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drilling holes for eyes

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#1 saltydawg


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Posted 11 February 2004 - 12:49 PM

Anyone have any tips for drilling holes in balsa for 3-D eyes that won't rip the wood surrounding the hole? I don't use holes the size of the molded eye, rather I like a small impression like people have into which the eye will fit. Is there a dremel head that would work? My "hole" or impressions are often asymetrical and the grain rips.

#2 out2llunge


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Posted 11 February 2004 - 01:14 PM

How about a forstner bit with a really slow feed rate?

#3 RiverMan


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Posted 11 February 2004 - 01:44 PM

I was dealing with this exact problem last night. I had two identical baits that needed eyes. One I drilled with a standard drill and yes it did rip the grain a bit but not so bad it's noticeable with the eyes in place. The other I just glued the eyes on and they stick out a bit. I put Devcon over the top of both baits including the eyes and to be honest one looks as good as the other. I think it would be best to have the eyes recessed a bit but they do look fine either way.


#4 whittler


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Posted 11 February 2004 - 01:54 PM

Go to a hobby store and get some brass tubing the diameter you need, then cut of about 3"- 4" piece. In this tube insert a piece of wooden dowel to stiffen it when chucked into a drill, and epoxy it in place. Now your ready to chuck it in the drill press and at fairly high speed use it to burn a circular ring where the eye is placed then you can drill inside the burned area and no more tearing.

#5 Mylures



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Posted 11 February 2004 - 05:17 PM

Hi there, I first drill a very small hole where the eye should be. Once I know the location of the eye socket I put a rounded bottom single cut router bit in my drill press. I think it works awesome and I have not had any problems drilling eye sockets in maple or pine or basswood. I just run the bit at a normal drilling speed. Give it a try. These are just HS steel router bits and aren't expensive. If you lock your drill press head to a certain depth then every socket will be the same. As with anything done with drill presses, use caution and good luck. Ken Schmitz Mylures

#6 BaitMaker


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Posted 11 February 2004 - 11:33 PM

I have been using this method for awhile if you care to try it.
I use either a dremel, drill, or press.
Go to any local shop that carries dremel type bits. Find the one that is a round ball on the end of the shaft. That ball is either a rasp of different coarsenesses, or even better, a sanding ball. The sanding ball is best but the rasp, if fine enough, works quicker with less plugging.
If you get the sanding ball, then also get yourself a gum rubber erasing stick. They are used to clean sanding discs and belt sanders. Using the eraser gives you 5-10 times the life out of any sanding surface. Been using one for 20yrs. and wouldn't be without it.