oysterfisher

Through drilling - Drill Press and drill bits

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15 posts in this topic

Hey guys,

I have many throw aways and wanted to get an idea of how other guys through drill their plugs on a drill press. 

Also, what long bits do you guys use. I think my bit is weak and has too much wander. All the dewalt bits I buy are always bent. 

Thanks guys!

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Do a search......there is volumes of information on this subject.... Personally I horizontally bore my plug blanks on a wood lathe... Start out with a short drill bit & come in from both ends.  Be absolutely certain everything is centered..Then switch over to a slightly longer drill bit.  A 6" drill bit will easily do a 10" plug blank

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Thanks Mike,

I drill from both ends on the press then finish with a long bit the hand drill. Maybe my hand drill bit is too long. 

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Posted (edited)

Drive a set pin through a scrap board. Clamp this board to your drill press to use the set pin to center the bottom of the blank.

 

To center this bottom alignment pint to the drills chuck, take a long small straight diameter rod and chuck it in the drill. A coat hanger will work. This has to cover the length of the blank plus the length of the drill bit. Use this to set your table height and line your chuck up with the bottom alignment pin and clamp the board to the drill table. 
 

drill starter holes, set bottom hole over set pin, drill halfway, flip blank and drill the rest of the way. Works every time. 
 

your not buying bent drill bits, if you are stop buying bent drill bits. Start with the straightest grain wood you can get. Your drill bits are likely not bent but what happens is the smaller diameter bits will flex and follow the grain of the wood. If your still wandering buy a larger diameter drill bit to prevent wandering. There are no style points for drilling the smallest hole. 
 

there is a tutorial on this site on how to do this but I don’t know how to find it. 

Edited by poopdeck

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I use the method above, but with a couple of changes. I use an ice pick to make a starting point for the drill and locating pin, then use a stub drill ( stiffer with less runout) and run it in as far as it will go from each end, then drill through from each end with a 6” bit. My drill press also has an aftermarket laser center finder, which makes lining up the locating pin really simple. They aren’t tremendously expensive and are a great all round addition to the drill press.

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Those DeWalt bits come dull and get dull fast from my limited experience with them, guessing that's your problem.

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I cut about 6" off the Dewalt long 1/8" bits.

The longer they are, the more they seem to flex.

 

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Don't forget to back out every half inch and clear the chips.    It's possible that using the drill press you're forcing the bit and causing it to wander, especially if you're not clearing your chips.

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For me, life got MUCH easier when I switched to a 3/16 aircraft bit. especially on 10 in needlefish !!  :th:

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For bits I use 6 inch aircraft bits .. I start with a short bit first then go to the six from each end . I do all my through drilling on the lathe 

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Thanks everyone. I think it was the cheap Home Depot wood. I got clear cedar today from a lumber yard, every through-hole was spot on.

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I do all my through wire drilling on my lathe, and I rarely have a problem. I mark all my blanks on both ends with crosshair line at 90, and 45 degrees. mark your centers with an awl. I bought a drill chuck with a #2 morse taper and it works perfect on my Jet Midi lathe. Make sure your bits are sharp. A good bit sharpener can be purchased for around $50. Start with a shorter bit and drill from both ends at a slow speed, and then finish with a longer bit, 6"is a good length. I feed the bits slowly and back up a little after about a 1/2" or so. I then put a 12" bit in a hand drill and bore slowly a little over half way and switch ends and repeat to insure the 2 holes connect with each other. The smaller the bit diameter the harder it is to get a straight hole. I use 1/8" most of the time. There are some real good scorches for bits online, I use drills and cutters to purchase my bits.

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One day I'm going to try through drilling on my lathe, but I have been using a handheld drill with the plug body in a vice for years and it works very well for me. I only lose maybe 1 in 50 at most. The correct way is the one that works for you.

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On 3/17/2022 at 11:09 PM, oysterfisher said:

Thanks everyone. I think it was the cheap Home Depot wood. I got clear cedar today from a lumber yard, every through-hole was spot on.

I use the pin on the bottom drill press system.

One thing I noticed no one mentioned, the long bit you use in the hand drill to finish, use a brad point bit with wings that will cut through rather than follow hard grain lines (like you probably had happen with that Home Depot wood)

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