quick and easy way to resize holes using Forstner bits - Router Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Default quick and easy way to resize holes using Forstner bits

I was asked by a member of our congregation to help run new microphone cables into the podium. The old cable had obviously had the end put on it after the cord was run and was much smaller than the new cord. Since the cord was surprisingly expensive, I didn't want to take it apart run the cable and reassemble it, so I thought I would enlarge the hole a little. The question then was how to resize the hole. Do you use a file or sandpaper and a dowel and sneak it larger, find a big twist drill bit, plug the hole with a dowel and then drill with a Forstner bit? I had a couple of holes to do in this podium, so the less manual labor the better!

The existing hole was somewhere between 1/2" and 5/8", and the new plug measured almost exactly 7/8". It was a great use for my step drills and Forstner bits. This would allow me to enlarge the hole without worrying about chip out on the top of the podium.

If you haven't bought a set of step drills, you're missing out on handy tools. I use them a lot for metal work, but they come in handy in woodworking as well. They center themselves remarkably well in existing holes, leave a nice chamfered edge, and cut very cleanly in wood when sharp. Harbor Freight sells a couple of sets, and with the coupons they are extremely reasonable.

I started with the largest bit from the 'small' set they sell, and this worked the hole from 1/2" up to 3/4". I thought I would be able to squeak the plug through at this size, so I put my 3/4" Forstner bit in the hole that was started, and bored it out. Unfortunately the plug bound and it didn't work. I switched to the smaller bit in the larger set and ran it up to 7/8", then used that step to start the 7/8" Forstner bit.

The smaller ones also chuck up onto the impact driver, so it makes them very useful in close quarters.

The small set is from 1/8 inch to 3/4 inch and costs about $9 with a coupon, the large set is from about 1/4" to 1-3/8" and is about $16 with the coupon. Definitely handy bits to have around.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 05:57 PM
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GO Harbor Freight!!!

Good thinking.

The way we used to do it in the old days was to take a scrap of 1/2" plywood and drill a hole through with the correct size forstner bit, then center it on the smaller hole, and stick w/dbl back tape. then dril the larger hole.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 09:26 PM
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Excellent idea! I have some of these HF bits and have only used them when I can't find the right size drill bit. I'll try this next time it's needed.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 07:23 AM
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I used step bits when doing HVAC work on sheet metal and those wonderful metal studs but never on wood. Never thought of it. Still haven't as you have for us. I'll try and keep this in mind. I definitely have a few in my old work tool box along with the holes punches.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 09:39 AM
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Good idea, Doug. I use those for drilling plexi too. They don't snag like a regular bit and the chamfer helps there as well.
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