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Maple Splitting Clean in Half... What am I doing wrong?

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Forum topic by hackery posted 11-09-2016 11:21 AM 1890 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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hackery

49 posts in 549 days


11-09-2016 11:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drilling split wood maple

Hi

My wife asked me to make some dog shaped decorations for Christmas and some were made out of walnut and some maple.

They are flat dog shapes 7mm thick (0.275591”) and about 80mm by 80mm (3inch x 3inch roughly).

I used a 7mm drill bit in a drill press to drill holes for threading ribbon through. The walnut pieces drilled fine but the maple pieces split entirely in half. There was no pressure at all I was holding the piece down by hand and the drill press was at it’s lowest speed and the pieces were backed with a scrap plywood drill press table.

I don’t know where I went wrong so if someone could please enlighten me as I am at a loss and also how I can successfully drill the remaining maple pieces without this happening again.

Thank you

Rab

-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK


20 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 976 days


#1 posted 11-09-2016 11:48 AM

Hard to say for sure, some pictures may help. My best guess is that there was checking in that board and when it was milled/resawn that thin, the effects of the checking were more than it could bear.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

3202 posts in 1115 days


#2 posted 11-09-2016 11:56 AM

Should be at highest speed 3000rpm not lowest. Is the drill bit sharp? Is it a correct type of drill bit? (118 degrees)

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View Mikesawdust's profile

Mikesawdust

324 posts in 2877 days


#3 posted 11-09-2016 12:28 PM

I’d recommend bradpoint bits, they cut the outside diameter first

-- You never cut a piece to short, you are just prepping that piece for a future project

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1051 posts in 1873 days


#4 posted 11-09-2016 02:18 PM

My first inclination is to agree with Mikesawdust and Combo Prof. Run the press RPMs way up, and use a sharp bradpoint bit.

My second inclination is to ask: Grain direction? If you’re drilling into end grain then it’s likely to split no matter what.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 976 days


#5 posted 11-09-2016 02:22 PM


My second inclination is to ask: Grain direction? If you re drilling into end grain then it s likely to split no matter what.

- Underdog

Excellent point. Brad point bit is a good idea too.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

3202 posts in 1115 days


#6 posted 11-09-2016 02:48 PM

How are you sharpening your brad point bits? (Just curious. I’m set up for non-brad point twist bits.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2714 posts in 1318 days


#7 posted 11-09-2016 02:56 PM

The bit is feeding into the wood creating a wedge effect. Increase bit speed and decrease feed pressure. Its a problem when drilling close edge of hard wood.

One solution is cut the holes before you cut out the shapes.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View hackery's profile

hackery

49 posts in 549 days


#8 posted 11-11-2016 09:43 AM

Hi Guys

Thanks for all the replies and sorry for the delay in my reply… my real work always gets in the way of my woodworking!

The drill bit is brand new… not a great set usual Chinese made special but never used before and is sharp.

My next door neighbor (who is sometimes right but also gave me really bad woodworking advice in the past) said to stagger the drilling meaning to start with a really small bit and work my way up through the drill bits until I get to the actual size I want… anyone any thoughts on wherever that would work or not?

I have some images shown below of the pieces that broke.

Thanks… I really appreciate all the help.

Rab

-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

3202 posts in 1115 days


#9 posted 11-11-2016 11:57 AM

I have drilled similar pieces all the time with no issues. Of the advice given most important is (1) to drill at 3000 rpm and (2) get better drill bits. I have used Chinese steel befor and it can be crap and not hold an edge. Are you sure these are wood drill bits and not for metal? The points are sharpened at different angles? Also I think 7mm is too big a hole. 3 mm should be enough to get a bit of ribbon or string through. (Cut a point on the ribbon.)

Please try drilling at 3000rm again on a broken piece to see if that works. If the bits are sharp woodworking bits for they should drill this material without issue. Indeed test out suggestions on the broken pieces. Your friends suggestion of stepping up through drill sizes will work but should not be necessary. Try drilling through masking tape on the wood. Try drilling closer to the center say another 5mm in.

Say hello to all my distant relatives (Haye) in county tyrone.

One solution is cut the holes before you cut out the shapes.

- rwe2156


He has purchased the shapes. So he cannot do that.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 976 days


#10 posted 11-11-2016 12:13 PM

Good points from Don^. Using progressive drills may work but I’d suggest instead using a spot drill or center-drill before drilling. Make sure it’s nice and sharp at 90 degrees and cut just deep enough to get your drill started so it doesn’t have to sever the face grain.

Ultimately though, I think Don hit it. You need sharp drills AND they need to effectively clear chips when cutting. I’ve had cheap drills that clog immediately. Twist drills are fine and I don’t really think the lead angle is critical. I use machinist’s twist drills (118 deg point) exclusively and have never had an issue. Crank your speed up and feed slowly.

Don’s suggestion about masking tape is good. And his suggestion to sort this out using scrap instead of killing any more puppies should be heeded ;-p

Edit: I forgot to mention it but, you can glue the broken pieces back together. Looks like pretty clean splits that should glue up fine.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2286 posts in 2207 days


#11 posted 11-11-2016 12:47 PM

I agree with everything said above, and in addition, would suggest some sort of hold down for a piece that thin/small. If you have some T-Track on your drill press table, a couple sliding toggle clamps would do the trick. If the bit grabs the wood at all, the wood is either going to break, or spin, and with a piece that small, well, breaking is easy.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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hackery

49 posts in 549 days


#12 posted 11-11-2016 01:18 PM

Thanks guys will try out the suggestions on scrap maple to see what difference it makes.

Sorry don’t know how to do the quote thing but replies to indivdual comments below:

Combo Prof – Only time I am in County Tyrone is when I am blasting through it at about 90mph on the way to the Fermanagh lakes for camping, fishing and a bit of boating. I think it would be referred to a “fly over state” if it was in America. Excellent sausages (sausage link / breakfast type) come from Co Tyrone though a lot of farmland. No I didn’t buy the dog shapes I cut them out myself from milled Maple I did myself on the bandsaw so can if need be do some more but if I have to go to the effort of milling and cutting more Maple I want to be sure I won’t break them again when drilling hence reaching out for advice.

Hokieken – Thanks yeah when I was taking the photos to post on here I thought a careful glue up might work to recover the two dead dogs. Nothing to lose by trying it bar 60 seconds of my time and a bit of glue and I can’t really break them anymore than what they already are.

BinghamtonEd – No t-track I am afraid I am from the UK and all our power and shop tools are useless compared to even Harbor Freight type tools. Can’t even get t-track in Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and like one place sells it in the whole of the UK and shipping costs more than the track… sorry rant over about how backwards this country is when it comes to woodworking and machining. Yeah good idea about the clamp I was just holding it firmly down with my left hand when drilling so will try a clamp in addition to all of the other excellent suggestions above.

Need to do as bit of work for a few hours and then knocking off early since it’s Friday and will be straight into the workshop to try everything and will let you all know how I get on shortly.

Cheers

Rab

Thanks will try a smaller bit as suggested and will also try masking tape and will change the speed as suggested to 3000rpm.

Yep drill bits are definitely for wood

-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2714 posts in 1318 days


#13 posted 11-11-2016 01:45 PM

I will say again the best solution in your situation is cut the holes before you cut out the shapes, but the best answer seems to have fallen on deaf ears ;-). Lets just say perhaps you were taking another bite of sausage and missed my answer. ;-)

Other suggestions: a clamp, or even tape across the piece will help prevent splitting. You could also make up a jig to keep pressure across the wood.

Ideally, if you could get a 1/8” Forstner bit this is the ultimate answer for you. As you’ve discovered, brad point bits are notorious for grabbing the wood and self feeding and for this reason must be used with a drill press.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

3202 posts in 1115 days


#14 posted 11-11-2016 02:04 PM

Wow if you did not buy the dog shapes I am very impressed with your bandsaw skill.
Do you cut them thick and re-saw them thin? If so drill the hole when they are 21mm thick say.

I’ve never been to Ireland but my grandmother used to correspond with a cousin and I have the letters. I am mostly of Irish descent, then scot and german and a sliver of english that no side of the family likes to talk about. :-)

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View hackery's profile

hackery

49 posts in 549 days


#15 posted 11-11-2016 03:11 PM

Thanks Combo Prof… I appreciate the bandsaw comments. I slipped an 10mm thick piece of plywood onto the bandsaw table and cut half way through to act as a zero clearance insert and just took my time and nibbled away around my printed and glued on dog shape templates.

The maple came in inch and a half boards but I got the lumber yard to resaw on their massive bandsaw straight down the middle of each board to give me two boards from one. I can resaw a little bit myself but my bandsaw is a tiny cheap and nasty 8 inch hobby saw and even with the biggest blade I can buy for it with 4tpi it’s very hard going resawing stock on my saw and I am of course very limited in capacity too so better to let the lumber yard do it and pay the couple of quid (dollars) that they charge were as before I was planing away maybe half of my wood which was just ridiculous. The stock I was using for the shapes was left overs for a jewelery box I am trying to make the wife for our anniversary. So it was planed / thicknessed down to 7mm on my combination jointer / planer / thicknesser and then sanded with a orbital sander up to 220 grit and cut on the bandsaw.

We as a family have been here since the 1600s we were French Huguenots that came to Ireland as mercenaries to fight for Prince William of Orange (Dutch) and stayed and my mother’s family is Scottish and came here in the early 1800s… there is also some English blood somewhere too. Only been to Michigan for three hours on a stop over at O’Hare airport on route to LAX which was another connection to our final destination of Las Vegas… nice airport though.

-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

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