Tight Hole

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Forum topic by DKV posted 07-19-2011 02:01 AM 1620 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3940 posts in 2468 days

07-19-2011 02:01 AM

Hey all…
Here’s the story. I drilled a 1/4 inch hole for a 1/4 inch rod of brass. The hole is 5 inches deep and the rod must slide within the hole and be snug but not too tight. Right now it is way too tight. How do I enlarge the hole without making it too large and loose for the rod?
Thanks ahead of time.

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16 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2532 days

#1 posted 07-19-2011 02:08 AM

try a 9/32 drill

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2468 days

#2 posted 07-19-2011 02:13 AM

Don W,
I did. Makes the rod too loose. I guess I could put the rod in my drillpress and sand it down a bit…

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View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3125 days

#3 posted 07-19-2011 02:20 AM

Knurl another rod and use it to ream the hole a little. Or better yet, you can get reamers for metalworking slightly oversized. I’m sure they would do ok for a one time task in wood.

Me, being the cheapskate I am, I’d get a smaller dowel and wrap sandpaper around it to get to a snug fit in the hole and use it to open it up a little.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3720 days

#4 posted 07-19-2011 02:37 AM

Here is a chart that might give you the size you need:

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View cutmantom's profile


402 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 07-19-2011 02:42 AM

on a drill press place a piece of paper between the bit and one of the chuck jaws, this will make the bit wobble a little bit which will give you a slightly larger hole

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3063 days

#6 posted 07-19-2011 02:55 AM

Get a set of number and letter drills. Harbor Freight has them on the cheap. Or go to
There is every undersize or oversize drill you will ever need.
Drilling metal will almost every time result in a hole larger than the drill unless you drill undersize and ream it.
Wood has the opposite effect. It swells out, thus making the hole smaller. (Think about it) The softer the wood, the worse it is.
Hope this helps.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2468 days

#7 posted 07-19-2011 04:25 AM

Thanks one and all. I now have a lot of different options to try out. BTW, one of your members got me going on this. I am building the radius cutting tool that Jon3 built for string inlay.

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View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2745 days

#8 posted 07-20-2011 04:52 PM

Or a metric size ?
1/4 inch is 6.4 mm, get a 6.5 mm drill bit ?

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Stuey's profile


43 posts in 2922 days

#9 posted 07-20-2011 06:18 PM

I too suggest an F or maybe even G sized drill bit.

Head on over to an industrial supply, or add this to your next Amazon order:

Although… at this point redrilling a 1/4” hole won’t provide the best results, and a reamer may not be effective either.

In your place I would likely polish down the rod ever so slightly.


View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2923 days

#10 posted 07-20-2011 06:47 PM

One thing to try is a different drill bit type; a forstner bit will cut differently than a twist bit, and a metal bit will cut different than a wood bit. Sounds odd I know, but I have found it to be true. Give it a shot on a scrap piece.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2468 days

#11 posted 07-20-2011 08:44 PM

cr1…it’s just you
everyone else (except maybe superstretch)...thanks a million. I ended up buying an F size and it worked great. Love this site.

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View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2658 days

#12 posted 07-20-2011 08:48 PM

:( What did I do? A little paste wax goes a long way. Glad you got your problem sorted out

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2632 days

#13 posted 07-22-2011 07:58 AM

Every time I look at this thread title, I was thinking, What is the problem ;)

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2604 days

#14 posted 07-22-2011 08:54 AM

and every time I see it I think Urban Myth for some reason… ;=)

If you had put a light coat of KY on the brass, then used your hammer drill not to turn but to hammer from the top downward, you would be able to get it to within 1/2 inch, then tapped the rest of the way with a tack hammer, etc.

You should see someone try to hand drive a grounding rod into dry Georgia clay (pity the fool) versus seeing someone using a Milwaukee hammer drill … almost effortlessly pushing it into the ground like butter.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2468 days

#15 posted 07-22-2011 02:55 PM

cr1…I guess it wasn’t just you. I take it back.

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