You Can Use a Drill Bit for More Than Drilling Holes!

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Introduction: You Can Use a Drill Bit for More Than Drilling Holes!

About: Average Can Be Extraordinary

Did you know this use for a drill bit? It's so simple you'll kick yourself when you see it! Using a drill bit as a physical stop and guide is a really accurate way to measure things.

Supplies

Tools Used:

Step 1: Drill Bits Are Very Accurate

If you buy high quality drill bits, they're pretty spot on for size but even these cheap drill bits I have are accurate to within at least 0.1 of 1mm. That's accurate enough for me!

Step 2: Use Them to Set the Depth of Router Bits

A great use for drill bits is to use them to set the depth of router bits! All you need is 2 drill bits that are the same size (I used 6mm bits) and a flat surface.

First, place the 2 drill bits on the flat surface slightly spaced apart. Then loosen the base of the router so you can raise and lower the bit. Place the base of the router on top of the 2 drill bits.

Now lower the router bit until it touches the flat surface. Then you can lock it in place and be confident the router bit is protruding 6mm from its base. The same depth as the drill bits!

Step 3: Set the Router Bit Height on a Router Table

You can do the same at the router table... just upside down! Again you need 2 drill bits that are the same size and a flat surface.

First, lower the router bit so its lower than the drill bits thickness. Then place the 2 drill bits either side of the router bit. Place the flat surface on top of the drill bits and gently rock it back and forth. As you rock it back and forth slowly raise the router bit. When you hear the router bit start to catch on the surface you know you're at the right position. The router bit will be raised to the same height as the drill bits!

Step 4: Set Fence Distances

Another great use for drill bits is to set the distance of fences. I'll demonstrate on a Bandsaw but it works the same on a Table Saw or any other tool that uses a fence!

First, place the drill bit (12mm bit in my case) against the blade. Then bring the fence up to it until it touches the drill bit. Then lock the fence in place. Be careful though, fences can move when you lock them in place so move the drill bit back and forth to make sure it isnt too tight or too lose. Make any adjustments to the fence that's needed until the bit moves smoothly without catching and without any play. That way you know the fence is exactly the distance of the drill bit away from the blade.

That was 12mm in my case! Keep this tip in mind next time you need to set up tool and equipment accurately. Drill bits can be used for more than just drilling holes!

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    37 Comments

    0
    doo da do
    doo da do

    7 months ago

    NICE out of BOX THINKER

    0
    LSU1977
    LSU1977

    7 months ago

    Simple; great idea! Thanks.

    0
    grapenut
    grapenut

    7 months ago

    very useful, loved it, thanks!

    0
    Cdebee
    Cdebee

    7 months ago

    You can also use them to drill holes!

    0
    skylane
    skylane

    Reply 7 months ago

    Whole holes?

    0
    ElectroFrank
    ElectroFrank

    7 months ago

    I use a set of drills to measure the sizes of holes and gaps. However, some drills are slightly under-size, perhaps because they tend to make a hole slightly larger than the nominal size.

    If you want greater accuracy, check the size of your drills with a micrometer or vernier (or digital) caliper, and make a chart of the actual sizes.

    0
    joen
    joen

    Tip 1 year ago

    I use them to make springs. Just wrap spring wire around the right sized drill bit and you have springs to what ever precision you need.

    0
    desolderer
    desolderer

    Reply 1 year ago

    Try to get some "Music Wire". Makes perfect springs.

    0
    ElectroFrank
    ElectroFrank

    Reply 7 months ago

    Also known as Piano Wire, it is very springy.

    0
    FlorinJ
    FlorinJ

    Reply 1 year ago

    Where do you get your wire? Regular wire is too soft/not springy, IME.

    0
    Irritable_Badger
    Irritable_Badger

    Reply 1 year ago

    You’ve got to temper the to give it proper springiness.

    0
    FlorinJ
    FlorinJ

    Reply 1 year ago

    Possibly the wire you find where you live is a different alloy from what I can get where I live. I found that no matter how I treat it, it still stays soft. Possibly too little carbon and other alloy elements in it.

    0
    Irritable_Badger
    Irritable_Badger

    Reply 1 year ago

    If it’s steel it’ll harden. The most common failure in tempering springs (or heat treating in general) is not keeping them at temperature long enough.

    0
    Norm1958
    Norm1958

    7 months ago

    Drill bits are more than adequate and handy gauging for woodworking purposes. Thank you for pointing this out. Even cheap bits are within a few thousandths of an inch. Woodworking spur bits such as you display might be less precise, might even have a bit of a bend but who cares? Wood work is not done to that degree of precision because of the nature of the material. It shrinks, it swells, it moves, it is compressible. That is why we love it.
    An interesting thing about precision twist drills is they are tapered slightly, smaller at the shank than the cutting end to provide clearance and reduce drag. A .50" drill might measure .498 at the shank, hence your measurements.
    Also as a previous poster mentioned, the shank is sometimes softer than the cutting end [through careful heat treatment and depending on alloy]. It allows chuck jaws a better grab and reduces brittleness from the cutting edge up.
    Thank you for showing how a simple tool can be used for another purpose.

    0
    dhk1948
    dhk1948

    7 months ago

    Never thought of this method before, but it’s ingenious! Thanks!

    0
    JohnC430
    JohnC430

    7 months ago

    Great idea. very good. Thanks for sharing

    0
    wolfmaker
    wolfmaker

    1 year ago

    i am just sad that i do not have the tools he has like the table saw so many thing i can do to fix the house if i only have more tools suck not to have a job right now and to be poor :( but when i do get a new job i am going to buy lots of tools like i want to make my own miter box for big or hug pvc pipes and so on have some ideas on how to make one to that can adjust to variable sizes like height and width this tip will come in handy some day thank for sharing

    0
    charlessenf-gm
    charlessenf-gm

    Reply 7 months ago

    My grandfather was a carpenter and a craftsman - he passed some seventy years ago. Word was, if Richard was too busy to take on your project, folks would postpone the job until he could do it! Among the artifacts in my grandmother's house were a couple of hand made boxes that could not be opened - until you discovered the inlaid piece that 'keyed' into another piece that allowed yet a third to slide and reveal the inside of the box. He had hand tools - nothing fancy.

    I recall a saying, heard from those relatives of long ago that "it is a poor workman what blames his tools."

    Romans were doing 'brain surgery," building viaducts and stadiums - as were the Africans and Egyptians and the Chinese (etc., etc.) with 'bare hands' and relatively speaking, crude tools.

    Today we see "Instructables" on how to build something with a 3D Printer or a five-axis four by eight foot CNC Router.

    Find a Public Access Channel and Roy Underwood's Woodwright's Shop (or his books) and begin with the tools (hands, opposable thumbs, five (or six) senses and a human brain) at hand.

    0
    pgs070947
    pgs070947

    Reply 1 year ago

    Getting a set of tools together takes a long time, but don't be tempted to go for cheap.
    Cheap power tools can be downright dangerous or will do a rotten job.
    I don't know what you mean by big or huge PVC pipes, but for anything up to 4", I use a picture framing saw that will cut to any angle and nicely true. If you need something to grip it, oil filter pliers are good, as are chain wrenches (these hold pipes up 2 feet or more diameter). For domestic waste pipes 1 1/4" or 2", the picture saw works a treat and you can make a frame for the finished project.