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

64,652

73

24

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

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:

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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!

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Rope & String Speed Challenge

      Rope & String Speed Challenge
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest

    24 Discussions

    0
    wolfmaker
    wolfmaker

    11 days 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
    pgs070947
    pgs070947

    Reply 11 days 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.

    0
    Skeiff
    Skeiff

    Reply 11 days ago

    Maybe there is a tool library near where you live? These are community lending libraries that loan out tools that were mostly donated by other people. A lot of them are registered with https://localtools.org/find/ or you can do a web search for “tool library”. I hope you do have one close by. They are usually great resources.

    0
    Yasheen6
    Yasheen6

    10 days ago

    Very clever! Thanks for the great idea!

    0
    drewscreen
    drewscreen

    Tip 11 days ago

    I often use step drill bits for measuring the openings of holes. This is convenient for me since I most always keep a step bit chucked up when the drill is in it's case.

    0
    gungajin
    gungajin

    11 days ago

    It's a long known fact that the boundary between genius and madness is a blurred line ;-)

    0
    King Ripord
    King Ripord

    11 days ago on Introduction

    That's a fantastic idea, I'll definitely be using this as a way to setup my router and other equipment
    Thanks

    6
    paulkid
    paulkid

    11 days ago

    I never have old drill bits. I just sharpen them back up on a bench grinder.

    0
    TwoWindsBear
    TwoWindsBear

    Reply 11 days ago

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a NEW drill bit this way, too.

    0
    tonigau
    tonigau

    11 days ago

    You can also make a bit into a counterbore by grinding about 20mm of the OD to the size of the holes you want to bore & square the cutting edges with some clearance angle.
    This is useful if u have a 'do it now' job.
    The shaft makes good dowel pins for metalwork as it is strong but not brittle like the fluted section.

    2
    VaMalone
    VaMalone

    11 days ago

    Great easy tip. Why didn't I think of that?

    8
    joen
    joen

    Tip 24 days 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.

    1
    FlorinJ
    FlorinJ

    Reply 12 days ago

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

    1
    Irritable_Badger
    Irritable_Badger

    Reply 11 days ago

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

    0
    FlorinJ
    FlorinJ

    Reply 11 days 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.

    1
    Irritable_Badger
    Irritable_Badger

    Reply 11 days 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
    desolderer
    desolderer

    Reply 11 days ago

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