  8. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    You can click the link to my website in the signature portion of my posts to see pics. I build custom game calls when I am not at my day job behind a desk.
     
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  9. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Grey Owl Supporter

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    Just checked out your website, very cool! Nice work.
     
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  10. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    So here is what I have to work with...
    20190315_173802.jpg 20190315_173812.jpg

    Outside of pot - inside of pot - The pilot holes are 15/64" to use 4 - 1/4" hex head bolts to mount to my face plate (with sacrificial acrylic spacer between). I have to drill the holes out to 3/8" from the back side (flat side). You can see how having some kind of backing board would be a huge challenge. It would have to fit between the turned "channel" inside the call. To further complicate, the tip of the pilot point bit has to be inserted at the upper most edge of the 15/64" holes (towards the center of the pot) to allow it to remove stock away from the inner edge of the call. It turns out like this;;;
    20190315_173825.jpg

    I'm pretty much defeating the purpose of the brad point, other than the fact that it guides on the upper most edge of the hole. I have to hold downward pressure on the piece of wood to keep it from moving as the outer cutting edges of the bit begin to score and cut into the wood. One hack that I have found helpful is to use a 6"-8" square of yoga mat on my drill press table to help keep the wood from moving. Below is a pic of the waste that comes out on the bottom side of the holes (on the yoga mat). You can see that the bit cuts out little "donuts" with pretty clean edges. The pic above shows how clean the holes are on the inside of the call, even without a backing material for the holes. 20190316_092911.jpg

    I did have 2 holes chip out, even using the new bit. Of course it happened when I was trying to show my wife how effective the new bit was. :rolleyes: I found a "hack" that I used on the rest of the osage pot with good success. Using a small bottle of CA glue (2 for $1 at dollar tree) I made a thin ring of glue around each of the holes on the back (flat) side of the pots. Using a CA glue accelerant, I reduce the drying time of the CA glue (flash dries). I then sanded the glue off with 320 grit sanding belt on my 6"x 48" belt sander. Just enough glue absorbs into the osage to stabilize the grain, such that it is like cutting a solid rather than grain. I had "0" chips after that. I have used this hack before, just don't use it on all woods.
     
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