Drill Bits needed to drill hole in wood

kb.crookston

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Nov 10, 2017
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I need to drill a hole in the back of my nightstand to run the cords from my electronic devices through. I’m constantly tripping over the wires so I can’t leave them on the floor anymore. Full disclosure, I am a total novice on anything related to power tools. I have my fathers power drill never used it (it’s the M18 18-Volt 1/2 in. Cordless Compact Brushless Hammer Drill).

I saw one post where they were drilling a hole in there nightstand for the same reason and used a spade drill bit. I was hoping someone here could tell me if that’s what I should use or a different type of drill bit. I uploaded a picture of the nightstand. I don’t know if that will help.
Thanks!!

 
Karadjgne is right - figure the size of the hole by the size of the PLUG on the end. Moreover, make sure it's big enough that you can fit a plug through it when there are already several cords taking up part of the space.

What tool? For modest holes sizes (up to 1" to 1½") get a Forstner bit, often called a "spade bit". They come in various sizes and make a hole with a diameter of their blade width. It is a flat wide blade with its leading edges ground to an angle, and a sharp point in the center of the blade to guide the center of the hole. For larger holes, get a small set of Hole Saws. Each is a cup-shaped metal piece with serrated saw teeth around the edge, and a hole in the center. The set comes with a single mandrel, a small hub device that you can fasten one of the hole saw cups onto. The mandrel also holds a standard drill bit in its center, and that bit sticks out somewhat. You use the bit to start the hole, and then the saw teeth on the cup edge start to cut into the wood. A Hole Saw set usually has four or five cup sizes to make holes of different diameters.

Both of these can be used with any normal electric drill. You do not need the Hammer feature turned on with the drill you have.
 

kb.crookston

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Nov 10, 2017
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Thanks guys you answered my questions. Don’t laugh or make fun of me but I’m a little nervous I’ll screw it up. I think I mentioned that I’ve never used a power drill before. So I’ll practice on a piece of wood first.

 
You said in your first post that your fathers cordless drill is a hammer drill. They are usually used for drilling in brick/concrete, etc. In addition to spinning around, a hammer drill thrusts the bit in and out. You could use it for drilling into wood, but it may not produce a clean hole. Just practice on some scrap pieces of wood beforehand to see if the hole is clean enough for your purpose.
 
Good Point! ^^^

Edit: Another thought. I would just get a regular spiral small diameter drill bit and drill a series of small holes in an oval, matching the size and shape of the plug. Then you could use the bit to remove the material between the holes you drilled, to complete the oval. This would be cheaper than buying a large diameter spade bit or forstner bit for a one-time job.
 

kb.crookston

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Yea thats the exact same drill he has. The tip about drilling a series of small holes in an oval sounds like a good idea. Maybe there’s a YouTube video on that lol. I measured the plug in inches and it came out to 4 1/2. Do you know of the top of your head what the diameter size might be?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Get a piece of scrap wood and practice.

This sounds like your first time making a hole. Don't do it on your furniture.

What size? Use something as a template and trace a hole of the appropriate size (on this scrap wood).
Practice, practice, practice.
 
A circumference of 4.5 inches would equal a diameter of 1.43 inches.

https://www.omnicalculator.com/math/circumference

So if you want to get a large diameter bit, you would probably be looking at a 1.5" bit. Of course, that would depend on the actual shape of the plug. Is it more or less uniform in height/width, or is it longer than it is tall (or vice versa). Just measure the distance from the widest portion of the plug. That will tell you the diameter of the hole.

Or you could place the plug on top of the wood surface, prongs down, and trace the rough shape of the plug. That is what I would do if I were going to drill a series of small holes.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
I use that same drill every day. I make thousands of holes every week.
Punching a bunch of small holes in wood like that is not a good idea, it leaves an extremely jagged hole.

Get a piece of paper and the largest plug that has to go through that hole. Jab the prongs through the paper, so the plug is left on top. Draw a circle, larger than the plug, around the plug. Take that template to a local hardware store, dad's garage, neibors house etc and test fit it to a hole-saw. That'll be the approximate size you'll need. Then attack a chunk of scrap wood with the drill until you are comfortable with how it handles.

Word of warning, grip the drill well, but not in a death-grip, and be prepared. As soon as the teeth of the saw bite into the wood, the drill will kick and try and spin out of your hands. This can hurt, twist your wrist or even spin around and smack you. So have control of the drill, and be cautious with it, but by no means be a Princess about it. Control it, don't let it control you.
 
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