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  1. #1
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    Default Correct use of Forstner drill bits

    Can you use a Forstner drill bit in a hand drill, or should it be mounted in a drill press. I want to drill a 25 mm flat bottomed hole about 5 mm down into Melamine.

    all suggestions and ideas welcomed, including jigs

    regards,
    Jill

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    Hi Jill, you can use them in a hand held drill. If you settle the point down into the work and watch to keep the initial cut of the drill even around the circle and then hold that position as you drill down into the work, you'll get a pretty good hole.

    I've drilled melamine with the 35mm bit for concealed hinges and that is quite acceptable, although I do feel the hole has slightly more slop than if done clamped iin a drill press.

    Cheers
    Michael

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    Forstner bits are best used in a drill press, but hand-held is not so bad, as long as the workpiece is secured in place. Have a squint here: http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com...ad.php?t=44107 and at the WWF link in the first post.

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    Just tried these fagam bits and they are awsome, got them from Northwood tools
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    You can stop the slop (slightly bigger hole) if you drill a hole in a piece of 16mm or thicker mdf in the drill press and use that as a drilling jig by clamping it where you want the hole. The MDF jig helps keep it all vertical and stops any initial wander. Best to put a large x on the blank so you have lines to line up and ensure it is centred.

    I had to use this tecnique with a hole saw that was too deep for the drill in my arbour. Worked well.
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    I recently made some melamine cupboards and used a 35 mm forstner to drill the hinge holes using a cordless drill. It worked out fine, although I did drill a 2mm hole just to break the surface of the melamine. This gave the forstner bit a start and stopped it wondering about.

    The hardest part of using a hand drill it getting the correct depth hole, this is a bit trial and error. You could put some tape on the bit at the depth you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JillB View Post
    Can you use a Forstner drill bit in a hand drill, or should it be mounted in a drill press. I want to drill a 25 mm flat bottomed hole about 5 mm down into Melamine.

    all suggestions and ideas welcomed, including jigs

    regards,
    Jill
    Jill... look here for the answer to your question

    Use the drill PRESS if you have one believe me the results from hitting a submerged within the timber knot or gumm pocket are rather long lasting and painfull... several days in hospital micro surgury and a permanently bent finger along with almost having to have my wedding ring finger amputated because the bloody idiots did NOT take the thing off before they did their thing... USE THE DRILL PRESS with Forstner bits!!

    DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYONE WHO SAYS YOU CAN USE IT IN A FLAMIN HAND POWER DRILL!!

    Just use the drill press PLEASE

    Cheers
    Shane
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    Jill,
    25mm is rather large to drill using a hand held drill. It is possible if you are careful. It is difficult and it can be dangerous.

    I'm assuming that your melamine is over particle board. (Ours is sold that way.) The melamine is hard and the particle board is soft.

    Use an ordinary drill bit about (May the metric gods forgive me...) 1/8" and drill deep enough to just barely go through the melamine. This will make a good starting point for your Forstner bit.

    There are two parts of physics that you need to understand. The first is that the drill is going to want to spin in a counter clockwise direction while drilling. I'll usually brace it with my left knee or thigh.

    The second part of physics is that you need to drill the hole square to the melamine. As you SLOWLY start the process of drilling insure that the outside edge of the Forstner bit is scribing a complete circle. This tells you that the hole is being drilled square to the melamine surface.

    Spin the Forstner bit SLOWLY and apply light pressure to the drill. It is best to control the drill trigger and speed control with your left hand. If the bit jams, the drill is more likely to be twisted out of your hand and stop. Using your right hand may have a tendency to squeeze the trigger even tighter and applying more speed and torque to the drilling process.

    As has been said above, a drill press is the safest way to use Forstner bits.
    Rich

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    I am safety conscious, in fact some of the woodworking tools and machinery scare the life out of me, which is a good way to be. The slighest error can cause pain and damage to my person, and I have had a few near misses thanks to silly little careless actions.

    I try to understand the safety aspects of each machine in detail, and keep them in mind.

    I shall not be using a Forstner bit by hand drill, after reading the above.

    Many thanks to all

    Jill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Dingo View Post
    Jill... look here for the answer to your question

    Use the drill PRESS if you have one believe me the results from hitting a submerged within the timber knot or gumm pocket are rather long lasting and painfull... several days in hospital micro surgury and a permanently bent finger along with almost having to have my wedding ring finger amputated because the bloody idiots did NOT take the thing off before they did their thing... USE THE DRILL PRESS with Forstner bits!!

    DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYONE WHO SAYS YOU CAN USE IT IN A FLAMIN HAND POWER DRILL!!

    Just use the drill press PLEASE

    Shane
    Cmon Dingo I had a look at your post and its your own bloody fault that happened. You should have had both hands on the drill and the the work clamped. and use a smaller drill that is easier to hold than that monster. She is drilling into melamine not into timber so no knots or grain. and it is only 5mm holes.
    Jill (if you don't have a drill press)I suggest you do try it hand held on a piece of scrap melamine, hold it left handed so if the bit bites (it won't) the grip will spin out of your hand. clamp the piece and keep both hands on the drill, not like dingo did! You can safely determine for yourself if you're comfortable doing it.!
    Cheers
    Michael

    Cheers

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    Thanks Michael. I would feel more comfortable using a drill press, I think, plus it has the added advantge of depth control. So, off I go looking for a drill press. It was only a matter of time, as I have often needed one, and ended up doing a workaround

    I don't compromise with safety - what is the cost of a permanently damaged finger or hand - lots of pain, no more piano playing , difficulty handling and lifting etc

    kind regards,
    Jill

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    I had to drill some 40mm holes in a board too far from the edge to fit under the pillar drill. I clamped the board down and used a forstner bit on a slow speed. I had no trouble at all and at no time felt it was unsafe. Even so, there was no way I was going to put MY hand anywhere near a spinning bit!
    Pugwash.

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    Jill, besides the safety aspect, there is another reason for using the drill press.

    You use a forstner drill because you want a high precision hole; for most of us hand-held drill cannot deliver that precision - a drill press does it easily.

    Cheers

    Graeme

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    Love the comment about only using the bit in melamine and not in solid timber, reminded me of something that happened along time ago.

    While not a drill bit but a panel saw, it still has relevance.

    I was rough cutting sheets of melamine, 3600x1800x19, when half way through a sheet I was showered in hot sparks and a blade that stopped dead in its tracks.

    After investigation, a bolt had fallen into the board mix during manufacturing, had been sanded flat with the melamine finish over the top of it. The odds of me hitting this one bolt in a sheet this big are astronomical but if its happened once, whats to say it couldnt happen again, to Jill whilst using the forstner bit in a handheld drill.

    Just not something to think about.

    Hope this helps you make the right decision Jill,

    Ross.

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