Bit Choice for Drilling 2-Inch Holes in White Oak

      This much drilling in hard wood is a torture test for any bit. What's the best bit for the job? August 8, 2010

I need to drill a 2" hole through several (116) white oak post brackets. The bracket is 5" thick. The wood has been dried to 16%. I plan on using a drill press. What would be the best bit to use?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor D:
Any bit you use will be dull by the time you finish those. I'd just buy several spade bit and keep them sprayed with something like Bostik DriCote. If you aren't in a hurry, let the bits cool down every so often doing other things. If things start smoking, it will be a long task.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for replying. I looked for 2" flat bits and couldn't find any locally. Do you know where I could order some from? I was about to order a Bormax forstner bit. They are made in Germany and are supposed to be very sharp and long lasting. They cost about $85. I found them at Traditional Woodworker's website.

From contributor S:
What about making a template and using a router with a collar on it? You can get an upcut bit to remove the waste as you go.

From contributor P:
So if I read this right, quantity 116 with two inch diameter holes, five inches deep in white oak. That is a lot of work. Assuming your drill press has five inches of travel and sufficient power, I would go with a inserted spade drill and arbor. Not the woodworking style, but for metal working. It requires that you drill a 3/4 pilot hole first with a twist drill. Then pilot the spade drill through. Itís low on power requirements and does a slick job.

From contributor R:
I would use a Forstner. Standard steel would work well and can be easily sharpened or you can get carbide if you prefer, most of this size have a toothed rim and are fairly aggressive. You will definitely want to use a press and with a backup piece underneath you will get a clean exit.

From contributor L:
A multi-spur bit will drill those all day with no problem. I only use Forstner bits for specific applications such as flat bottomed holes, etc. Lee Valley Toothed Forstners are darn close to a multi-spur bit and priced affordable. For multi-spur bits see Fuller, Morris, Mcmaster. They are pricey but the best choice. We used them in the production shops on a daily basis.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: Tooling

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article