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Drilling a countersink

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  • Drilling a countersink

    I have a new mini drill press for small projects. I need to drill some countersinks in wood. I have seen videos showing the countersink being drilled after the pilot hole, but I just read that it is better to drill the countersink first, and then center the pilot hole and drill that second. Is there a "best practice" on which to drill first, countersink or pilot hole?

  • #2
    Re: Drilling a countersink

    I use a tool that drills the hole and countersinks in the same step.

    I don't think there is a wrong way. Do whatever you feel the most comfortable with.

    If I HAD to do it as a two step process I'd probably lean towards drilling the hole and using that hole to center the countersink.


    • #3
      Re: Drilling a countersink

      What rofl said.
      Teach your kids about 30 percent of their ice cream.


      • #4
        Re: Drilling a countersink

        I would pick up a set of bits that countersink and pilot at the same time.

        Otherwise, countersink first and then use a Vix (self centering) bit to drill the pilot centered in the countersink. You can try to eye it but personally Ive never had any luck with it, maybe you would though!


        • #5
          Re: Drilling a countersink

          i've done it with separate tools and with a combined tool. for rough work, like carpentry, i use a combined tool. for finer work, like cabinetry, separate tools can yield greater flexibility.
          there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.


          • #6
            Re: Drilling a countersink

            I use a combo countersink with a pilot bit. Sometimes you might need a larger pilot hole then what the countersink offers. I have found it best to countersink first, then drill the larger hole.

            My countersinks have 2 carbide teeth. If yours are different, it might be a good idea to just test your bits and see what works best.
            Power Tool Blog - Power Tool Reviews


            • #7
              Re: Drilling a countersink

              I obviously missed this post the first time around. So hopefully the author will still pay it a visit.

              I have the Ridgid drill press now, but in past years all I had was a hand-held drill and a chuck mounted drill guide. Much more portable but certainly not nearly as nice and/or accurate.

              In any case, "best practice" as I learned it, was to drill the countersink first and then follow with the hole that fits the neck or upper shank of a wood screw. Wood screws have that neck so that the threaded portion goes into wood that you're fastening to. The neck allows the slippage on the face piece and thus ensure that it will be drawn into the back piece without binding.

              To make sure my second hole is properly centered in the bottom of the countersink, I usually set up the fence (even if it's just a piece clamped to the table) so that all that all the holes are aligned. This at least allows any "eyeballing" to be done is only in lateral placement against the fence.

              Hope this helps,