Drill tear out in pine

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Forum topic by es2000 posted 11-20-2014 03:23 PM 2345 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1318 days

11-20-2014 03:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill tear-out pine

I have a small flat piece of pine about an inch thick and I am drilling 3/4” holes in it with a 7/32” bit. I’m getting a lot of tear out when pulling the drill out. I realize pine is susceptible to this. I’ve tried several techniques including putting some tape over the hole, placing a small piece of flat wood over the hole, drilling really fast, and drilling really slow. Nothing seems to work. Forstner bits are to be a popular recommendation in this case but the smallest one I’ve seen is 1/4”, too big for this job.

The wood is going to be stained. I thought about filling the tears with wood putty but I have my doubts as to how good that would actually look.

Any suggestions?


7 replies so far

View bold1's profile


293 posts in 1876 days

#1 posted 11-20-2014 03:28 PM

Have you tried stopping the bit before removing it?

View firefighterontheside's profile


18356 posts in 1886 days

#2 posted 11-20-2014 03:29 PM

You’re drilling what size hole with what size bit? Yes Forstner bit would be best, but you may also try a brad point bit. Typically I will go full speed on the drill before I start drilling and keep it that way until you pull the bit out.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#3 posted 11-20-2014 04:05 PM

A couple ideas

Start with even smaller drill bits and work your way up.

start with thicker wood and plane the tear out off.

clamping a piece of wood over the area your drilling should work.

Change the type of drill bit your using ,if your using ,a brade point I’ve they tear out more.

Check this out.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Slemi's profile


117 posts in 1570 days

#4 posted 11-20-2014 07:22 PM

Have You tried to reverse rotation when pulling the drill out?

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3771 days

#5 posted 11-20-2014 07:30 PM

A lot of the brad point bits, have a set of shoulder spurs that give you a cleaner hole

You might try clamping the pine to your Drill press table, so that there is no shift of the workpiece, that way the bit would come out cleanly, without dragging on one side. Also maybe the bit isn’t square to the table, so you are drilling a slightly angled hole that blow out when you pull back?

Just some things to try.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View es2000's profile


3 posts in 1318 days

#6 posted 11-22-2014 05:22 AM

Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions and reference material. I tried several techniques. Definitely using a brad point bit made a big different. I also tried running the drill in reverse for a few seconds first to make an indentation, which seems to helped as well.

Alas, I was still unable to get acceptably clean holes. I think pine is just too soft a wood, at least for a newb like me. Drilling into the harder wood around the knots resulted in very nice holes so I know it’s possible. I also don’t really have much equipment, such as a drill press.

So I guess I’m going to start the search for a harder wood. Finding wood in the appropriate shape in Austin or online is proving more challenging that I had hoped, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something.


View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1365 days

#7 posted 11-22-2014 06:08 AM

Poplar is nice and drills well. With such a thin bit drilling that deep of a hole did you try drilling little by little and backing up the bit to clear the chips as you get to the drill depth you want? Another thought is to dimple the starting hole to compress the wood fibers a bit before starting to drill. Like with a punch. These are wild arse guesses bit after two scotches they make sense in my fragile little mind.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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