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post #1 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Help with drilling technique?

In trying to drill a simple 3/4" hole through a 2x4, I have found that not only does the drill not want to go straight down where my mark is (it wanders off center when it finally bites the wood), but when the drill goes out the other end of the wood it completely destroys it, ripping entire chunks out of the wood instead of just a nice neat hole.


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post #2 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 09:39 AM
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you're right, a twist drill has trouble staying on course when not used in a drill press (would solve most of your problems). a coupe of things may help. try drilling a smaller diameter hole first, say 1/4 - 3/8" first. then the larger bit may follow that hole.


the blow out in the back can be improved by placing a "waste" board in the back to support the wood upon bit exit. and try slowing down when reaching that point. or, you can drill part way in from both sides. a spade bit will follow a hole better than a twist drill bit. a hole saw even better.


get a drill press when you can...
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
you're right, a twist drill has trouble staying on course when not used in a drill press (would solve most of your problems). a coupe of things may help. try drilling a smaller diameter hole first, say 1/4 - 3/8" first. then the larger bit may follow that hole.


the blow out in the back can be improved by placing a "waste" board in the back to support the wood upon bit exit. and try slowing down when reaching that point. or, you can drill part way in from both sides. a spade bit will follow a hole better than a twist drill bit. a hole saw even better.


get a drill press when you can...
In addition to TimPa's comments you might hold a small carpenters Square next to your drill bit to ensure its going in straight.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 10:09 AM
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Use a 1/4"or even 3/8" brad point wood drill to make the pilot hole.
The 3/4 bit head is too large to keep a centre without a pilot hole.

Clamp a piece of waste board under the wood and you will get a perfect hole. drill press makes it easier, but the above will work with a hand held drill.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 10:15 AM
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Pine 2x lumber is pretty bad for blow out on the other side. I usually clamp the backer board up against it so that blow out part has nowhere to go. Try an inexpensive set of brad point bits and get some better ones if you have a drill press just for posterity..Even those wandering jew drill presses at Harbor Freight will help with the wandering part. I'm not trying to be anti semitic here .. Some of my best friends are harbor freight tools.. I really need some new friends..
I forgot..you probably ought to make a little starter hole with a small finishing nail. Then drink about 9 cups of strong coffee right before you start so your hands shake properly..
Hey, wait.. Did you sneak into my shop to take that picture? I have that exact same crappy peg board and the drill chuck looks exactly like mine to..I bet the cat let you in.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?

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post #6 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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I really want to get a drill press, that's my next best option. To be honest, I have no idea which drill bits work best for what. The one I bought was the only one at Lowes that was in this size that was labeled for wood. So a pilot hole would probably help then huh? I will try that. A blowout board in the back would probably help as well. I had thought about getting one of those mini drill press things that clamp on your drill and are relatively cheap, but a lot of people seem to dislike them. By the way, since I don't own a drill press yet....is blowout still a thing to be worried about when using one? Or is it less of a problem.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allpurpose View Post
Pine 2x lumber is pretty bad for blow out on the other side. I usually clamp the backer board up against it so that blow out part has nowhere to go. Try an inexpensive set of brad point bits and get some better ones if you have a drill press just for posterity..Even those wandering jew drill presses at Harbor Freight will help with the wandering part. I'm not trying to be anti semitic here .. Some of my best friends are harbor freight tools.. I really need some new friends..
I forgot..you probably ought to make a little starter hole with a small finishing nail. Then drink about 9 cups of strong coffee right before you start so your hands shake properly..
Hey, wait.. Did you sneak into my shop to take that picture? I have that exact same crappy peg board and the drill chuck looks exactly like mine to..I bet the cat let you in.
Haha this is my dad's workspace that he doesn't use anymore so I inherited a lot of strange things that I have either no use for, or don't know what to do with them yet. Sadly, I have to go buy some larger drill bits because there are none here. I do usually drink the equivalent of 9 cups a day so I suppose that might be a factor.....and yes that pegboard is kinda awful.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 11:22 AM
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There aree 5 types of wood drills

The cheapest is a spade drill. They usually come in a set for under $20.00




The next type is a brad or spur point, also in sets from Harbor
Freight for nice clean holes in wood:



These are auger type twist drills and are self feeding. Usually used in construction in a hand held drill since they will feed in rapidly, not a good thing in a drill press. I have some that are 24" long for running electrical wiring between floor joists:



The next step up in $$ is Forsnter bit and these are the best for drilling in wood, leave a clean hole also from Harbor Freight:



The worst bit for drilling in wood is a common twist drill and they come in various grades from carbon steel to carbide to Titanium coated, the gold ones which are also available from Harbor Freight in a set. The dark one on the right is a carbon steel, them HSS steel in the center and the Titanium on the left also available from Harbor Freight in a set of sizes or all one size. You will not find a carbide drill at Harbor Freight!


Twist drills are best for steel or aluminum as shown here:


I use all types and grades. I drill a lot of stainless steel which is very hard on drill bits, so I sharpen them myself using a jig. For wood, I use the spur bits or Forsteners. I haven't used a spade bit in years.

Say what you want about Harbor Freight, but for a lot of uses the drill work fine. I have sharpened the Forstners using a flat diamond plate of the cutting edges. I break a lot of drills in the stainless, so a cheap disposable bit is OK.

For really large holes use a hole saw. This set is from Harbor Freight, but I use higher quality ones also from Greenlee. They also come carbide tipped for masonry:



There you go, the "HOLE" story in one post....well maybe.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-20-2017 at 11:38 AM.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Holy crap woody, you just blew my freaking mind.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 12:23 PM
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See? Some of Woody's best friends are HF tools too..
Their tag line should be: Where America shops for crap.. Oh wait.. Sears already has that one..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 01:20 PM
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Check my friends list here before you post this

Quote:
Originally Posted by allpurpose View Post
See? Some of Woody's best friends are HF tools too..
Their tag line should be: Where America shops for crap.. Oh wait.. Sears already has that one..
FYI,I have some Harbor Freight angle grinders that have been totally abused and they are still working fine. Metal dust is second only to masonry dust for abrasion. I buy them 3 at time so if one should quit, and I've only had 1 failure in 10 years, I just grab the next one.

As I stated some bits are OK, some are disposable and some need sharpening. Drill bits are made from steel, not aluminum and there are various grades of steel. You will pay much more for better quality steel. Wood doesn't care what steel it's being drilled by, only that it's sharp. Some steels hold and edge longer than other and you will pay more for that. If you can sharpen the bits yourself, which I stated I do, then it don't really matter all that much. I've probably drilled over 50,000 holes in my life after 3 truck body builds, tractor implement builds, house wiring, fences and gates, masonry, plexiglas, and hunderdes of small projects, so I'm not a newbie when it comes to drilling. I own 4 drill presses, 2 metal lathes, several hammer drills, countless battery powered drills and drawers full of 1/2" and 3/8" corded drills.

Here's an example of drilling in 11 gauge stainless for the bumper on my restoration project truck:
Restoration Project

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 01:25 PM
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Exactly!

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Originally Posted by sunnybob View Post
Use a 1/4"or even 3/8" brad point wood drill to make the pilot hole.
The 3/4 bit head is too large to keep a centre without a pilot hole.

Clamp a piece of waste board under the wood and you will get a perfect hole. drill press makes it easier, but the above will work with a hand held drill.
Pointed drill bits like aspur point or Forsner, do not need or want a pilot hole. Twist drills do need one in the larger sizes. Here's why. The web is the thickness of the metal that's the starting point on a twist drill. The larger the drill diameter, the greater the metal thickness of the web. It doesn't like to self start when it's too thick, so a pilot hole it really best. In that way you can drill from both sides using the pilot for the location and reduce tearout on the opposite side.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-20-2017 at 02:51 PM.
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post #13 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Pointed drill bit do not need or want a pilot hole. Twist drilsl do need one in the larger sizes. The web is the thickness of the ,metal that's the starting point on a twist drill. The larger the drill diameter, the great the metal thickness of the web. It doesn't like to self start when it's too thick, so a pilot hole it really best. In that way you can drill from both sides using the pilot for the location and reduce tearout on the opposite side.

Just to clarify, are you saying that if I get the brad point bits (found a nice set for $15 at home depot), I shouldn't need to use a pilot hole? I am trying to conserve the bit I already paid for and use it, and the set I found only goes up to 1/2 inch. That being said, do you think it would be a good idea to just use the 1/2 inch brad point and then try the 3/4 incher twist bit? I have already dumped so much money into this I really just want to get something that's gonna work.
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 03:57 PM
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it's pretty simple. twist bits do wander around in wood - with or with a drill press, btw.

brad point drills are the most effective / best at making a straight & true hole.

any bit will cause break out on the back side - the faster you drill / harder you push, the more break out. some wood species are more prone to this problem than others.

spade bits wander quite nicely.

Forstners are the cat's meow for flat bottom partial holes, or large(r) diameter holes where the mess of a spade bit is not desirable. hand held/drilling Forstners will wander with the best twist drill in soft woods with pronounced grain. drill press recommended for accuracy when using Forstners.

there is however a valuable spot reserved in my shop for my Harbor Freight twist drill set by 64ths plus all letter sizes plus all number sizes. stuff you buy, like dowels, is not really accurate to the stated dimensions. and the size of what you bought last week from China is not the same size you will get from China next week. so in my personal madness mode of wood working, I drill an undersized hole using a brad point, with some scrap backing as required, then "ream" the hole to a size that fits comma nicely.

scrap backing required: this is not always required. there have been situations where I'm drilling holes and I know the piece is going to be cut / planed / whatever later - with the effect that any breakout will be 'removed' - and sometimes any ugly break out will be completely hidden - and in other cases . . .

it is possible to overthink this issue. it's wood science, not rocket science.
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post #15 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 04:06 PM
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When drilling a large diameter hole, its best to drill a smaller diameter hole first. The smaller hole acts as the pilot hole for the larger bit. With the larger bit drill into the first side about 1/4 through then flip the board over and drill from the other side to finish the hole. This will help prevent tear-out when the large bit comes through. If you have a sacrificial board under the board your drilling, this will also help prevent tear-out.
You can experience tear-out with a drill press also. The same suggestions above apply to a drill press.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #16 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
it's pretty simple. twist bits do wander around in wood - with or with a drill press, btw.

brad point drills are the most effective / best at making a straight & true hole.

any bit will cause break out on the back side - the faster you drill / harder you push, the more break out. some wood species are more prone to this problem than others.

spade bits wander quite nicely.

Forstners are the cat's meow for flat bottom partial holes, or large(r) diameter holes where the mess of a spade bit is not desirable. hand held/drilling Forstners will wander with the best twist drill in soft woods with pronounced grain. drill press recommended for accuracy when using Forstners.

there is however a valuable spot reserved in my shop for my Harbor Freight twist drill set by 64ths plus all letter sizes plus all number sizes. stuff you buy, like dowels, is not really accurate to the stated dimensions. and the size of what you bought last week from China is not the same size you will get from China next week. so in my personal madness mode of wood working, I drill an undersized hole using a brad point, with some scrap backing as required, then "ream" the hole to a size that fits comma nicely.

scrap backing required: this is not always required. there have been situations where I'm drilling holes and I know the piece is going to be cut / planed / whatever later - with the effect that any breakout will be 'removed' - and sometimes any ugly break out will be completely hidden - and in other cases . . .

it is possible to overthink this issue. it's wood science, not rocket science.
Oh I agree, I know I can overthink stuff. I'll be honest I haven't got friends that are into any of this stuff, very small social circle. So my points of reference to learn anything about woodworking are pretty much Google, and you guys on this forum. So thank you everyone for putting up with my lack of knowledge, I really appreciate it!
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
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Oh I agree, I know I can overthink stuff. I'll be honest I haven't got friends that are into any of this stuff, very small social circle. So my points of reference to learn anything about woodworking are pretty much Google, and you guys on this forum. So thank you everyone for putting up with my lack of knowledge, I really appreciate it!
Bummer. You only need one that has a drill press. Get on the phone and ask 'em.

Then you can drill a straight hole through a piece of scrap and use it as a guide. Clamp it to your work piece and drill away with the hand drill. The guide will help keep the bit straight as you drill. A piece of scrap under the 2x4 will help minimize the blowout when the bit exits the 2x4.

I just did this a few days ago. The piece I was drilling was too tall to fit under my drill press chuck. So I made a guide and used my cordless drill to do the work.

Here are a few pics. I was making a new table leg for a guy and needed to drill holes for the mounting bolts.

Hope this helps.

If not, maybe You Tube will offer up a video or two for a jig to use with the hand held drill.
Mike
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 06:25 PM
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I would not do that

Quote:
Originally Posted by chughes10 View Post
Just to clarify, are you saying that if I get the brad point bits (found a nice set for $15 at home depot), I shouldn't need to use a pilot hole? I am trying to conserve the bit I already paid for and use it, and the set I found only goes up to 1/2 inch. That being said, do you think it would be a good idea to just use the 1/2 inch brad point and then try the 3/4 incher twist bit? I have already dumped so much money into this I really just want to get something that's gonna work.
A 1/2" hole "pilot" will cause the 3/4" bit to wander around trying to find it's path of least resistance. I wouldn't do it that way. I would use a 3/16" pilot hole for your 3/4" twist drill which goes back to the "web" thickness I posted above. That size will allow the 3/4" bit to center on the smaller hole and it will be as accurate as you can do with the tools you have.
Those are called Silver and Deming bits as shown here:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too..._content=42035

I don not recommend them for drilling wood for the reasons you are having. They tend to wander and leave a sloppy hole and tear out on the back side. Get a set of Forstners or brad points and you'll see what we are talking about.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-20-2017 at 06:28 PM.
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post #19 of 21 Old 04-20-2017, 09:54 PM
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Wink

I kind of miss the days of standing on gaffs, 80 feet in the air, stepping poles from the top down with a brace and bit. Then I remember I'm not a kid anymore...

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.
- Frank Sinatra
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-21-2017, 01:47 AM
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Gaff meaning...?

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Originally Posted by Cowpokey View Post
I kind of miss the days of standing on gaffs, 80 feet in the air, stepping poles from the top down with a brace and bit. Then I remember I'm not a kid anymore...
For those dummies like me I had to look up the meaning of gaff in your post and I learned a whole lot more that I bargained for.
I thought a gaff was a pole with a hook on the end for securing a fish so I didn't know what you were referring to:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaff_rig

Then I got lost when you said stepping poles:
http://en.mimi.hu/boating/mast.html

Your avatar show a body of water in the background which led to more confusion. Your user name is confusing as you live in MD and there aren't that many cows to poke there, unless I'm mistaken.....

Still looking for my deck shoes.

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