How to Drill a Hole in an Outside Table for an Umbrella


An umbrella set in a deck or patio table provides protection from the elements and add a splash of color to the setting. If your table isn't equipped with a center hole that accommodates an umbrella, you can create the right sized hole using an electric drill equipped with the proper hole saw bit. Select a hole saw unit designed for cutting through your specific table material, such as wood, plastic, metal or masonry.

Things You'll Need

  • Umbrella with post
  • Table
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil or marking pen
  • Electric drill
  • Hole saw bit
  • Sand paper
  • Sealer
  • Measure the diameter of the umbrella pole to determine how big the hole in the center of the table will need to be. You can obtain this dimension by placing a tape measure across the base of the umbrella post. Hole saw units are available in a variety of sizes; select a unit that is 1/4 inch larger than the diameter of the umbrella post for easy installation.

  • Measure across the tabletop to find the center point where the hole will be drilled. Measure in a crisscross pattern, making a pencil mark at the center point. Use this technique to measure tables of all shapes and sizes.

  • Attach the hole saw unit to the drill. The unit consists of a center drill bit which pilots the coring saw that surrounds the bit. The drill bit protrudes out from the coring unit to allow you to start a pilot hole before the outer cutting teeth reach the table surface.

  • Rest the tip of the drill bit on the center mark made in step 2. The drill should be at a 90-degree angle when you squeeze the trigger to start the hole. Slowly penetrate the table surface with the drill bit, allowing the coring shroud's teeth to come to a rest.

  • Allow the teeth of the hole saw to make an impression in the table before bringing the drill up to full speed. Doing so will ensure controlled hole placement.

  • Remove any burs, splinters or rough areas with sanding paper for a finished look. If you have a wood or metal table, treat the cut area with a sealer to protect it from rotting or rusting.

Tips & Warnings

  • For easier access to the center of the table, place the table on its side.
  • A hole saw bit will not work on metal. You will need a diamond-impregnated hole saw to drill a hole into a metal table.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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