View Full Version : Drilling multiple plywood sheets at one time

Mon 09 September 2013, 02:44
Hi all,

Just a quick question, I have a job to drill approximately 8500 8mm holes in several sheet of 15mm ply and I'm wondering if it would be advisable to drill through say 3 sheets at a time to reduce the time it takes or is there something that would prevent this from being appropriate?

Thanks for any help,

Mon 09 September 2013, 03:33
If you can ensure the ply wood sheets doesn't move a micron during drilling you should be able to drill multi layers.

Mon 09 September 2013, 03:36
If I secure it in all four corner holes over a 2400 x 1200 sheet size plus maybe 1 in the middle would that do it Ken? Then Manual Drill the 5 screw holes after the sheet is finished.


Mon 09 September 2013, 04:04
I don't think so. but you can try. Worst case is a broken bit.
Damn, imagine how much time you will need to drill before MM... Human are greedy animal... including me :)

Mon 09 September 2013, 11:43
I would also suggest (if you didn't do this already) is use a real drill bit in your spindle.
You will be able to feed much quicker.

Tue 10 September 2013, 00:35
Sean do you have a running Mechmate?

Tue 10 September 2013, 07:18
Peck drill them Chris if you are worried about clearing the debris.


Tue 10 September 2013, 08:08
Not at the moment.
In the process of building another. #5 is gone. #28 is in town and accessible, so I am not without access. Also, Nils has number #12 and he is always Mr. Helpful and let's me come over and play if I need to.
It's good to have friends with MM's nearby!

Thu 12 September 2013, 03:21
Just curious, what would be the best feeds and speed for a solid carbide drill bit peck drilling through 2x sheet of 12mm ply at a time so I don't chip the bottom layer? Also what are the best peck level percentages? Want to make this a quality job. I found some high speed drill bits which should work well but just wanted to check speeds and feeds. Thanks!Chris

Thu 12 September 2013, 04:15
If you really serious about producing quality job, drill a sheet at a time.

No exact answer to you questions. just gotta trial & error.

Thu 12 September 2013, 04:16
Hi Chris

All I can suggest is run a few tests.
An up spiral will always leave the bottom clean, it's the top that burrs up.


Thu 12 September 2013, 06:14

What if I use a compression spiral up and down? Would that be better than a twist drill?

Thu 12 September 2013, 07:03
Hi Chris

I am running out of expertise here as I only ever do small amounts and use the cheaper general duty carbide bits (upcut spirals).

I did a plywood job for a mate of Andrew on the forum here and used an upcut spiral but cut the presentation face down on the table.
That give you a good face (the face you generally see) and one that needs touching up.

I understand you have to buy the downcut upcut spirals for the specific material thickness, no idea where to get them locally.
Suttons do make some fabulous quality end mills here in Australia so that might be a place to start.


Tue 17 September 2013, 18:13
Thanks Ross.

I've ended up with a Forstner type bit but it blows out the back side with lots of chips. I'm sure if I go slower it will be ok.

normand blais
Wed 18 September 2013, 15:18
A compression would not help ,since the bottom part of the bit is up cutting so it might chip the top when entering . I have never use them from what i understand you have to cut in one pass with them,entering sideway

Robert M
Thu 19 September 2013, 05:35

Logicly, you’re not too far when “from what i understand you have to cut in one pass with them,entering sideway “ !
But sorry, yessss this type tool will / may be of good help !!

But the way this type ( compression) should be used is with the 2 steps approach !
1st is making a rough pass, say a few thousand offset the desired final cut / path and then, make a finish pass along the desired path.
That way you get best of both world, a roughing tool making just that….rough cut, quick and done !..... and then, a great finishing tool for any laminated ply board!!
Robert ;)

normand blais
Thu 19 September 2013, 08:20
me are talking about drilling holes here:)

Fri 24 September 2021, 06:08
I am going a different direction in beefing up the engine beds...Im not worried about the plywood.

Im just curious as to the actual reason for it being there in the first place.

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