Drilling hints and tips

How to Correctly Use a Power Drill

Power tools, whether mains or cordless, make every task a great deal easier but applying a few tricks of the trade will make every task easier still…

Drilling through Ceramic Tiles

  1. Stick a couple of lengths of masking tape on the area of the tile you wish to drill through.
  2. Mark the precise spot on the tape where you will drill the hole.
  3. Apply light pressure & drill through the tile. If you have a two-speed drill, use the lower setting. If you have an electronic drill (speed controlled by finger pressure) then run it slowly at about 120-150 rpm. The hammer action must be OFF.
  4. You will probably feel a slight ‘jump’ as the end of the bit penetrates the tile and reaches the wall.
  5. Switch the drill’s hammer action on and complete the hole.

Blow the Dirt Away

To clear debris from a hole in a wall, have some aquarium air-tube handy. Insert the end of the tube into the hole, stand to one side and blow. The debris will be expelled.

Suck the Dirt Away

To keep the area clean but still get rid of the debris from the hole in the wall, make a hole in the top of a plastic 2 litre cooldrink bottle. Insert a length of aquarium tubing into it, squeeze the bottle, push the end of the tube fully into the hole and allow the bottle to regain its proper shape. It will act like a vacuum, sucking dust out of the hole.

Drilling Through a Tube

  1. One of the challenges of drilling through a tube is keeping the drill bit centred on the convex surface and keeping the tube securely in place.
  2. First of all, rout a ‘V’ channel in two blocks of scrap wood. Secondly, slip a length of dowel into the tube (if necessary, wrap paper around the dowel to make it fit snugly in the tube) This will reduce distortion of the tube when it’s clamped in the vice.
  3. Now place a block on each side of the tube and clamp it into the jaws of the vice. The dowel reduces distortion and the blocks keep the tube right where you want it without marking it.
  4. Now for the clever part. Place a third block of scrap wood on top of the tube, ensuring that it fits into the space between the two blocks snugly. Drill through the third block and through the tube – the former will keep the drill bit centred on the tube provided it fits snugly between the two blocks clamping the tube. The looser the fit, the less accurate the result will be.

Start Small

When drilling into a wall with a cordless or power drill/driver, first drill the hole with a small-diameter bit and then move progressively to larger diameter bits until you drill the hole to the final diameter.

Shopping List

  • Power or Cordless drill
  • Masking tape
  • Drill bits
  • Ball pein hammer
  • Bolster/cold chisel
  • Strong cord
  • Aquarium air tubing
  • Dowel
  • Vice

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