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Drilling accurate holes.

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Silfi

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Hello, --- I would be grateful for advice on a project.
I need to drill a line of four 19mm diam holes in timber ( inline with the grain). Two of the holes will be 2mm apart. What is best way to drill/make the holes to avoid any breakout between them.

Thanks.
 

Terry - Somerset

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I would have thought your best chances woud be a forstner bit in a pillar drill with the wood secured to the table.

But ultimate success it is more likely to depend on the wood in which the holes are being drilled.
 

Silfi

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In reply to the questions ---I have acess to an accurate drill press --- the wood is 12mm thick. I don't know what wood type it is. It is for a friend who wants to repurpose a prefinished (varnished?) box.
Breakout on the underside does not matter.
 

Inspector

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In that case clamp a fence on the table and use a forester bit. Putting a piece of scrap under the work piece, same wood, plywood or MDF will help with breakout. Experiment on scrap to work out the speeds and how fast you offer the bit to the wood.

Pete
 

Just4Fun

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If I really really want to avoid tear out I use a brace and bit.
 

Stevekane

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The type of wood will have a great bearing on it, however I think I would want to have the piece sandwiched between two bits of flat timber and well clamped as close to where the holes were being drilled and also well clamped down to the table. Forstner bit would be good but for odd sized holes you could convert a 19mm twist drill into a “lip and spur” bit on the grinder which might help. I guess a problem for you might be its got to work first time,,nothing to practice on?
 

Fergie 307

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I would agree, clamping some scrap either side will largely eliminate any tearout even in softwood. And make sure the bit is really sharp.
 

Cabinetman

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I would find something to insert into first hole before drilling the second one. Piece of wooden dowel in 19mm or 3/4" diameter?
Yes this is exactly right, even if you have two pieces cramped on either side, with only 2 mm between the holes there is a very good likelihood of it crumbling away especially as these holes are in line with the grain. Ian
 

Silfi

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Sounds like a Nixie clock...
Well spotted Nick -- it is a Nixie clock .Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and advise.
I will get a forstner bit and do some practise holes but as mentioned only get one shot at the real thing.
My friend who is a wizard with electronics cannot understand why it is difficult to "drill a few small holes in a piece of thin wood" !!
 

Spectric

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I have had to do something similar and I turned to my router with a plunge base and 30mm bush. Make a jig in which there is a 30mm hole for the bush and side location that keeps it in the right place. Now if the centre of this 30mm hole has been marked it is just a case of locate the jig and route the hole, move jig and route next hole and you can have as many as you want all in a straight line because the jig is locating, no wander or trying to centre a bit on a drill press.
 

Alpha-Dave

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Good job for a CNC router, could be an excuse to buy a relatively cheap one if you also want to do some engraving.
 

nickds1

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Well spotted Nick -- it is a Nixie clock .Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and advise.
I will get a forstner bit and do some practise holes but as mentioned only get one shot at the real thing.
My friend who is a wizard with electronics cannot understand why it is difficult to "drill a few small holes in a piece of thin wood" !!
The reason I know is that I've been fascinated by neon and other cold cathode displays for about 30 years - I run the web's largest nixie forum (Google neonixie-l) and have designed and built countless nixie clocks and similar devices - 19mm is a standard diameter for small nixies. Our house is full of neon clocks and other ephemera - luckily SWMBO also loves neon and Bakelite (or so she says...)

I also collect vintage valves and nixies... About 12,000 so far... and have supplied rare tubes (dekatrons) to Bletchley Park for the restoration of some of the early computers...

There's beauty and comfort in the glow of neon and the dulcet tones of a vintage Bakelite radio....
 
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nickds1

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Any excuse to buy a new tool @Alpha-Dave ?
I doubt I could be that accurate, even with a moderate pillar drill.

And FTW is a nixie clock please someone?
On the right, a Dalibor Farney nixie clock (NTP disciplined) with tubes he made himself from scratch. A true work of art from a genuine craftsman... on the left, for comparison, a classic NixieSat (GPS disciplined) from Jeff Thomas with Z568M nixies. Dalibor's tubes are a replica homage of the original Z568s. He has videos on YouTube showing how he makes these. It's simply awesome...

IMG_20181223_202621-1209x1612.jpg
 
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pe2dave

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Thanks for that... (tempted to say before my time!). First seen on frequency counters / sig generators in a previous life!
How far we've come in such a short time.
 
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