Forstner Bit Problem

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I was attempting to drill some holes in laminated counter-top material using a "Forstner" bit in a hand drill and after 5 to 10 seconds barely managed to chip the laminate itself.
I figured that perhaps I should be drilling from the non-laminated side and flipped the board over. Outside of the point of the bit it didn't even make a scratch. ?!?
So I was hoping to get feedback on whether the problem was that I am using the wrong tools or is it just the cheap quality of the "Forster" bit I picked up: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item30378965487
I intend to pick up a good hole saw, as opposed to the cheap wobbly ones I already have, to get this project done, but really wanted to know where I went wrong with the Forstner bits.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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I had the same problem and dulled some good and nice bits (not Firstner ones). Then I found the switch that reverses the drill and turned it back into the real drilling position rather than the reversing position ...
--
Best regards
Han
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"Searcher7" wrote in message

The 2" el cheapo Forstner bit I used on a project awhile back got dull in a hurry and caused problems. But when I coughed up the money for a good bit (FAMAG) the tearout and other problems I had been encountering went away. So I wouldn't be surprised that bits costing $1.50 each might not give you great results.
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Could be a combination of cheap and the wrong bit for the tool. Forstner bits are intended to be used in a drill press. I would suggest a hole saw for your drill.
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.
Ok, thanks.
That's what I thought.
I did initially try the hole saw, but since the hole saw set I have is also cheap, it started to wobble. As a result a 1-1/4" hole saw made a 1-5/16" hole. I check and the pilot drill wobbles in the free spinning hand drill, but I don't know if this happened before or after my first drilling attempt. Nevertheless, I'll have to pick up a better set at Home Depot.
(I was told to start with the hole saw and drill several holes around it's perimeter so the saw dust could escape).
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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Searcher7 wrote:

Darren Harris, Would you describe the technique of drilling holes around the perimeter of the hole saw? Hadn't heard of this trick before. Thanks, Kerry
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WW wrote:

WW, Thanks; makes good sense. Kerry
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The Best bits I've encountered are the Bad Dog bits. I'd give them a try! http://www.baddogtools.com/dotnetnuke/Tools/RoverBits.aspx
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I'll take your word on that however I can warn you to steer way clear if their normal looking carbide tipped twist bits. I bought a set at the show last and returned them the next day with 2 broken bits. According to the guys selling the bits they are not intended for mild steel and mild steel will break them. Hummmmmmm. Either way they are made in China and probably the worst quality I have ever seen coming out of China.
Truly one of the best brands for woodworking bits is Colt. I have several of their brad point bits, specifically "5 STAR Brad points Bits", not their less expensive ones. Colt also makes Forstner style bits. With a Colt 5 Star 3/8" bit I can drill through a piece of oak or oak plywood with no support on the back side and get no tear out as the bit exits the back side of the wood.
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?

Forstners cut with a scraping action. I doubt any bit is going to do a really good job, but the cheaper ones will have a difficult time getting though a pine board and won't touch tough laminate. I'd get a good hole saw, preferably mounted in a drill press.
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"Searcher7" wrote:

-------------------------- Yes, that junk might make a paper weight, MAYBE, a forstner NEVER.
-----------------------------------

--------------------------------- Make sure the hole saw is BiMetal construction.
May get lucky, but doubt Home Depot will have them.
Lew
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I had gone to Home Depot earlier and almost bought the 1-1/8" & 1-1/4" Milwaukee Bi-metal hole saws along with the necessary pilot bit for about $25 total.
My table top drill press is not yet operational, so I'll have to make do with my hand drill for now.
I'll see what I can find tomorrow.
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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"Searcher7" wrote:

1-1/4" Milwaukee Bi-metal hole saws along with the necessary pilot bit for about $25 total. ------------------------------ Now you are headed in the right direction.
A little tip.
Low RPM and hole saws go together.
Lew
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On Sat, 19 Feb 2011 22:55:05 -0800 (PST), Searcher7

Darren, I've successfully cut holes in laminate tops with a simple spade bit. It left no chipout in 90% of the holes, but a few had up to 1/8" of chipping. If you line the hole with plastic liner, that will be covered, but as I said, most looked perfect. I cut holes for electrical cord plugs to "escape."
-- Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. -- Margaret Lee Runbeck
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wrote:

Thanks. I can't find my spade bit at the moment, but just in case. Did you use a hand or table drill?
And did you start on the laminated side?
I'm not too worried about "chipout" as long as the laminated side is clean. But I'd use a sacrificial board underneath anyway.
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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On Sun, 20 Feb 2011 16:19:01 -0800 (PST), Searcher7

I think the handy drill was the old B&D 3/8" corded VSR with the HF 1/2" chuck on it. I wouldn't hesitate to use one in a brace, though. It'd be slower but doable.

ABSOLUTELY! Laminate is sheets of paper with phenolic resin, all heat-pressed together. Attempting to drill from the backside would likely result in long strips of laminate surface ripping off.

Always.
-- The more passions and desires one has, the more ways one has of being happy. -- Charlotte-Catherine
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message

Without any proof beyond hearsay, an installer who worked with laminate liked to warm it up with a heat gun as a deterrent to tearout. I'd want to practice that little maneuver before relying on it.

A handy accessory is one of those portable stands (complete with its own chuck) which fits on to power drills. "General" is one brand among others. Though I use them to assure a perpendicular hole and measured penetration on immovable objects where that is important, they are advertised for use in maintaining angles; however, lack of any need wouldn't allow my guarantee for use at acute numbers.
You're a hero if you can manage using an eggbeater for more than breakfast. They get collected for distribution to the third world when found cheaply.
Regards,
Edward Hennessey

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On Mon, 21 Feb 2011 00:06:20 -0800, "Edward Hennessey"

Maybe warm it to 120F, but if you got it really hot, I firmly believe that it would tend to lose cohesive strength and tear instead of chip.

I bought one (back when they were $20. Gawd, look at the prices now! <thud>) and still use it on rare occasion.>You're a hero if you can manage using an eggbeater for more

I said "brace", not "eggbeater, Ed. They're much easier on the bod. http://tinyurl.com/6ac82ka Festering price, wot? http://tinyurl.com/66atlaz for drilling eggs?
And for eggs, I use a fork. AAMOF, I made French toast for breakfast this morning and stirred the milk and coconut milk together with the eggs using a fork.
-- The more passions and desires one has, the more ways one has of being happy. -- Charlotte-Catherine
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