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Here is my question,

My seven year old wanted to take some off cuts and turn them into coasters for my wife. He also thought it would be good to bore a circle into the wood to put the glass on. I am using a small bench top drill press with some forstner bits and the bits actually stop when they make contact with the purple heart I am practicing on. The bit is brand new. The drill press is my neighbors he left it in my gargae because he never uses it. I increased it to it's top speed. It actully stops dead. Should I slow it down? Is the press too underpowered to use a forstner and a hard wood on?? Help me!

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How big is the bit? THe bigger the bit, the slower you should run it. now is the bit stopping and the machine still running? or does it stop the machine as well? If the drill is still running, check to make sure that the chuck is tight on the shaft, and make sure that the belts are tight. That is what I have for you now...

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Purpleheart is hard, for sure. I dunno the size Forstner bit you are using. I usually slow them down. Some have a saw-like edge and seem to cut much faster with less effort. Others try to shave the wood and, to me, honestly don't work well for large diameters (but I have a whimpy drill press).

Other question: is the drive shaft stopping or is the bit spinning in the chuck? I hate bits that are round; hex is the way to go. Hmm, I seem to be grumpy today :)

Anyway, try running the bit slowly and lightly bump the wood. If it truly stalls when doing that, there's the reason your neighbor left it there. If it spins in the chuck, well, put some muscle on the chuck key.

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It's a big bit. I have never used a drill press in this manner. It was at top speeds. I will try tommorow!

Does the drill press work on other woods and it is just this piece you are having problems with?

Honestly this is probably not the best method to make a coster since the drill forstner bit is going to leave a small crater in the middle. The best way to do it would be to use a plunge router and a circular template. You are going to be using really small pieces of wood so you need to clamp it down really well.

Good luck with the project.

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I concur that the large forstner's should be run at very low speed. My Rockler sets have speed recommendations for each size on inside top of drill bit case.

Circles large enough for coasters are big. If not too late, you might wish to have a long strip of coasters on one piece of material. Easier to clamp that way, and better leverage to hold. After making the circle indentations, then cross-cut to size.

Also when cutting with Forstner's, you need to develop a "feel" for easing the bit into the wood, so it begins to cut/grab, but not choke and stall.

Relaxed, but focused.

I 2nd the motion that this is better done with router and template. Made a set a few years ago with router and template. Felt much more controlled. I glued some cork in bottom of the indentation so a Forstner hole wouldn't really have been an issue. At least to me.

Have fun with your seven-year-old.

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A number of years ago I had problems with my chuck slipping on my DP, I would press it back on anda few uses later it would be back to the same thing. What I did was sand the arbor with a fine grit sandpaper and the inside of the chuck with a small round wire brush chucked up in my hand held drill-never have had a problem since. Just a suggestion if you have the same problem.


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