How to rough out a large block on a drill press

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 04-17-2014 03:03 PM 678 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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328 posts in 1754 days

04-17-2014 03:03 PM

I’m planning a carving on a large block (3” x 12” x 18”). I’d like to do some of the roughing out/setting of my levels by machine in order to save some time and also increase the accuracy of the results. I have done this with a drill press and a forstner bit before…but the process of cleaning up the rather deep pilot holes it left was a pain.

Is there such a thing as a forstner without a pilot? Can I file the pilot off and still have it work safely? Is there some other bit I could try?

For the record: a hand-held router will NOT work in this case – there are too many instances where surrounding features mean there is no stable place for the base to rest. It pretty much has to be the drill press.

3 replies so far

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2858 days

#1 posted 04-17-2014 05:51 PM

I believe the pilot largely exists to guide the bit straight, filing it off just means the bit will be more prone to wander initially. Though with no bladed area under the point the bit may not cut very deep before there is too much uncut material in the center to allow the bit to go deeper without a lot of filing to carry the sharp edges into the center of the bit.
Wouldn’t it be easier to rough out on a bandsaw or is this just cutting into the surface some? In which case how about a dremel with a cutting bit of some sort.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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328 posts in 1754 days

#2 posted 04-17-2014 07:14 PM


I’m roughing out or establishing multiple levels inside the carving, so really there is no way to access it except from above using the DP.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3608 days

#3 posted 04-17-2014 09:25 PM

There are some blades with tct teeth that are designed to fit a four and a half inch angle grinder but flap discs also work well at removing large chunks down to managable size pieces in not IMHO forget forstner bits these are the real deal , and do not require the holding steady that forstner bits would need. You could check out these tools for yourself on ebay or google . Alistair Ps I have used a flap disc in my small angle grinder and it worked great, but it is very dusty, better perhaps doing it if possible out doors which I did.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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