Novice Woodworker With Questions

I'm a novice woodworker, and an apartment dweller. As such, I don't have options like drill presses or table saws.
I found this plan for a hanging pot rack. Simple yet elegant, and it seems fairly easy to tackle. http://pages.areaguides.com/ubuild/PotRack.htm
I'm going with red oak because it matches the kitchen decor--plus it's fairly cheap and readily available at Home Depot and Lowes in the right sizes all but shrink-wrapped.
Rather than ripping 1x6s, I was gonna use two 1/4" and two 1/2" (actual not dimensional) red oak 36" long in either 3" or 4" widths. Drill the two 1/2" boards completely through, glue and clamp a drilled 1/2" board to a 1/4" board forming one side of the pot rack, and I figger the depth of the holes should be dang near identical when I glue and clamp the two sides and all the 3/4" dowels together.
I was planning to drill the wood with spade bits and use scrap plywood as a backer. Will spade bits produce horrendous tearout in red oak? Do I need to consider a 3/4" brad point bit or Forstner and a Drill Guide?
I don't have any spade bits, brad points, Forstners or a Drill Guide, so I have to invest at least a little on hardware--although I am trying to minimize the expense.
Thanks in advance for any input.
Ken Grubb Bellevue, WA, USA
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Ken Grubb asks:

Forget spade bits for anything other than their intended use, boring holes in joists and studs.
Good luck.
Charlie Self "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." Ernest Benn
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wrote:

Spade bits are inexpensive. A new bit will be sharp enough as to minimize tearout. A drill guide (poor man's drill press) is a good investment--not only it will help you drill straight holes, but it will contain a stop. With a spade bit, drill until the point just breaks through, then flip the wood over and finish the hole. Test the procedure on a piece of scrap wood. You may want to clamp a scrap behind the pre-drill hole instead of flipping the board. Forstner bits should be used in a drill press, although I have used one with a drill guide and clamp. Good luck on the pot rack!
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wrote:

I made a very similar rack with the plans in ShopNotes to hold all my shop jigs and patterns. I used shop-made dowels (using my router table and a round over bit) of oak, walnut, and whatever else I could find in the scrap bin or from pallet wood. The hooks are bent from with a shop-made bending jig and heavy aluminum wire. A very useful and space saving rack.
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As an alternative to spade/brad point/forstner bits, an economic alternative might be a hole saw you chuck into your drill, the HD has them, as when they are nice and new and sharp they cut fairly clean holes.
Mutt
<SNIP>

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On 8 Jul 2004 07:37:10 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Mutt) wrote:

1. Buy crowbar. 2. Lever 5 bucks from wallet. 3. Go buy 3/4" forstner bit.
Secure your work and keep a firm grip on the drill. You'll be fine.
JP

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Use a forstner bit . Also, for an apartment dweller, you should consider a small benchtop drill press. You'll get a lot less slop (tighter fitting dowels) with that combo.
You can pick up a chiwanese benchtop drill press for under $75 US.
djb
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wrote:

Using a spade bit without a drill press is not a great idea. A brad point is likelier to work.

Rodney Myrvaagnes J36 Gjo/a
"In this house we _obey_ the laws of thermodynamics." --Homer Simpson
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Understood. There's a contraption that allows you to mount a drill into a rack and get pseudo-drill press capability. Not an endorsement, just an observation. Saw them at Home Despot.

There are ways to get a spade bit to suffice in this situation -- but if you're a woodworker, Forstners and Brad Points should be part of your arsenal. Inexpensive Chinese Forstners from Harbor Freight would be better than a spade bit, and not much of an outlay.
I started off a 7 piece set of Forstners from HF - and have been replacing them slowly, with Freuds.
I don't think I'd pop for a 3/4" Brad Point. I think the biggest I have is 1/2". Again, good bits are an investment. I bought mine from WL Fuller, but Lee Valley's brad points get excellent reviews too.

My nickel would be on inexpensive Forstners from HF, Rockler, Woodcraft...
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