Question regarding use of drill press

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Forum topic by Danette Smith posted 05-11-2012 04:43 PM 1957 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Danette Smith

161 posts in 4422 days

05-11-2012 04:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood drill press

Hello everyone!
I’m having a problem using my drill press. Let’s start with a photo…
I take two pieces of wood a half inch wide and tape them together.
Then I place them under the drill bit and drill out 3 holes.
The inside of the wood is rough and sometimes it chews up the sides.
What am I doing wrong? I have replaced the bit with a new one and
it does the same thing. The wood is Select Pine. Thank you for any advice. Danette

-- Danette Smiths Pyrography and Easels -

11 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2428 days

#1 posted 05-11-2012 04:49 PM

Try forstner bits. Drill a pilot down to about 1/8 inch first then ease the forstner into the pilot. Forstner bits will score the outer edge of the hole before it cuts the center so if there is any hangup it won’t be seen after the cut.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15566 posts in 2760 days

#2 posted 05-11-2012 04:49 PM

If the “sometimes it chews up the sides” is shown in the first picture above, it’s blow out resulting from the bit exiting the hole at the bottom of your pieces. Put a piece of junk wood / a sacrificial board under your good stuff and drill through the good stuff normally, but stopping in the junk. If the good is held down firm, that trick should minimize blow out.

Inside hole roughness may be the type of bit you’re using, not sure.

EDIT: Another way to prevent blow out is to drill through until the bit just peaks through the piece, then flip it over and cut from the other side…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2629 days

#3 posted 05-11-2012 04:50 PM

It looks like you aren’t using a Forstner bit? the damage looks like it was done by a spade/paddle bit or even worse, by a HSS drill bit ofr metal.

Good Luck!



-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 2728 days

#4 posted 05-11-2012 04:52 PM

Looks like there is a few things going on. The first is that perhaps the tape isn’t holding as tight as needed. It looks there is a lot of chatter as shown in the tear out within the hole being drilled. You may want to consider drilling into a wider piece the rip it down the middle. Or glue the two pieces together sandwiched between brown paper (like that of a brown paper bag). Drill the wholes, separate the two pieces, and then sand off the paper/gule.

The tear out at what was likely the bottom was caused by not having a backer board under the work piece. Finally, make sure your drill press speed is adjusted for the size and type of drill bit you are using.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View CharlieM1958's profile


16276 posts in 4360 days

#5 posted 05-11-2012 05:13 PM

Definitely use a forstner bit, and a sacrificial backer board on the bottom.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2832 days

#6 posted 05-12-2012 01:19 AM

A lot of good advice above. I would add that I clamp pieces together when drilling those ‘half holes’ rather than taping them together. It will hold them much tighter.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View PRGDesigns's profile


238 posts in 2455 days

#7 posted 05-12-2012 02:56 AM

What speed are you operating the DP at? If you haven’t already, move to a Forstner or a saw tooth bit and use the recommended speed for the bit. Speed can make all the difference in the world depending upon which bit, size, etc. There are several good charts offered by Wood Magazine that shows the types of bits and the various speeds for various diameters. I would double down on Andy’s advice.

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View Roger's profile


20948 posts in 2946 days

#8 posted 05-12-2012 11:32 AM

I agree with all the above also. Especially, a forstner bit, and a backer board. Be sure to let the bit do the cutting. In other words, maybe slow down your plunging a bit. good luck

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View vonhagen's profile


539 posts in 2506 days

#9 posted 05-12-2012 12:06 PM

use a backer board on the bottom and either use thick lumber or glue up your lumer then drill it then rip the boards and split them

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2445 days

#10 posted 05-12-2012 01:14 PM

I agree with everyone else Forstner Bit is the way to go for sure.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View Danette Smith's profile

Danette Smith

161 posts in 4422 days

#11 posted 05-19-2012 02:55 AM

I want to thank each and everyone of you! Using a Forstner Bit now and it is working out great. Thank you!

-- Danette Smiths Pyrography and Easels -

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