Instructables
Drilling is one of the most common and most useful processes.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Measure and mark

Measure the location of the hole. If possible, mark exactly where the hole needs to be drilled.

Choose the drill size appropriate to the material being drilled and the tool being used. Use common sense. Trying to directly cut a 3/8 inch diameter hole in stainless steel with a hand drill is not the wisest idea. Start with small diameters and work up. If you?re not confident in your common sense, try a handbook such as Machinery's Handbook.

Use this chart to determine what size to drill for a bolt or screw.

Step 3: Set up

Align and clamp the material in place. Clamps are always a good idea. As the drill pierces through the opposite side of the material, it can grab and spin the work piece. If you are holding the material by hand, injury can result. Be especially careful of this when using a hand drill. If the drill bit grabs, the entire tool can be ripped out of your hands.
megsycam3 years ago
I really appreciate having this site, to educate myself on how to use a drill, as i have never used one before. I want to have an understanding, and any insight into this could be dangerous procedure, if I dont take the right precautions.

Today I have attempted to drill a hole in two places, so as to hang some curtains, however to no avail, the hole won't go deep enough. I was told to put it onto hammer, still unable to. Very frustrating as i wont to hang my curtains.

Anybody to speak bad about this site, is not worth listening to no doubt a person with very little integrety, or none at all.
lumarith3 years ago
Some years earning my living as a cabinet maker taught me that drilling holes accurately is the most demanding process of all. I have toured furniture factories and you should see the complexity and sophistication of the capital equipment they have for this task.

These instructions are great.
Thank you for this post. I have noticed MANY ibles that are posted and the poster has attempted to drill a hole with disastrous results. Another good drill bit lubricant is a 50/50 mix of water pump lube and water. This was recommended by the metal shop instructor at the local Jr. College. As far a "PRO" bumpus, I'll forgive him because he may not realize that many here have great ideas but lack the proper knowledge of certain processes.
sharlston4 years ago
how about some cutting lubricant make your drills last longer
Instructables are for showing off what you've made and telling others how to do it. What next? A tutorial on how to turn on a light? Or maybe how to operate a pencil?
i'd say 50% of people out there drill incorrectly. Most don't use a center punch, even though they should. And most people don't even know what a deburring tool is. So it's not quite as simple as turning on a light.......d-bag
You sir, have failed. :-)
I SERIOUSLY can't believe you just said that. you're directing your commemt at the founder of this site, don't you think he'd have some idea of the original purpose of this site?
sshhhhh!!! he has no common sense!!!!!
turning on a light and operating a pencil can be dangerous tasks for those not properly schooled....eh?
unfortunately..
Actually, it's Instructables. Instructions, tutorials are instructions, this helps people with there instructable. It is suprising how many people do not know how to do things as simple as this to some. A student slashed his thumb on a drill press in tech a few weeks back. He was cutting metal, and would not use a vice. The drill was only on a slow setting, fortunatly for him. He almost cut to the bone.
Visitor7 years ago
If using a hand drill, now is the right time to check that the drill is not on set on the "hammer drill" function (if one has such). That sound against a steel bicycle frame is especially nasty...
Wyle_E Visitor7 years ago
I once had a new bit overheat before I realized that the last time I'd used that drill was to extract a screw. Now I always check the direction switch before I pull the trigger.
xtricity7 years ago
I like this instructable. I have had problems using a drill for years and I've never had good advice. I've encountered some negative comments from people before that think drilling is simple. They have no sympathy for people that have problems with a drill. I have a low-end Sears variable speed drill and I've had problems drilling through wood, metal, and concrete. Let's start with the wood. I burn the wood. Am I applying too much pressure or using too high a speed? In fact, today I was trying to drill a 1/2" hole through a wooden rub rail on a boat. I started off with a smaller bit and worked out. I couldn't cut the wood with the 1/2" bit. The wood is treated with glue. When i tried to drill holes in a chrome bumper, I used special metal cutting bits and cutting oil. I couldn't penetrate the chrome. This might be a speed and pressure problem. For concrete, I couldn't penetrate more than 3/4" into my garage floor. I'm still looking for information on drilling. It's not so simple.
ewilhelm (author)  xtricity7 years ago
It sounds like your drill bits are dull. Try sharpening them, or getting a new set. Burning something is a pretty good indication that the bits are dull.
Visitor7 years ago
If clamps are not available, one can use pliers for holding the object. They usually give better grip to metal than bare naked fingers or gloves do and also lower the danger of injury to the holding hand if the object slips and starts spinning.
lemonie7 years ago
I get a creeping feeling that you should be selling this video to industry at a profit...?
camscam8 years ago
Thanx for the advice. I like these "building basics" because its the details that realy make or break a it and for some one like me starting to get into more complex projects this really helps!
DoctorDon8 years ago
Good job! I would like to add that the type of material dictates speed and pressure. The harder the material (steel vs copper), the slower the speed of the bit and the greater the pressure (downward force). Never use excessive force with a small bit. It will bend and snap. Also, always use a cutting fluid on metal if you want your bits to stay sharp. If you are drilling soft woods (yellow pine, etc.), you can use a high speed with light pressure. Slow it down for harder woods. Also the drill bit can be a factor. Metal (the type, not the material) bits can be used on metal, plastic and wood. However, a brad point or fortner bit is much better for drilling wood.
DaftPunk8 years ago
I totally agree, if you have negative sarcasm please do us all a favor and shove it up your ass. Some people would like to do things right without the risk of putting a hole in them or removng a finger. I know I like all of my fingers without any peepholes in them.
mcarr8 years ago
Ever drill a hole and end up burning the wood? Does your drill bit chatter when you drill through metal? There is definately a correct way to drill every material and most people are not aware of the proper way to do so. Kudos to those who take the time to explain the basics that some take for granted.
LaceyD8 years ago
Thanks again for no-nonsense instructions. Funny how the word INSTRUCTIONS is in the name Instructables. So, you know, it seems like this does indeed go here.
vrogy8 years ago
Awesome. Sending link to noobs.