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Byline: Property Solutions

IT'S a must-know skill for most of us and interior design wouldn't be what it is today without it.

But drilling a hole requires careful thinking to ensure that your drilling is as clean and accurate as possible.

Knowing which drill bits are suitable for the material you are working with will ensure you use the right drill and method for the job.

Here's our handy guide to nailing the art of drilling: Drilling in metal - High speed steel drill bits are suitable for nonferrous metals. These include aluminium, copper, brass, zinc and non-alloyed steel.

Drill bits made of cobalt-alloyed steel (HSS-E) or with a titanium coating are required for stainless steel. These are more expensive than normal bits, but they enable drilling into special steels without a high level of drill bit wear.

You should set your drill to the standard setting without any hammer action.

Drilling in wood - Brad point drill bits have a long centring tip with two pre-cutting spurs. These spurs score the wood fibres; the internal cutting edges then cut them out cleanly.

Forstner drill bits, hardware drill bits or hinge cutting bits are usually used for larger drill bit diameters - there are also auger bits for deep holes in wood.

Drilling in concrete - Masonry made of clinker, brick or concrete requires an impact drill or a rotary hammer action to be used.

But if the wall consists of perforated stones with porous material, such as mortar, only rotary drilling is performed (i.e. without impact or hammer action).

The same applies to porous bricks and boarded walls. A masonry drill bit is required for all work in these materials.

Drilling into a Ceramic Tile - You need to use a carbide-tipped drill bit for drilling into ceramics. Zo prevent the drill bit from slipping or skating on the ceramic surface, use masking tape, and create a '+' pattern on the ceramic tile so that the drilled hole will be in the centre of the cross. This will help to stop the drill bit from slipping off target when drilling.

Use a variable speed drill and start very slowly until the surface glaze has been penetrated to give the drill bit a guide.

Because of the decorative nature of the tile, it is imperative to drill slowly so as not to damage the appearance of the tile.

When you feel the drill bit reaching the back of the tile, slow down the drilling to ensure a clean exit at the back of the tile.

When all the way through, change the drill bit for one more suitable to drilling through the material that the ceramic tile is mounted on. You will most likely need either a wood drill or a masonry drill bit at this point.

Drilling pilot holes - If you need to drill a large diameter hole many tradesmen advise a pilot hole first.

Pilot holes are smaller diameter holes, which can be used as guides as you slowly increase the size of diameter of your drilled holes. The benefit is that you remove less material in one drilling action, which in turn reduces the risk of your drill catching and damaging the hole, the material or even snapping the drill bit.


Make sure you're using the right kind of drill for different tasks
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Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 4, 2010
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