Drilling .125 hole with .125 bit

I am working on a project that calls for .125 holes in it. I have the bit size set to .125. Shouldn’t it be able to just drill down? Easel says the bit size is too large for the project.

End mills (generally) are not drills. As I understand it, normal end mills do not have enough clearance to evacuate chips when drilling straight down. I would say you should either use a bit that is smaller than the diameter of the hole, or buy a specialized bit.

I was thinking that could be the issue but wasn’t sure, Thanks for the reply NAM37.

Yup. I had to do the same thing last week carving cribbage board holes - smaller bit, bigger hole. Worked just fine and kind of neat to watch (well, the first 100 or so :slight_smile: ).

Depends on how deep you have to go. I’ve had no trouble at all using a peck drilling cycle with a .125 end mill down .250. That’s the standard “position mark” hole I use in all of my pen stands to guide my drill bit on the press that I use to go through the rest of the thickness. The router is turning really, REALLY fast for a real drill bit…

JamesChalfin - Have you actually measured your bit size? Odds are it’s not 0.125 - shock I know something isn’t what it says it is - If it is 0.123 (like mine) or so enter the actual number and try your 0.125 hole. Easel will be cool with a 0.123 bit for a 0.125 hole.

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estlcam has a drill function, I think it automatically does the pecking down to a set depth, http://estlcam.com/anleitung.php

Easel will drill your holes if you set the circle diameter slightly larger than the bit, something like .126" or .128". That way it can carve tiny little circles rather than drilling straight down. This assumes your project holes can be .001" off.

Set the carve to inner path.

Last I checked, holes need to be a lot bigger than the bit (~0.01") for Easel to do that.


I admittedly haven’t tried this, but can you just program the bit to move from home to the hole location, then possibly manually jog the Z in reasonable DoC’s to get your hole? Inventables has been very clear that Easel doesn’t do drilling ops yet. Yet every time the bit plunges to start a carve, it’s drilling in the depth of cut. I would think that would even be a fun and easy bit of G-code to write manually as an exercise.

If I change the hole size to .126 in easel it takes the message away. Or if I change the bit size to .124 it does the same thing. I will have to measure my bit tonight and see what it really is.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

This is an artifact of the way that Easel currently calculates gcode. Instead of using curves it uses lots of tiny little line segments. As a result the circle bit diameter of .125 has a larger diameter than the line segment version of that .125 circle when drawn in Easel. This is something we are working on changing. The work around for right now is to make the circle .126" and then the .125 bit will fit through.

We are working on a proper drilling operation but it was a bit more complex than we first expected. We also hope to move to curves instead of line segments but we’d have to do some major changes to the clipper library or figure out a replacement library.


This issue seems to be getting worse. I used to be able to set a .125" circle to .127". Now Easel won’t drill unless it’s at least a .130" circle.

Hmmm. I sent this into engineering for investigation next week. Also we have a proper drilling feature in development.


any update to Easel Allowing us to drill holes? we have been commissioned to create some downdraft tables, it has been a pain to trick easel to make the correct hole, but then running the bit to “cut” a hole is tough on the machine when I need to bore 3000 holes on each board… any help or suggestions is great.!
We just want it to run a plunge pattern.

Any news on Easel doing drilling operations? It looks to be pretty quiet here…

FYI, I’m trying to drill 1/16” holes in 3/8” wood.

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