Seeking method to bore end grain hole in pine 4x4

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by jimintx posted 01-16-2018 04:19 PM 3985 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jimintx's profile


934 posts in 2438 days

01-16-2018 04:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: forstner drill press hole bore end grain pine

I want to bore a 2-1/8” hole into the center of the end of a pine 4×4. The piece of pine is only about 9 inches long, so I can easily set this up on my floor standing drill press. However, my new forstner bit of the correct diameter just almost will not cut into the stock.

I had intended to make this hole about 2 inches deep, but after a long time at the dp, over several tries, i have only gotten it to about 3/8” deep. I used a hand drill to drill out a lot of small holes in the end of the piece in the circle to be cut out, thinking it would ease the cutting demand on the forstner. As far as I can detect, it did not make any difference, although directionally, it had to help, I’d think.

I’d like to read any ideas on how to best do this. If there is a workable method, I want to make about 10 pieces like this, but for now the entire project is on hold.

Many thanks, folks!

(Btw, it is just a primitive votive candle holder craft project I’m interested in experimenting with.)

-- Jim, Houston, TX

23 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


6735 posts in 2574 days

#1 posted 01-16-2018 04:30 PM

It sounds like your bit might not be sharp enough. I have a Porter Cable set from Amazon and they do an OK job cutting end grain even up to the biggest 2” bit. The steel isn’t the best but sharp enough for the time being even with my smaller drill press. What brand of bits are you using?

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Ripper70's profile


1378 posts in 1762 days

#2 posted 01-16-2018 04:33 PM

Hmm. That doesn’t seem right. At what speed are you running the DP? Should probably somewhere around 900 r.p.m. Are you sure the bit is sharp? A 4”x4” piece of pine should cut like butter with a sharp bit, I would imagine.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7789 posts in 1566 days

#3 posted 01-16-2018 04:42 PM

i would guess RPM s :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View jimintx's profile


934 posts in 2438 days

#4 posted 01-16-2018 05:06 PM

I sure thought it would cut more readily, too. The replies are appreciated.

It is a never-before-used Rockler. It’s right out of the package, so it might need sharpening – I can give that a try.

I was running it at 300 RPM. I will see how it goes at a higher speed, like the 900 mentioned above.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View waho6o9's profile


8942 posts in 3430 days

#5 posted 01-16-2018 05:23 PM

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2683 posts in 1016 days

#6 posted 01-16-2018 08:02 PM

2” deep is not significant enough to slow down a good sharp Forstner with the correct speed and torque.
and just asking on the safety side, is the 4×4 securely clamped to the table ?

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View jimintx's profile


934 posts in 2438 days

#7 posted 01-16-2018 10:07 PM

Yep, very secure.
My Dad, the blue collar machinist by trade, was teaching safety and awareness as soon as I could walk.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Loren's profile


10596 posts in 4501 days

#8 posted 01-16-2018 10:24 PM

I might try drilling on face grain just to check
the sharpness of the cutter. End grain can
be difficult.

Still, sounds like a dull cutter.

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

112 posts in 2823 days

#9 posted 01-16-2018 10:35 PM

Get a cheap carbide bit. They are very inexpensive on Amazon, Banggood, and other sites. The Chinese ones work great and they are sharp and stay sharp. You will occasionally find a brand that has a bit designed poorly, with too long or too short center point, or something else weird, but for the cost of less than a standard steel bit, I take the occasional bad apple. I mean all the bits that you are going to use are made there anyway so no reason not to try them (or Taiwan, or phillipines, or another overseas market). You have to go to a $70 bit to get a perfect quality German one.

-- Matt Rogers, and

View bilyo's profile


1163 posts in 1956 days

#10 posted 01-16-2018 10:39 PM

At the risk of asking a silly question (but I must ask): is it possible that the DP is rotating the wrong way? It seems to me that even a “not-to-sharp” forstner bit should cut better than that.

View jimintx's profile


934 posts in 2438 days

#11 posted 01-16-2018 10:55 PM

bilyo, the machine is rotating the right direction.

It’s generally a good question. For example, I can tell you about what happens when you mount a blade backwards in a table saw … but I won’t go off on that tangent now.

But in this case that sort of thing isn’t the issue, and I don’t know any way to make this drill press spin the other direction.
. . .

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View robscastle's profile


7333 posts in 3057 days

#12 posted 01-16-2018 11:03 PM

Sell it, it sounds like a great tool in the wrong hands.

-- Regards Rob

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1235 days

#13 posted 01-16-2018 11:29 PM

Try the forstner bit on another piece of wood and see how it does. Try it in a different drill….maybe yours isn’t gripping it tight enough?

View bandit571's profile


26514 posts in 3537 days

#14 posted 01-16-2018 11:35 PM

Just cutting too slow, speed the RPMs up.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View bilyo's profile


1163 posts in 1956 days

#15 posted 01-17-2018 12:17 AM

Sell it, it sounds like a great tool in the wrong hands.

- robscastle

Very inappropriate!!. I hope you are joking!!

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics