I am wanting to fix my MDF cabinet together with cam dowels and connectors (I rent, so for ease of moving I want the option to flatpack. Of course I will glue up when I get somewhere permanent, don't moan at me :-P).

I have bought the following:

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I have been doing a test piece to connect 2 scrap pieces together and have been coming up against a bit of an issue...

My MDF is 18mm thick, the quoted length of the cam connectors is 10mm with the locking centre being quoted as 6mm, so in theory I should be able to drill in with my drill bit and have everything line up ok as shown in my diagram below...

enter image description here

However... I have been finding that the point of the drill bit is rather long and appears to be either poking through the other side of my MDF, or at least making a small bulge.

Is there anything I can do to avoid this? Would a Forstner bit be a better option for this job?

UPDATE So after a few more tests, drilling in slowly and checking the fit I was still frustrated and decided to actually measure the length of the point on the drill bit... It appears the point is greater than 4mm, so of course it is poking out of the other side! Would a Forstner bit's point be less dramatic as to help me with my issue here?

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1 Answer 1


A forstner bit may have a shorter point, but for such a small diameter, it's not a certainty. It's likely from your description that you're using a hand drill, which makes precision holes just a bit more difficult than a drill press.

It could be considered heresy but I will occasionally use a milling bit in my milling machine to create a flat bottom hole in wood, retracting it frequently to clear the chips. Good results with slower speed and feed than normally used for a metal cutting tool. It's just not practical with a hand held device due to the lack of a centering point.

  • 1
    The milling bit sounds a good idea actually! But yes, I am using a hand drill. I did end up going and buying a set of forstner bits (I wanted a set anyway) and the 12mm bit in it does have a shorter point. I tested it and it seems to work well. As a bonus, because of its design, I can fit one of those collars on the shaft to limit how far I drill in too, which I couldn't fit on my actual 12mm wood bit.
    – physicsboy
    May 9, 2020 at 15:55
  • 2
    @physicsboy Does this mean your problem is solved ? If so mark this answer as correct and delete the duplicate Question over at DIY stack.
    – Alaska Man
    May 9, 2020 at 19:12
  • @physicsboy, since you have the Forstners already this is a bit of a moot point but you could easily have modified you brad-point/lip-and-spur bit to suit your needs. Mods are most commonly done to flat/spade bits, but are also doable on other bit types and the work is not especially difficult.
    – Graphus
    May 10, 2020 at 10:58

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