Reply by JayT

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Posted on Drill bit size and type for this project?

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6424 posts in 3291 days

#1 posted 05-04-2017 02:46 PM

A) There’s not enough movement in a piece that size to stress the wood to the breaking point.

B) Good luck on boring a perfectly straight hole of that length. I’ve been trying to figure out the best method for a while now. The issue is that drill bits that small in diameter will flex, no matter what you do and longer bits will flex more and will try to follow the grain to some extent.

After lots of trial and error (many, many errors), the best I’ve been able to come up with is using sharp, high quality brad point bits at a high speed, carefully marking and drilling from both sides to meet in the middle. Sometimes the holes don’t line up perfectly in the center, due to the flex, but if you are talking about oversize holes being OK, then that shouldn’t be an issue for you.

You aren’t going to find the quality of bits you need at the hardware store, either. Lee Valley has some very good brad point bits that work if a jobber length is OK—you’d have to check to see how long the flutes are. I don’t think they would be long enough on a 1/4in bit to reach the center of a 7in long piece. For longer lengths, I’ve invested in some WL Fuller brad points and am very happy with them. They are spendy, but are superior quality and give excellent results.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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