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mistermikev

forstner bits... odd sizes needed

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Hello all.  I have a set of harbor freight forstners that I'm more than happy with.  They seem to cut fairly clean - for now.  Anywho, it really only covers sizes by 1/8" increments.  It would be really useful to find a similar-price-wise set that would cover the in-between sizes - and really only up to about 3/4 or 1".  On amazon, there are lots of options but it is hot and cold whether or not you end up with something useful. 

Anyone have any luck buying small metric sets?  Recommend an inexpensive brand to look for?  Or should I just do it the expensive way and buy individual bits from trusted brands?

thanks in advance for any advice!

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CMT make good quality forstner style bits sold as one-off sizes. Availability might be sketchy for you in the States though?

In all honesty, I've only ever needed one moderately-exact size forstner bit when drilling - the bit used to counterbore those donut-shaped neck ferrules into the back of the heel. And in reality a millimetre or so of slop in the final counterbore doesn't make a huge difference. Everything else I've used has always just been for hogging out excess wood prior to finishing off with the router where size doesn't matter.

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8 hours ago, curtisa said:

CMT make good quality forstner style bits sold as one-off sizes. Availability might be sketchy for you in the States though?

In all honesty, I've only ever needed one moderately-exact size forstner bit when drilling - the bit used to counterbore those donut-shaped neck ferrules into the back of the heel. And in reality a millimetre or so of slop in the final counterbore doesn't make a huge difference. Everything else I've used has always just been for hogging out excess wood prior to finishing off with the router where size doesn't matter.

thanks for the reply sir.  I do see CMT on amazon and have a local wood shop that is a cmt dealer... the only downside is it seems like they only offer sets in std sizes.  so individual it is. 

I'm making a template for a single coil pickup: rear-route-style.  5/8 is a hair too big.  15mm would be perfect.  I guess I'm being picky but I really want it tight since it will be seen.  I hadn't considered brad points so I think I'll have a look for those but that is an awfully big size (for brad). 

The odd sizes would also be nice for bass tuning machines.  Specifically the clover style bushings.  I think I used a spade bit last time but it didn't leave a nice clean/flat surface.  Probably a few other things too so I figured if I could find a set it'd be nice.

anywho, thanks again for the recommendation!

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I have a Porter Cable set from Lowe’s, cuts nice but not in metric. I does have smaller increments and goes well over 1”. The Harbor Freight set us nice for bulk removal since they are cheap and actually sharpen up nicely with a file or stone. I did pick up I think a 9/16 forstner from Lowe’s as a single bit. Woodcraft and Rockler should be good for single bits. 

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11 hours ago, ihocky2 said:

I have a Porter Cable set from Lowe’s, cuts nice but not in metric. I does have smaller increments and goes well over 1”. The Harbor Freight set us nice for bulk removal since they are cheap and actually sharpen up nicely with a file or stone. I did pick up I think a 9/16 forstner from Lowe’s as a single bit. Woodcraft and Rockler should be good for single bits. 

thanks for the heads up. when I wrote this originally, I hadn't checked my "loose bits".  turns out I had most of what I needed already in brad point bits which I got from rockler.  Unfortunately the closest store is about 45mins from my home... but next time I get up that way I will complete the mission!  thanks again.

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