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View pashley's profile

How to cut a hole this big?

by pashley
posted 11-19-2009 06:06 PM


36 replies so far

View pete79's profile

pete79

154 posts in 1863 days


#1 posted 11-19-2009 06:12 PM

I just did something like this a couple days ago….drill a pilot hole all the way through the piece with a smaller bit than the hole saw’s (first pic) pilot bit uses. Then use the hole saw to cut part way through the piece, flip the piece over and cut with hole saw from other side. If the hole saw is less than 1.5” deep, you should be able to just grab the waste and pull it out. If not, there should be a hole in the back of it to let you punch it out of the saw.

This is the same method that is typically used for cutting holes in doors for door handles and seems to work pretty well.

Hope that made sense.

-- Life is a one lap race.

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 2194 days


#2 posted 11-19-2009 06:17 PM

The hole saw you presented will cut the hole you indicated just fine. You have to cut a little at a time and then clean it out depending on the material. You don’t just start drilling till it’s all the way through. Use some finesse and common sense.
I usually prefer to use a self feed auger.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112529 posts in 2300 days


#3 posted 11-19-2009 06:20 PM

I do it just like Pete suggested.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View pete79's profile

pete79

154 posts in 1863 days


#4 posted 11-19-2009 06:22 PM

And because it seems required once in a while, I will throw in the inevitable…..

If you’re cutting a 3” hole, you will have a heck of a time with the hole saw in the picture being a 4” hole saw unless you know magic.

;)

-- Life is a one lap race.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2744 days


#5 posted 11-19-2009 06:32 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Steelex-3-FORSTNER-BIT/dp/B0000DD0KZ
You will also need a drill press.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 2194 days


#6 posted 11-19-2009 06:40 PM

pete hahahaha

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 2194 days


#7 posted 11-19-2009 06:47 PM

If you use a hole saw (like the one shown) it helps alot to clean out the teeth often. They get clogged up with saw dust because that type of hole saw doesn’t allow the cuttings to self clean easily. The augers like the forstners or self feed augers are much faster for this reason. (but they are much more expensive)

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 2009 days


#8 posted 11-19-2009 07:18 PM

Pete was right—-Twice
I’ve done it that way-it works fine

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View pommy's profile

pommy

1697 posts in 2414 days


#9 posted 11-19-2009 07:22 PM

No need to say anything this is covered by pete

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 2194 days


#10 posted 11-19-2009 07:24 PM

Not if you want a perfect hole. Drilling from both sides can often leave a slight misalignment.

View pommy's profile

pommy

1697 posts in 2414 days


#11 posted 11-19-2009 07:45 PM

Mic_54 the misalignment would only happen if you went at it like a bull we have a good saying gently gently catch the monkey that would stop it

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 2194 days


#12 posted 11-19-2009 07:49 PM

Do it your way then. I’m the one that said “finesse”

View pommy's profile

pommy

1697 posts in 2414 days


#13 posted 11-19-2009 07:51 PM

I didnt mean to upset or offend you Mics_54

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View antmjr's profile

antmjr

262 posts in 1906 days


#14 posted 11-19-2009 07:52 PM

Only 1 1/2” thick board? cannot you hole-saw from one side? (be aware that 3’’ diameter may be a lot: are you sure your power drill is strong enough? Mine is a portable METABO 600W, and frankly it would suffer with such a big hole saw)
—-
Another method is to use the router with a guide bush; here a recess I made this way (black locust) :

-- Antonio

View LesB's profile

LesB

1078 posts in 2166 days


#15 posted 11-19-2009 08:02 PM

If you have a lot to do I would go with the Forstner bit but using the two side method would work with the circle cutter too. We are only talking about 3/4” from each side.

Just make sure you use a drill press and that the piece being drilled is securely clamped to the table….Do not try to hold it by hand with any of these methods unless you like bruises and broken fingers.

-- Les B, Oregon

View gagewestern's profile

gagewestern

302 posts in 2073 days


#16 posted 11-19-2009 08:41 PM

if you drill a hole just inside the the circle say 3/8 in dia. the saw dust will not clog as much. if this is a peice of good wood that is showing not covered up i think the forstner might splinter if its not nice and sharp or you are useing a hand drill

-- gagewestern

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1997 days


#17 posted 11-19-2009 08:52 PM

scroll saw if you can

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3565 posts in 1917 days


#18 posted 11-19-2009 09:23 PM

I don’t know what choice I’d make, so I’m staying out of this one. Just more than one way to skin a kitten.

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 2194 days


#19 posted 11-19-2009 09:29 PM

Pommy, You didn’t :)

View Dovetail's profile

Dovetail

27 posts in 1836 days


#20 posted 11-19-2009 09:58 PM

How about a drill press and drum sander? Just wonderin…

-- Dovetail

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2390 days


#21 posted 11-19-2009 10:08 PM

2 3/4” lead slug from about 3 feet away should do it. Might have some tearout though.

-- It's only wood.

View Gary's profile

Gary

7526 posts in 2156 days


#22 posted 11-19-2009 11:26 PM

My suggestion is send it to Pommy, with a bowl of Kidney Stew.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2456 days


#23 posted 11-19-2009 11:29 PM

I think this is what gagewestern was suggesting. I have seen this tip before but have never tried it; it makes sense to me. I also ensure I clean the teeth of the hole saw before beginning and if it may be a tough job, I rub some beeswax on the teeth also.

holesaw drilling tip

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View wiswood2's profile

wiswood2

1123 posts in 2419 days


#24 posted 11-19-2009 11:38 PM

Hole saw will do just great back it out and clean the teath everonce in a little time go tel the guide bit comes thru and then turn it over add finish cutting it . then file it smoth in the center Chuck

-- Chuck, wiswood2 www.wisconsinwoodchuck.com

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2491 days


#25 posted 11-19-2009 11:43 PM

i would use the router and template. pretty fast very easy and it will ensure that your cut is square

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7150 posts in 2026 days


#26 posted 11-20-2009 12:22 AM

ive developed a new method for this very thing…draw the outline of your circle with a lead pencil..then place 10 of my specialy trained termites within the circle…come back to it in 8 hours and you will have a perfect 3 inch wide circle…...they will have also used the wood taken from the circle and would have made a small board to use for a diffrent project down the road…...this is just amazing…and no power tools required….no thanks nessesary…lol…..sorry i could not resist

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2654 posts in 2249 days


#27 posted 11-20-2009 12:24 AM

One of the things I do is to wax the inside of a hole saw and that helps alot for the chunk of wood coming out. As in your picture there are holes in the hole saw to assist in wood removal also. A 3” hole is not that big put your arm is going to get tired…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View McLeanVA's profile

McLeanVA

465 posts in 2157 days


#28 posted 11-20-2009 12:27 AM

Forstner bit is the cleanest option, but you can also drill a large pilot hole, double stick tape a 3” circle template and use a flush-trim router bit to smooth it out.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2456 days


#29 posted 11-20-2009 04:35 AM

McLeanVA, if you used a flush-trim bit with a template, you’d need to have a 3” circle in the template. Otherwise, the circle would be 3” + 2 x bit diameter.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)

TopamaxSurvivor

15024 posts in 2399 days


#30 posted 11-20-2009 06:16 AM

Hole saws are too expensive to burn up cutting wood. They are made for metal which dissipates the heat.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View jim C's profile

jim C

1455 posts in 1821 days


#31 posted 12-04-2009 04:14 PM

I agree with the 2 sided hole saw method. The main problem with mis-alignment on the second cut is if your drill press table is not perfectly perpendicular to the quill. This is paramount to a smooth clean hole. The 2 sided method also eliminates any chipping/tearout on the bottom.
Also, I made 9 step stools that required 18- 4” Dia. hole through 3/4” oak. The hole saw still looks new. The white paint is perfect. You just need to run the quill speed slow enough to almost be able to see the teeth spinning and apply enough pressure to keep from dwelling. If you get chatter, the old rule of thumb is “slow down the speed and increase the feed”.
Hope this helps.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View stefang's profile

stefang

13530 posts in 2057 days


#32 posted 12-04-2009 10:45 PM

I too favor cutting from both sides. This is also makes it easier to remove the waste disk that is created. If the disk edge is totally covered by the saw cylinder sides it can be really difficult to remove.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bob Areddy's profile

Bob Areddy

177 posts in 2125 days


#33 posted 12-04-2009 11:01 PM

How about a router on a circle cutting jig? Go from both sides, and not quite all the way through. Then you can clean it up by hand.

-- --Bob http://www.areddy.net/wood

View SEE's profile

SEE

119 posts in 1890 days


#34 posted 12-05-2009 01:32 AM

I’ve done that with a Grizzly circle cutter. Their’s is a bit different than most circle cutters that I’ve seen. It has a round blade. It won’t work with the stock blade.

I bought some 1/4 HSS end mills and had them cut to my specified length and sharpened the way that I wanted them. It’ll cut like butter through 1 1/2” stock. Again, it won’t work with the stock blade. But, the results with the blades I had made are perfect.

-- Build for the joy of it!

View SEE's profile

SEE

119 posts in 1890 days


#35 posted 12-05-2009 01:32 AM

I’ve done that with a Grizzly circle cutter. Their’s is a bit different than most circle cutters that I’ve seen. It has a round blade. It won’t work with the stock blade.

I bought some 1/4 HSS end mills and had them cut to my specified length and sharpened the way that I wanted them. It’ll cut like butter through 1 1/2” stock. Again, it won’t work with the stock blade. But, the results with the blades I had made are perfect.

-- Build for the joy of it!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

12010 posts in 1828 days


#36 posted 12-05-2009 01:44 AM

It depends on how close a tolerance you have on the 3” dia. If you don’t have a 3” forstner bit( first choice) then you could layout the hole and drill a hole inside about tangent to the line and scroll saw it and then drum sand it to make it almost perfect. A fly cutter will work coming from both sides, but you need a long straight bit well relieved to get down 3/4” I have one that will do that if you need it. It takes a 3/8 Pilot hole.

.............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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