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calendar   Saturday - February 27, 2010

a hole boring post

You could read that as “a whole boring post” if you aren’t into a bit of basic tool porn.

I did a bit of handyman work for a woman this afternoon. Along with some drywall repairs and fitting a new door sweep, she wanted 8 hand carved walnut pulls attached to the oak drawers on some antique dresser she has.

I used the proper long shank, square drive, washer headed screws, and after a whole lot of measuring and calculation and layout with painter’s tape, I put them in, using a #8 tapered drill bit to make the pilot holes.

image

I’ve never used tapered bits before, and now I’m kicking myself in the somewhere for that lapse. These things are awesome. The drawer fronts were 7/8” clear oak. The bits went through them like they were butter. Smoothest thing I’ve ever seen. No tear out. No walking centers. The bits come to a nearly needle sharp point. Just set it on the wood and the weight of the drill is enough to make a centering mark. Zip. Done. Easiest thing ever. And they cut a tapered pilot hole, so you get more bite on the front threads of your screws than you would with a standard blunt tipped drill bit. And that matters when your screws are only going 1/4” into the next piece of wood, as was the case for me today with those pulls. They were an odd design, which required me to use 4 screws each so that they wouldn’t lift up when pulled. Got the job done, and it came out perfectly. Measure thrice, get the customer’s approval, drill once. I didn’t even need to float the screws in oversize holes. Nice work Drew. Here’s some money. I didn’t use the countersink part, but that looks like it works pretty well too.

Tapered bits probably suck for punching holes in sheet metal. Who cares? But they make super holes in wood. Fast, clean, and smooth. You can’t ask more than that, unless the job you’re doing calls for a Forstner bit. Which is a horse of an entirely different color.

Next tool porn purchase will be a handful of quality square drive bits. I’ve got a “universal” one with a stepped taper on it that tries to be both a #1 and #2 drive. It works, but it isn’t elegant. And it’s all glanked up from being used as a “rescue” driver when the heads tear out on garbage phillips head screws.

Oh, and it was a nice change using quality American screws for a change too. The washer head long shanks are made just for attaching knobs to drawers. With their self-boring points they probably don’t even need a pilot hole when you screw them into pine. Well made stuff. And they took a nice load of torque without ripping, stripping, or snapping. Which is more than I can say for the Chinese crap screws sold at the home centers. Go American, it’s worth it.

She’s going to have me back to do some electrical work, and probably to lay a tile floor in her kitchen. Good work leads to more work, and another good reference.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/27/2010 at 09:18 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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