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How to cut a hole this big?

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Forum topic by pashley posted 11-19-2009 06:06 PM 6216 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pashley

1028 posts in 2442 days


11-19-2009 06:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hole

Here’s the deal: i’m trying to cut a 3” hole in a 1 1/2” thick board – how to do it quickly and cleanly? The hole is completely inboard (so to speak) – that is, something like a band saw would be out.

I’m afraid something like this will plug up so badly I’ll never get the cutting out:

I don’t think a circle cutter will cut that thick of a piece.

Any ideas?

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com


36 replies so far

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pete79

154 posts in 1865 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.

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GFYS

711 posts in 2196 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.

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a1Jim

112550 posts in 2302 days


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

I do it just like Pete suggested.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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pete79

154 posts in 1865 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.

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2746 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

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GFYS

711 posts in 2196 days


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

pete hahahaha

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GFYS

711 posts in 2196 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)

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Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 2011 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

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pommy

1697 posts in 2416 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

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GFYS

711 posts in 2196 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.

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pommy

1697 posts in 2416 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

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GFYS

711 posts in 2196 days


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

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

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pommy

1697 posts in 2416 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

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antmjr

262 posts in 1908 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

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LesB

1078 posts in 2168 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

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