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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Myself, I'd use a forstner bit before a router. I'd recommend a 1" Bormax bit (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA300_.jpg), a bit pricey but worth the investment given the task at hand. If you don't have a portable drill guide, just drill a hole in a piece of wood and use that as a guide clamped to the table.

    -Steve
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Thanks for the replys. I like the bit and brace idea as well as turning the bit by hand. The portable drill press looks nice but screwing it to the table as per the picture kinda defeats the purpose.
    Thanks again,
    Dan

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Dan,
    I wouldn't screw it to the table either, just attach it to a scrap piece of pine/poplar/mdf/whatever that's long enough to reach the edge of the table where you can clamp it to the table itself.

    -Steve

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
    Posts
    13,029

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    In this case, I think all he needs to do is drill the 1" hole through a piece of 3/4" MDF that's a maybe 2' x 4' or so. Put it on the table, position the hole, climb on the table, kneel on the MDF, drill the hole. I'm assuming the holes are towards the center of a large table, so he's going to have to get up there....
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve demetrick View Post
    Dan,
    I wouldn't screw it to the table either, just attach it to a scrap piece of pine/poplar/mdf/whatever that's long enough to reach the edge of the table where you can clamp it to the table itself.

    -Steve
    I apologize about my poor sense of humor. I am probably going with the bit and brace method to start the hole and get down past the veneer and then whatever works to get thru the carcass.
    Thanks,
    Dan

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Dan,
    No need to apologize, yet apology accepted. I did think it a bit strange that you thought I'd imply screwing the guide to the finished table. Another thought is to sell them on a new table, just explain to them that the holes need to be made before the table is built.

    -Steve

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pa (chester county)
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Just to give you another option. I had to make a similar hole one time. I was on a site an hour from home and was asked if I could cut the hole before I left. I didn't have any Forster bits. What I did was use a hole saw from the bottom. I set a depth mark about 1/16 shy of the Mdf thickness. Basically drilling up through the Mdf a hair from touching the veneer on top. I Used a spade bit to carefully remove the bulk of the Mdf material and got most of the rest with a chisel. Leaving just the laminate covering the hole. Then I enlarged the hole left by the hole saw pilot bit enough to drop in a laminate trimming bit on my router. Trimmed it up and worked out perfect. Just another idea for you.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    East Coast USA
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    How about using an oversized ply base mounted to your router and cut zero clearance style using the same bit. You could clamp/blue tape it to your spot and the zero clearance should prevent tearout.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
    Posts
    13,029

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    However you decide to do it... take a video and post it for us to watch.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,839

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Fist thing I would do is call the guy who built the table and ask him if he remembers the table and if he had any trouble working with the veneer. If it's particularly delicate or prone to chipping out ask them what they would advise. He can also advise you how difficult it would be to repair the finish if something disastrous does happen. EVERY finish is repairable, a good touchup guy can fix anything, you just have to find a good touchup guy.

    Some times a router with a bit designed for drilling is the best choice. I get incredibly clean cuts with one however I also get clean cuts with a forester bit so a router may not be necessary

    My first choice would be a sharp forstner and a guide block / jig at least 3/4" thick clamped to the surface. Have a few bits on hand and keep an eye on the rim to ensure it remains sharp. Change the bit before it gets dull or burned.

    before you try to drill the table get some veneered material on the same substrate and try it out. If it chips on the trial piece (I doubt it will but it may) try something else.
    Last edited by dave_k; 05-02-2012 at 07:29 AM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Thanks everyone for the replies. I drilled the twelve holes today, the table was a 12 ft. X 25 ft. Open rectangle. I used a combination of several previous suggestions. After the holes were located I predrilled with a 1/8 as a pilot hole then cut the veneer with a forstner bit in a bit brace which allowed me to see any tearout as it happened (there was none) and finally finished the hole with a hole saw. Other than having the A/V team, the building rep. and two company reps. watching my every move it turned out to be pretty straight forward.
    The A/V guy mentioned that they use two different style microphones so the post about drilling from the underside of the table and then finishing the hole with a bottom bearing pattern bit may yet come in handy.
    This thread while about a relatively simple topic has brought out a lot of great ideas and elegant solutions.
    Thanks,
    Dan

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    woodstock GA
    Posts
    5,795

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Cool. !! Nice job
    Kreg
    www.builtinking.com
    youtube channel: builtinsbykreg
    if you do not have fun every day... why?
    get up.... get out there..... get going ! rocking all day long
    remember to give out 10 business cards a day !

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    K.C. MO
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    So, it is too late to suggest the three finger death punch.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Scottula View Post
    So, it is too late to suggest the three finger death punch.
    For the table or the audience watching me drill the table.
    Did I ever mention how much I hate an audience ?
    Dan

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Drilling into a conference table.

    Quote Originally Posted by FesFool View Post
    For the table or the audience watching me drill the table.
    Did I ever mention how much I hate an audience ?
    Dan
    Why is it that people always want to watch when you are doing something sketchy like this? No one ever wants to watch you install shoe mold!
    A person that works with his hands is a laborer.
    A person that works with his hands and his head is a tradesman.
    A person that works with his hands, his head, and his heart is a craftsman

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