Woodboring Tips

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Will I need an old fashion hand drill?

Hand Drills

Here is a rundown on some of the best hand drills availble:

  • The Heavy Duty Hand Drill with Chest Plate features a 1/2" chuck. The gear mechanism is totally enclosed in a heavy duty metal casing to keep dirt away. The drill features two speeds: one full revolution of the hand crank on the faster speed generates 5-1/2 full chuck turns. On the slower speed, one full revolution generates 2-1/4 full chuck turns. You change the speed simply by moving the crank to the other side. It’s a lot of drill for the money - this drill will cost you approximately $100. Now all you need is a big right arm to run it.
  • The Hand Drill is more "everyday". These drill's also have three jaws for high tension and precision. The gears are smooth running and the butt handle is made from Beech. The price isn™t bad either, normal costing around $25.00. A hand drill is an asset to a tool box for the hard to get into places.
  • The Bit Brace drill comes with an excellent 4-jaw chuck and features a closed ratchet mechanism, and allows the brace to work in confined spaces with ease. It has a ball bearing mounted head and this drill goes for approximately $80.00.

What are countersink bits?

The Countersink/Counterbore Bits

The Countersink/Counterbore bits are used to make screw fasteners flush with the surface of the work and are machined from high carbon steel. When counterboring and plugging is not desired, you are also able to produce a perfect countersink by setting the stop collar just behind the cutting flutes to control the depth of the bore. These tools run around $35.00 for a set of 15, depending on the manufacturer.

What do furniture maker's use?

The Tapered Spoon Bit

The tapered spoon bit looks a lot like an upside down cone is used by chair makers for boring tapered holes in the seats and arms of chairs. When boring into solid wood, the bit should be started in a straight position and after a hole has been made and the bit has begun to drill into the wood, the angle of boring can be changed by tilting the brace and bit until the desired angle is reached. This will enable you to bore a tapered hole at any angle.

Are common drill bits okay to use?

Common Drill Bits

Everyone has used drill bits at one time or another. Drill bits are usually found at the bottom of your toolbox and have a rusted and dull look and feel to them. Today there are as many specialty drill bits as there are drills to put them in. A common drill bit set from Sears or the local hardware store is fine if you're not going to use them on a daily basis. You may want to invest in a better set at some time or another.

Drill bit sizes can range from 1" to 1/16". Carbide steel drill bits are pretty common as the standard material. Stainless steel bits that can get expensive depending on their size and there are bits that come with special starter tips on the ends, which takes the place of having to drill a starter hole.

Isn't drilling and boring the same thing?


Woodboring ranges from basic drilling of holes to more complex countersinking and making fasteners flush with the surface of our work. Some woodboring can be done by using a simple hand drill and other will require the use of a drill press, boring mill or even a drill jig.

What is an Augur Gimlet?

Augur Gimlets

For those times when a quick hole is needed, augur gimlets are perfect for making pilot holes for screw sizes #2 to #9. With a tapered center screw tip and an augur style body, these gimlets are made from high carbon tool steel. They look like a leather punch - all one piece with the handle. You can buy five in a set for about $15.00.

What is best bit for big holes?

Big Bits For Big Jobs

Big drill bits take a woodsmith from amateur to more specialized tools for specific jobs. For example, Forstner Bits are much larger than the common bits, and specifically built to bore flat bottomed holes. The 1-7/8" bit that are razor sharp have a sharp price, too. You could spend in the range of $60.00 for one bit. But when it's the only tool for the job it's well worth the price.

The paddle bit, just as it's name suggests, has a flared end that looks like a flat boat paddle that becomes narrower towards the shank. These bits are fairly priced and come in a wide range of sizes from 1" to 1/8".

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