Drilling for drawer pulls

I am in the process of finishing a drawer that will get a water-based polyurethane finish. It needs two holes drilled in the face for the handle.
Would you recommend drilling before applying the poly or after? If I drill before, I can see the poly dripping into the hole and needing to be drilled or scraped out, which will probably mar the finish around the hole.
If I drill after, then I am drilling through a thin film of plastic on top of the drawer face, which I can imagine might crack or spider-web or something.
Which is the least error-prone way to do this?
- Ken
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After, definitely.

Worse: it will run through the hole, and harden into a drip on the other side.

Naaah. Use a sharp brad-point drill, and you won't have any problem at all.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Ken McIsaac wrote: > I am in the process of finishing a drawer that will get a water-based > polyurethane finish. It needs two holes drilled in the face for the > handle. > > Would you recommend drilling before applying the poly or after?
Drill holes first, then finish using a pipe cleaner to apply finish to hole walls, then finish remainder of drawer front.
Handle mounting screws will remove any excess material.
Works for me.
YMMV.
Lew
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"Ken McIsaac" wrote in message...

It is generally an accepted practice to mount all your hardware before beginning your finishing process - hinges, knobs, etc., then remove the hardware, apply your finish, and remount the hardware as the final step.
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Last update: 2/20/07
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If you are putting enough finish on so that it dribbles into the holes, you are putting it on too thickly. Thin coats better than thick. DAVe

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wrote:

I drill knob holes first, then apply finish. This helps seal up the hole walls, perhaps making it more stable in the long run.
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It matters not.
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I still say it does not matter but to cover a few points more specifically,

If you drill and use pencil marks or similar marks to mark the location and do this in the wrong place, it is easier repaired before the finish goes on. You can resand after drilling the holes to remove marks or sand down the repair. Dont worry about the finish gettin in to the hole. The finesh is going to remain relative soft for weeks and even then a decent drill bit will cut the finish if you need to resize the hole.

I have done a lot or repairs and modifications to pieces with finishes that are years old, I have never witnessed any checking or spider-web or something. You are not drilling through glass. ;~)

The least error-prone way is the one that you use that works best for you. Typically the way that is the easiest to repair should you make a mistake is to drill the holes first, finish, resize holes if necessary and attach pulls.
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I drill before finishing. That way I can mark the locations etc.... I've never had a problem with the hole getting filled up but I've not used poly either. I suppose if it's thick enough and you put down a seriously heavy coat, you could have a problem but you really don't want to be finishing that way anyway. Cheers, cc
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All
Use a piece if dowel or a peg to fit in the holes. Push them out before the finish sets all the way.
Bob AZ
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