Drill 4" hole through 1" wood desk

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Hi.
Any recommendations on how to drill a 4" hole in a 1" thick wood desktop? I havent been able to find any 4" drill bits out there.
Thanks.
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http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p2275&cat=1,180,42316&ap=1
On 2 Jul 2006 18:52:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I would use a holesaw, though they are not known for leaving a fine finish. If I was feeling particularly manly, I have an old Irwin expansive bit and brace I could use also.
Perhaps another viable alternative would be to use a jigsaw and cut the hole.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Forstner that size is going to run upwards of $200, maybe closer to $300; and (2) I wouldn't want to be on the end of a hand drill trying to hold on if one of those suckers got stuck. (I assume here that you're going to have to use a hand drill rather than be able to position the cut for a drill press.)
Another solution is to use a 4" hole saw. It won't make as clean a cut as a Forstner but it's a BUNCH cheaper, but it can wrestle you around if you're not careful. If you drill a pilot hole and carefully and squarely begin the cut (LIGHTLY) you oughta be able to pull it off OK -- maybe practice a couple of times on scrap.
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Lee Valley has two 4" sawtooth forstner bits. One is $27.00 and the other is $40.00
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pB245&cat=1,180,42240
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They've also got a 4" hole saw:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2276&cat=1,180,42316
for $22 ($34 if you don't already have the mandril). So, the question is, given these prices, is there any reason you would want the hole saw in preference to the saw-tooth bit? I would think the bit would be superior in just about every way; stronger, heavier so less heat buildup, less likely to bind in a deep hole. Is there any task the hole saw would be better at?
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I wouldn't want to use a 4" bit in a hand held drill if I wanted a precise hole.
I'd use a saw to rough out the hole, then a router with a guide bushing and template.
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Agreed
I'd use the router for the whole job. Save making the template.
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Good point.
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wrote:

I used a 3" bit in a hand held drill and the holes were quite accutate. I think I will post a picture of what I was drilling.
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R. Pierce Butler wrote:

I used upto a 6" hole saw for such things, clamp a sheet of metal top and bottom to help guide (pilot the top one) and support edges, worked a treat everytime.
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I cut mine without such things. I do have to admit that the bit from Lee Valley was excellent. Slised thru that venerred MDF like a rotary plane. It sliced the veneer so cleanly I was amazed. I expected the veneer to break and chip. It did neither. There was some breakage of the veneer on the exit side wut without a drill press it is to be expected. I am not sure about running a 4" bit in a hand drill as I have not tried it. 3" was so easy that I expect that the 4" would be no issue.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
> Any recommendations on how to drill a 4" hole in a 1" thick wood > desktop? I havent been able to find any 4" drill bits out there.
As others have mentioned, a 4" hole saw will do the job and if you go at it the right way, can give you a reasonably clean cut.
A word of WARNING.
Let me repeat that:
W A R N I N G
Don't attempt to use a 4" hole saw with anything but a right angle drill.
Get a 1/2", 2 speed (low speed about 200 RPM) right angle drill.
Try some practice cuts.
That way when the saw grabs the material you're trying to cut, and it will, you will learn how to react to it without hurting yourself.
Trying to use a straight drill with that large a hole saw is a recipe for disaster.
You can hurt yourself, especially your wrists and hands.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Use a plunge router with a home made circle jig and a top bearing router bit is one way. Another way would be: Cutting a smaller hole...let's say you have a two inch drill bit....drill the hole....chase with 1/2" rabbet bit....chase with top bearing bit removing the rabbet ledge....then chase with rabbet bit and....till you get the diameter you need....Hope this is clear...any questions just let me know.
Good luck:
Mike from American Syacmore
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I cut fifty 3" holes in 3/4" venerred MDF using a straight 1/2" drill. It never grabbed. Then I cut thirty 2 1/2" holes in 1/2' MDF without issue. I think it is all in how you approach the issue.
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Now that everyone has told you about the dangers of a drill (I agree completely. Can be done but ...), I would do it with a router. Use a circle cutting attachment (easily made) and a half inch bit, Cut through in small bites. Double sided tape a board across the bottom before cutting so the middle won't flop around when free. Smooth cut and quite safe.

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From practical experience, and if you have a drill press, the adjustable circle/wheel cutter that Greg D mentions cuts a very clean, furniture quality hole.
I used a similar one to cut the many holes you see in this plan rack:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/Projects9.htm
--
www.e-woodshop.net
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You've already got several good suggestions. Here's how I'd do it if I wanted a good looking edge.
1. Using fly cutter, make a 4 inch diameter hole in a piece of 1/4 hardboard to make a pattern. 2. Trace hole where you want it on the wood using said pattern 3 Drill a starter hole and cut out the circle INSIDE the line using a saber saw (I'm working on my geezerhood - a good jig saw can't be held in one hand, but a saber saw can.) 4. Align hardboard pattern back over traced line and hold it in place using double sided tape. 5. Use flush trim bit in router with the hardboard as a pattern to smooth up the cut edges. Maybe come back with a round-over or chamfer bit to take the sharp edge off the top of the hole.
YMMV, especially if you don't have much experience climb cutting with a router, or leave the amount of wood to clean up too thick. DAMHIKT.
Regards, Roy
On 2 Jul 2006 18:52:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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On 2 Jul 2006 18:52:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

How good does the hole have to be? Is it buried in the back behind the monitor? Is it going to be trimmed out with an escutcheon plate? If either of those is the case, I say just cut it with a jig...oops, saber saw and be done with it. One of the modern saws (particularly the Bosch), when handled carefully with a straight (as opposed to oscillating) cut and a fine tooth blade should be able to render a hole as nice as you can follow a line. Plenty good enough if one of the above conditions applies.
If it needs to be purty, use a well crafted template and a router.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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