How to drill clean holes in quarter inch birch ply

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Forum topic by woodrooster posted 11-29-2009 08:06 AM 4819 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 3337 days

11-29-2009 08:06 AM

Ok one of my first projects I built a cabinet in the garage out of birch ply from home depot. the doors are quarter inch and are are sliding doors in plastic tracks.
I need to bore 3/4” holes for finger pulls whats the best method for this? I Only have a spade bit in that large of a size I was thinking of putting a scrap block on the exit side to minimize tearout. And I was planning on starting on the show side. does that sound like a good plan?

I know its basic but It looks so good so far!

4 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3773 days

#1 posted 11-29-2009 08:17 AM

I would normally suggest a forstner bit but if all you have is a paddle bit I would first drill a small hole(1/16”) in the center of were you want a hole and drill from both sides. With the tools you have I still wonder how well this will turn out. I would try this on a scape piece of wood first and see how it works.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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9 posts in 3337 days

#2 posted 11-29-2009 08:26 AM

perhaps I should buy a forstner bit

View End_Grain's profile


95 posts in 3333 days

#3 posted 11-29-2009 08:50 AM

I just drilled some holes in the same plywood but 3/4” thickness. Sharpness of the bit and speed are the keys. Slow will tear the wood rather than cut it. If the bit is dull, it will tear out no matter what speed it is going. Simply drill through one side until the point just exits the other side. Let the bit cut the wood. Pushing the bit faster than it will cut also causes tear out. Flip it over on the block of scrap and start drilling from that side. Practice on scraps first to get the hang of it. A forstner bit will require a drill press or the use of a drill guide on a portable drill.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4184 days

#4 posted 11-29-2009 08:52 AM

I would clamp a scrap on both sides before drilling. The middle of a hole rarely get screwed up.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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