Picture of Wood drill bits made of a spoke
Drilling wood, specially if you have to do it by hand, must be done in steps: first a small hole, then a bit larger, then to size. Or as many in-between steps as needed. Woodworkers have collections of drills, but what to do when you have to start from scratch? We start with a drill bit of good quality steel, that is within reach for many people: a bicycle spoke!
This step by step Instructable shows you how to make with your bare hands from a bicycle spoke a multi bit wood drill.

The video is shown here:

Step 1: Tools and materials

Picture of Tools and materials
As tools you need a hammer, a whetstone and/or a file, a knife or scissers and a chisel. You can use a hammer as anvil. Any hammer is OK. Instead of a sharpening stone, you can grind the spoke on the cement floor or on a stone from the river. As materials you need a bicycle spoke and a strip of rubber from a car inner tyre.
dewanm8 months ago

nyce thanks for sharing

dewanm8 months ago

nyce thanks for sharing

dewanm8 months ago

nyce thanks for sharing

willymagoo1 year ago

Very nice, could be useful one day in the shop!

Captain Pedantic says:

"Technically, a hand driven boring tool is an awl. To be a drill it must use some sort of mechanical advantage. Just because 95% percent of the population no longer knows what an awl is, is no reason to slack off. Now, I must be a way, there are a lot of minor terminology errors out there waiting to be corrected!"


Hmmm ... Perhaps I am only Lieutenant Pedantic, but as a woodworker, I would call such a tool a "gimlet" -- "a small tool with a screw point, grooved shank, and cross handle for boring holes." A true Pedant would note that an awl is "a pointed tool for marking surfaces or PIERCING small holes (as in leather or wood)." (emphasis added). The ROTATIONAL action distinguishes a gimlet (or perhaps a "reamer") from the PIERCING action of an awl, and what is instructed here clearly achieves holiness via rotation.

Now, I must be "away," since there are doubtless many other minor terminology "corrections" to correct ;-)

Could this be called a gimreamer? haha

i prefer my gimlets made with gin.

You Sir, are made of win.

I have a heavy gauge, rusty, old, bent, (not motor cycle) spoke that I've had in My "possibles box" for years knowing I would use It for something. =////=====> Voted and favorited and not with a 3-D Lazer printer thing. . Thank You. ~(:-})={

ToolboxGuy1 year ago

They also make great needles when repairing car tires, for pulling the wick through the hole. It's a better grip than most handled tools for the task.

texdanl1 year ago

Great ible! If we are going to be specific about our terminology this is a form of Gimlet rather than an awl.

nickiedog81 year ago

cool idea, great for the sizes you don't have a drill for!

Aoshido1 year ago

Very usefull tool!!

cuvette1 year ago

So glad to see people continuing to share techniques not involving 3D printers and laser cutters. I guess that one just found a place in my head for the rest of my days. :)

ferjanyen1 year ago
Our grandfather's and father's have a lot to teach us yet and also necessity is definetly the mother of all inventions. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
lbrewer421 year ago

Very good information and a clever idea. Thanks for sharing this.

Slim491 year ago

Super Clever!

nahci131 year ago
Zo mooi! dank u wel!
ngadhno1 year ago

It's good what you did, but using hammer,chisel and a file I wouldn't call this "how to make a drill bit with your bare hands". Anyway thanks for sharing, good idea. :)

This is really cool. Such a great skill to have in survival situations!