Drills and stands
Whether you’re using a hand or power drill, there are a few basic guides to producing neat, accurate holes every time. A drill stand is the first accessory you should buy. This will enable you to ensure that holes are drilled vertically and square to the wood. It’s surprisingly easy when holding a drill, to produce a hole at an angle.
Drills are the most often used tool in a workshop, for drilling clearance holes, dowel joints or removing a lot of waste from a mortice. However, there are still some jobs which require a hand drill or brace to make larger or deeper holes.
Modern electric drills have a variable speed. This enables a great deal of control and is essential when using, for example, a screwdriver attachment.
Protect your eyes from flying splinters by wearing safety goggles.
Fitting a drill stop
To tell you when a drill bit has bored through wood to a pre-set depth, use a circular metal or rubber stop which fits over the bit., and can be fixed at any point along the shaft. When the stop touches the wood’s surface, the bit has reached the correct depth.
Cramp the work
Hold the workpiece securely to stop it moving when drilled. Always place an offcut under the work to protect your bench and reduce splintering when the drill penetrates the workpiece.
Keep the drill vertical with a try square guide when drilling freehand. A cheap and effective depth gauge can be made from ordinary electrical or masking tape.
Drilling from both sides
One of the most common mistakes when drilling is to force the drill bit all the way through a piece of timber from one side. This can be done if the other side of the work is never to be seen. Otherwise, the drilled hole should be completed by reversing the work and drilling through from the other side. This will prevent the wood from splintering.
First, fit a spur bit and begin to drill until the tip just breaks through the other face of the wood. Reverse the wood in the jaws of the bench and line up the drill bit with the small hole. Carefully drill through.
A spur bit has a protruding point which penetrates in advance of the main bit.
Using a drill stand
A well-made drill stand will easily pay for itself in time saved correcting mistakes. The rigid upright column has a ratchet mechanism on the front so that the drill can be moved up and down slowly and precisely – and always at right angles to the face of the wood. Remember to fix the drill collar tightly in the cramp before switching on.
Using a brace and bit
A brace is designed to bore large wide holes, using auger bits. The cranked handle design allows you to turn the chuck slowly but with a great deal of force. Because of the slow speed, the bit can be fully controlled for accurate drilling.
Place the screw thread on the end of the auger bit on to the starter mark and begin to drill so that the screw thread bites into the wood. The golden rule is to let the drill do the work and don’t press too hard.
Although there are power tools for almost every woodwork task, its often more economic or convenient to use a small drill attachment. Make sure the work is firmly fixed and use both hands to steady the drill.
Hole saw cutters come in sizes up to about 3in (75mm) and are sold in sets. It should be used with a drill stand and on the medium speed setting.
Sanding belts are wrapped around rubber drums fixed to a metal spindle. Sizes range up to about 6in (150mm) diameter. You can also attach flat sanding disks and soft buffing wheels for polishing wood finishes or metal.
Screwdriver bits need a chuck attachment which can hold different screwdriver tips in its end. As with ordinary screwdrivers, you will need crosshead and slot bits in several sizes.
Flexible shafts – are attached to the chuck to allow the user to reach into awkward areas or use the drill as a ‘mini’ handheld drill for fine work.