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Question about Forstner bit hole quality expectations.

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Forum topic by Jeff Mazur posted 01-10-2017 12:31 AM 500 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeff Mazur

99 posts in 1141 days


01-10-2017 12:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drill bit

How smooth should a new Forstner bit be cutting? I just bought a 1-13/16” for holes to hold votive candles, and the bit came to me looking and feeling raggedy, especially on the bottom-cutting edges. If it were a plane iron I’d be working it on my stones before using, for sure. The test holes I cut in both pine and cherry scrap had bottoms with scores very much like what you see when you put a board through a thickness planer that has a lightly dinged blade/blades. In addition, the cherry showed a good deal of scoring around the sides, along with some fine tearout in places on the sides and the bottom. This is not very hard, nor very “tricky” wood – I was drilling into the face of plain-sawn pieces with both, nothing curly or with knots or direction-changes present.

Am I being picky here? Should I expect pretty smooth stuff? I wasn’t expecting the kind of smoothness one gets on a board done with a cabinet scraper or a finely tuned hand plane, but this seems really rough to me. I’m going to bit the bullet and keep this purchase, because I lose probably half my purchase price in shipping anyway, but going forward I’d like to be a little more aware of what I should expect. The bit cost me $13.50 plus 5.99 shipping at Peachtree Woodworking Supply, brand is Stone Mountain (Chinese made).

Please share your thoughts/experience; thanks in advance!

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.


8 replies so far

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papadan

3584 posts in 3206 days


#1 posted 01-10-2017 12:38 AM

What type drill are you using? Put the bit in a drill press and running medium speed hold a stone to the sides of the bit “lightly ” You can also hold the stone to the bottom of the bit and hone the cutting edges. Always use a bit that size in a drill press medium speed and feed slow.

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Jeff Mazur

99 posts in 1141 days


#2 posted 01-10-2017 01:07 AM

@papadan, with all due respect, I didn’t ask how to fix a bit, I asked whether I can rightfully expect better. Your answer implies a “yes”, so thank you for that. But I don’t think that the onus of making a brand new bit usable should be on me, so the rest of your answer is, at best, misdirected. I already know how to sharpen bits such as this (and your method seems wrong to me, BTW.)

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.

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DirtyMike

637 posts in 739 days


#3 posted 01-10-2017 01:16 AM

Magnets

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Redoak49

2901 posts in 1826 days


#4 posted 01-10-2017 01:42 AM

I think you should expect better. I have a set from Woodcraft that cuts cleanly. Higher cost ones are even better. I have a couple Freud ones that really cut cleanly.

DirtyMike… you should know that magnets will cause the bits to fail. ;-)

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papadan

3584 posts in 3206 days


#5 posted 01-10-2017 01:50 AM

Oh heck…........I thought I could help an idiot improve his hole drilling technic and equipment. My bad for not just ignoring your dumb ass!

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MrUnix

6004 posts in 2036 days


#6 posted 01-10-2017 02:03 AM

I’ve got some cheap-ass ones from the BORG (Ryobi I think) that cut as smooth and clean as some more expensive ones. Machined nicely and no rough edges. I’d say yours is out of the ordinary in terms of QC and you should send it back.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Jeff Mazur

99 posts in 1141 days


#7 posted 01-10-2017 02:12 AM

Thanks, guys – I think I will send it back. It’s important to send the message that poor quality should not and will not be tolerated. Your feedback is most definitely appreciated.

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4478 posts in 2189 days


#8 posted 01-10-2017 02:13 AM

The Chinese ones definitely come raggedy. and sharpening before use is needed. I have been disappointed from several sources, and now I will only buy bits from Lee Valley for exactly the reason the OP states.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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