Top 10 Drilling Tips archive

Friday 29 August 2008

Successful and safe drilling depends on following this guide by Alan Holtham

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1. CHECK CABLE

If using a mains drill ensure that the cable is in good condition and never use it to pick up the drill. Always unplug before fitting drill bits. With a cordless ensure that the battery is securely fitted into clean terminals

2. FORWARD THINKING

Check the direction of rotation before drilling. It is very easy to knock it into reverse without noticing

3. CHUCK SENSE

If you are using a keyed chuck, for maximum security tighten using all three holes. Ideally fit a keyless chuck as this will give you better grip and easier bit changing. Keep the chuck clean and spray regularly with a dry lubricant

4. CLAMP UP

Always clamp the work securely, particularly when drilling very small workpieces or using large-diameter drill bits

5. PRISTINE BITS

Use good-quality, sharp and clean bits and withdraw them regularly as you drill to prevent clogging and burning

6. SPEEDY WORK

Feed quickly to avoid overheating the drill tip, and use the side handle for additional control

7. AVOIDING BREAKOUT

To minimise breakout, either use a backing piece if you are drilling right through the work, or drill from either side

8. PUNCH POINT

If the hole location is critical, mark the entry point with a centre punch to prevent the drill skidding to one side

9. DEPTH STOP

Most drills have an integral depth stop, but fit custom-made ones to the drill bit where the depth is critical

10. BE SQUARE

Use a square or homemade jig to keep the drill square to the work. Drills with built-in spirit levels make this much easier


David Preece

Tagged In:

Alan Holtham , Top 10 , Drills , Drilling

"Use good-quality, sharp and clean bits and withdraw them regularly as you drill to prevent clogging and burning"


PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAN HOLTHAM