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Oh great and wise lumberjocks, I see insight.

Pictured below is something I am contemplating. The material will be Goncalo Alves. I want to drill the holes on the top a 1/2" diameter and then route the grooves on the side with [whatever bit I can find]. I want the routed groove to cut through to the drilled holes (ignore the yellow and just pretend you can see into the drilled holes).
If I drill first then route will I risk chipping/chunking when I pass through the drilled holes? Or, vice versa, if I route the groove first will I mess up the holes as I drill them? Or, both?
I kind of wanted to drill the holes first so I could sneeak up on the final depth of the groove using multiple passes.

Material will be Goncalo Alves. Will be using a drill press and a router table. So, none if it will be fumbling by hand.

It's an $8 block of wood and I really don't want to learn the hard way… I have learned a lot of things on the router the hard way but, none of them have involved blood, yet.

What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance!

 

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I think you risk tearout more drilling after routing. In my experience, tearout is worse drilling through an open space with no backer. I have routed through existing holes many, many times with no tearout.

Drill first, then route.
 

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You might try drilling first, then insert some 1/2" dowels into the holes. The difference in the dowel and the block will let you see well enough to set depth while filling the space and helping with tear out.
 

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Whoa… That gives me another idea for the future. Drill the holes over-sized, route the groove, then fill the drilled holes with a contrasting color of hardwood dowel and drill the final hole through the center of the dowel. That might look really interesting!
 

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If you do that then your routed groove won t open into the drilled hole unless you then go back and reroute the groove, in which case you ll be right back where you started.

- firefighterontheside
If I did that, I would not reroute the groove. The dowel fillers would be left exposed in the groove and add a little more dimension. Just like the picture (not ignoring the yellow parts this time)I posted except with larger holes/dowels.
 

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Whoa… That gives me another idea for the future. Drill the holes over-sized, route the groove, then fill the drilled holes with a contrasting color of hardwood dowel and drill the final hole through the center of the dowel. That might look really interesting!

- Obie
That sounds pretty awesome.
 
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