Learning #1: Learning Hurts

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Blog entry by GlennsGrandson posted 01-31-2012 10:09 AM 1411 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Beginner woodworker.

At work tonight (x-ray tech), very slow, browsed, browsed, browsed LJ’s. Have several scraps of hardwood from fellow wood workers I’ve recently met. Decided to make one of the several “wine bottle boards”, so I grabbed a piece of Ambrosia Maple and some walnut. Made some thin Walnut inlays, routered out the Maple, set the inlays in, cut my angles (looking real good at this point), I don’t have any forstner bits (cost), and then proceeded to DESTROY the piece I just worked an hour+ on….

Point being, I have crappy spade bits (I think they’re all like that?..), and practice the simple big (possibly destructive) stuff first, then do the details….ugh, pretty frusterating. Now I have a neat piece of beat up wood in my shop (my stall of the garage).

Crossing curved Walnut inlays in Ambrosia Maple that looks like….. well, anyways.

Just needed to vent.

Thanks for listening.


-- Grant - N Dakota

8 comments so far

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3754 days

#1 posted 01-31-2012 04:11 PM


Hang it on the wall as a reminder. But only until you master putting those holes in.
I used to make some of those balancing wine bottle rigs years ago and I didn’t have any forstener bits either. I tilted the table on my scrollsaw and used a spiral bit. I had to do some sanding to clean up the hole but it worked. There’s always more than one way to do things. Maybe you could build a jig that uses your router to put those holes in. . .

Good luck,


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3358 days

#2 posted 02-01-2012 06:35 PM

Are you using those spade bits in a drill press? They are a lot more difficult to use in a hand drill (at least for me).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View GlennsGrandson's profile


442 posts in 2333 days

#3 posted 02-01-2012 07:39 PM

hand drill…I need a drill press, I might try cutting them with a jigsaw next time but that may not produce my vision. I want the hole to be parallel to the counter top it sits on so the wine bottle isn’t pointed up when it’s in the balancer but level with the table, so at the same angle as I cut the contact end of the board I guess… I think I can only achieve this with a drill press, so this project will be the first thing I do when I get a drill press.

Thanks guys, And it is on my wall Bagtown.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2864 days

#4 posted 02-02-2012 10:55 PM

This is a problem I have a lot. I get the wood. Plan out my steps but dot foresee “that” tool I don’t have that would make the project easier and come out much better. So I get impatient and figure out another way to do it and most of the time I mess up. Then I use the best tool of all my brain and figure out how to fix it. We all are human. I know your frustration.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2995 days

#5 posted 02-03-2012 12:40 AM

An angled hole is not all that much fun, even with forstner bits.

If you had a brace and bit (hand tool drill press) and a spoon bit you might have made it happen.

Another work-around is to drill a bunch of very small holes, then chisel, carve out the waste. Clean up with a rasp.

View David White's profile

David White

120 posts in 3305 days

#6 posted 02-06-2012 10:24 PM

David’s Golden Rule of woodworking #27: Always do the things you are most likely to screw up first!


View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2511 days

#7 posted 02-06-2012 10:51 PM

Try this for S&G’s….. use your spade bit to drill holes in scrap wood until you get a hole that you like, then mount that hole over the spot you want your good hole to be and use it as a template/bit stabilizer.

I didn’t even know what a Forstner bit was until I saw some at a flea market once and thought they looked pretty cool!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3609 days

#8 posted 02-06-2012 11:06 PM

I aam not a big fan of spade bits either unless for roughing stud work etc not for fine furniture .I also agree they should be used in a drill press and buy better ones and keep them sharp. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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