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I'm a seasoned carpenter with years of experience, I use this trick all the time to drill precise holes in both hard and soft woods when a drill bit of the correct size is not available. Once the head is cut off you can put it into the drill chuck and it will stay centered and spin true, the point will actually do the drilling you just have to go a little bit slower than a regular bit.
cut the head off of the nail and use it as your drill bit for the dowel, affix with a little epoxy in the hole and you will not split the dowel. Old school trick when you don't have the right sized drill bit for the nail.
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