Drilling Pilot Holes

Drilling Pilot Holes

Drilling pilot holes with drill bits is a basic and an essential skill for most woodworking projects. Drilling pilot holes in wood before inserting nails or wood screws, drilling a hole for a bolt, and pinning boards together with wooden dowels are some examples of the importance of using a drill in doing woodworking or home repair projects.

Tip: Drilling pilot holes slightly smaller in diameter than the nail you plan to use can keep boards from cracking or splitting.

Tip: Drilling a pilot hole slightly larger in diameter than the wood screw you want to use through the top board will make driving it in easier and avoid cracking the top board.

After some experience, visually impaired woodworkers often find they can get the drill very close to a right angle by running their fingers up and down the bit when it is not turning, enabling them to drill a hole straight into the work piece. Maintaining your body in a stable position can help to hold the drill at 90 degrees to the work surface.

Safety Practices for Drilling

  • Have in mind the steps you will need to take to complete the project.
  • Select the tools and materials you will need.
  • Keep your work area organized and free of clutter.
  • Wear safety glasses, closed-toe shoes, and snugly-fitting clothing to prevent your sleeves from getting caught up in your work.
  • Place the tools and hardware you will need for the task you are doing in a nearby tool tray, tool belt, or other container so they are readily available to you.
  • Keep unneeded tools and materials placed elsewhere, away from the work area.
  • Do not begin a project if you are tired, frustrated, or have been consuming alcohol.

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