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Making mugs with forstner bit? Anything I should know before I buy the bit?

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 10-30-2014 07:47 PM 1612 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1199 days


10-30-2014 07:47 PM

I want to make some mugs and was wondering if I can use a 3 1/4 inch forstner bit in a jacobs drill chuck to hollow out the inside of the mug instead of using gouges and such. It would be faster and easier I imagine. My only wonder is the point in middle of the forstner bit if that would lead to any problems. Are there any other problems I may come across?


17 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1887 posts in 1601 days


#1 posted 10-30-2014 07:55 PM

See no problem using a forstner bit if keep the speed down and back-out often to clear chips. I have never used a 3 ¼” bit to drill, but never had any problems with 2 1/8” or 2 ¼” bits.

-- Bill

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

2675 posts in 2651 days


#2 posted 10-30-2014 10:03 PM

Would this be in a lathe? That sounds like a great idea for hollowing perfect cylinders, I might have to try it.

-- Allen, Colorado

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3130 days


#3 posted 10-30-2014 10:09 PM

What kind of horsepower does your lathe have?

To use a bit that big, your lathe’s motor needs a lot of torque or you’ll really bog down.

My lathe has a 1 horsepower motor, and has a hard time with a 2-inch forstner bit.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Micah Muzny's profile

Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1199 days


#4 posted 10-30-2014 10:58 PM

I have the Jet EVS-2 2hp 230v Lathe.

Will I need to level out the bottom inside of the mug to the tip of the hole from the point on the forstner bit; or will it be fine with the small hole a little deeper into the bottom. I will make the bottoms thicker to account for the point and make it a little bottom heavy.

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3130 days


#5 posted 10-30-2014 11:53 PM

Well, torque shouldn’t be a problem is you take it easy and back out to clear chips/dust.

The point could be a problem, so watch your depth. I use a round-nose scraper to take out the divot left by the point, then use a box scraper to flatten out the bottom.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2576 days


#6 posted 11-01-2014 01:57 AM

Years ago, I used a 2” Forstner bit to drill out a nice piece of rosewood to make a pencil box. I used a metal lathe at a low speed, but it still took a monstrous amount of time. Something like 2 hours, as I recall. I did not have access to gouges or chisels at the time. You are going to develop a lot of heat doing this with a Forstner bit. If you are doing the deed in a wood lathe, the center point is of lower value, and I would recommend drilling starting with smaller diameters and working your way up.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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GeraldH

37 posts in 772 days


#7 posted 11-01-2014 02:24 AM

I’ve used a forstner bit with my lathe to speed up hollowing out many times. Just be sure you have a quality bit that is sharp. The bit makes all the difference. If you are doing this, I’m sure you know the other things you need to do like leaving room to scrape the bottom. I always use a faceplate for those type operations, it’s more sturdy than a chuck.

-- Gerald in B-ham

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GeraldH

37 posts in 772 days


#8 posted 11-01-2014 02:29 AM

What type of wood do you use for the mugs and what type of sealing is needed?

-- Gerald in B-ham

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

1986 posts in 1312 days


#9 posted 11-01-2014 02:29 AM

Try using 1 inch then 2 inches first, so the big one is only removing 1/2 inch or so on rim. Much faster and cooler on the bit than trying to one time it.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22043 posts in 1805 days


#10 posted 11-01-2014 02:39 AM

Are you drilling cross – grain or end-grain? I have used a 3” forstner bit drilling end grain on hardwood. Dulls the bit quickly.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View OldWrangler's profile

OldWrangler

731 posts in 1061 days


#11 posted 11-01-2014 03:12 AM

I was gonna suggest you contact Monte Pittman since he is a mug making wonder but he has already checked in.

Good luck with your project. Let us know what you do and how it works out. I am curious do you have to mortgage the farm to buy a 3 1/4” Forstner bit. I use a 3/4” for inletting pennies into work and they are over $20 for one that will last for more than a few holes. We have some wild bamboo that grows to 50’+ and the cane makes great mugs. Cut at a joint and use it for the bottom and strap a wood handle to it with leather straps.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 2775 days


#12 posted 11-01-2014 03:39 AM

You will need to clamp and securely fasten the wood because a 3 1/4” forstner bit will work hard to spin the wood. The wood type and hardness will be a big factor.

View Vince's profile

Vince

1111 posts in 2896 days


#13 posted 11-01-2014 10:53 AM

I have made several mugs using Forstner bits up to 3.5” and it works well…just keep it slow and easy on the feed rate. When I make my mugs I use segmented stave construction so I’m not taking a lot of wood off.

-- Vince

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1197 days


#14 posted 11-01-2014 01:50 PM



Try using 1 inch then 2 inches first, so the big one is only removing 1/2 inch or so on rim. Much faster and cooler on the bit than trying to one time it.

- RobS888


That’s the way to go. It makes it so much easier, and once you get past 1/8” depth, the bit sides will keep it straight. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4535 posts in 1979 days


#15 posted 11-01-2014 09:02 PM

The best way I found to make the mugs is using a bandsaw if you have one, here is my build.

Click for details

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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