Workshop Basics: Making Holes
Drill a pilot hole first
A pilot hole is a made with a small diameter drill, to guide a larger drill bit with greater accuracy. The larger drill bit will follow the path of the pilot hole, making for a more accurate cut.
Drill large holes in stages
If you need to drill a 10mm hole, start with a pilot hole and use successively larger drills until you reach 10mm. How many drills you use will depend on the material you are drilling. The harder the material, the smaller the gap between drill sizes. Using this technique will put less stress on the drill, and will lead to a more accurate cut.
Speed is important
Materials react differently to the cutting force of a drill, and drilling at the wrong speed can make some materials rip, shatter, or even melt. Practice on a piece of scrap material first to find the best speed.
Drilling metal is much less stressful if you have a suitable lubricant, and by reducing the heat of the metal you can produce a more accurate hole.
Use the right drill
Different types of drills can be used to cut different materials. The naming convention is obvious: Masonry drills for brick, wood drills for wood, and metal drills for metal. Drills are often coated in different types of metals, to make them last longer. Read the details to be sure, but a good rule of thumb is that you do get what you pay for.
Make it sharp
Drill bits eventually wear out and need replacing. With some very hard materials, you might find that a drill becomes blunt after just a few holes. It is not worth persevering with a blunt drill bit, because you will only get frustrated and apply too much force. Invariably the drill will break or slip, and the piece you are drilling could be ruined.
There are plenty of other tips, but that should be enough to get you started if you are new to the world of making and crafting. I’m sure that some of you have some tips of your own, so why not share them in the comment section?