Ballast Drill Bits
19 replies to this topic
Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:43 PM
What is your favourite drill bits to use for drilling ballast holes?
I'm looking at picking up a few high quality bits for the job with the end goal of reducing the amount of wandering, skating, run out etc. I was thinking along the lines of:
Short Brad Points
Lipped Brad Points
Vs Forstner Bits?
Anyone try using forstner bits for the job, I don't have any small enough to test them out but figure they might be better?
FYI: I mostly use oak, occasionally cedar.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:01 PM
I use the brad points with the cutting lip on the outer edge of the bit to drill ballast holes. I also use them to drill the recess for 3D eyes. I tried finding Forstner bits, but couldn't find any small enough for this purpose.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:38 PM
I've used both regular bits and Forstner for ballast but for the eyes strictly Forstner.
If i'm boring into hardwoods especially exotics, I will use regular bits...they're cheaper to replace than Forstners when they get dull. My smallest Forstner is 1/4''
I don't have any experience with brad point.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:18 PM
Ben, do you drill out the eyes prior to shaping the lure? Or after its sanded down?
Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:15 PM
Ned I wait until after the shaping is done. That way I can postion the drill bit at the correct angle in relation to the way the head is shaped. Drilling it after the head is shaped also tells me how deep the recess should be for the eyes I'm using. Seems to me that if it were done before the shaping process it would be a "best guess" scenario. This might not matter as much on a flat sided crank as it would on a contoured lure.
I also wait to drill eye recesses after foiling a bait. This way I'm working on a smooth surface when applying the foil. Also don't have to worry about cleaning out any paint, or epoxy, (I apply a coat of epoxy over the foil to smooth out the edges) that may have accumulated in the recesses during those steps.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:24 PM
This is a bit unconventional but I now use one of these
Works well if you have a dremel or similar tool.
Pros Clean cut any wood any angle.
Works easily with best vice on my bench the "hand" so my lure is not marred or damaged
Can make any size hole i wish. One tool does it all.
Did I say slow
Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:14 AM
I had been using a brad point for reasons listed above. I was thinking however of trying a cylinder end-cut carbide burr, but haven't gotten around to it yet..
Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:06 AM
I gave up with all the fancy bits, never really getting them to work.
Now I drill the first hole 3mm (1/8") diameter and gradually increase the diameter in small increments, BUT running the standard twist drills in reverse. This the most success I have had in obtaining clean holes.
Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:01 AM
I have been using a bullet drill bit but it is much like a brad point. the only way to explain it is a 1/4" drill has a 1/8' tip on it so it sort of drills a pilot hole for you.
Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:18 AM
I use Forstners which I find make very clean holes, unfortunatly my bit is 6mm (1/4") and the eyes are 7mm (5/16th") so I found a tube 7mm and filed some teeth on the end, then redrill the holes with that, perfect 'press' fit.
Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:17 AM
About any type of bit where the outside edge scores the hole size before the material is removed from the hole. Musky Glenn
Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:34 AM
Forstner bits cut flat bottomed holes, which are great.
If you can find them in the sizes you need, they are perfect.
I don't have any in the smaller sizes I need for drilling eyes, so I use the brad point bits, too.
For bigger sizes, I drill with the larger brad point bit, and then use a smaller bit, or just an exacto knife, to flatten out the hole.
When I'm making a batch of the same lures, like swimbaits, I drill a small pilot through hole for the eyes while the lure blanks are still rectangular, so the eyes line up exactly after I've shaped the lure. I drill the larger eye holes after the lure is shaped and sanded. I know the fish can't see both sides of a lure at once, but I can, and it drives me nuts when they don't line up.
Edited by mark poulson, 16 February 2012 - 11:35 AM.
Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:38 PM
I use forstner bits on anything bigger then 1/4 inch anything smaller a brad point works great nice clean flat bottomed holes in both
Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:54 PM
When recessing for eyes...how do you guys get both sides the same depth?
Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:57 PM
I drill them by hand, with the bit chucked in the drill press, so I just go by eye.
Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:29 PM
Measure the desired depth and put a piece of tape on the bit and use that as your guage. If you've gone too deep, partially fill the hole with a little bit of wood epoxy and press the eye in. Assuming you're using 3D eyes.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:34 AM
I hold the 5/16's bit with my hand, no drill. Have to be careful because the flutes are sharp too.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:09 AM
I agree entirely. I purchased a drill press not too long back with has dramatically improved my ballast drilling (I drill while the lure is still in block form to ensure a perpendicular drill relative to the centerlines). I wish I could get my drill press to function in reverse, because you are absolutely right, this makes the cleanest cut on balsa. Of course on a hardwood, this may not be as applicable.
Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:13 PM
Dremel now makes a little drill press for small work. Saw it at Lowes for $40.00