Check out these tips on drilling and countersinking.


You need two basic tools to make holes in wood: a bit to cut and a drill to turn it. If you want the hole to be of a precise depth or angle, you'll need some extra help.

Although you can use a hand-powered brace or a hand drill, a corded electric drill or a cordless drill/driver gives you better control and more power for little added cost. A drill guide increases accuracy.

There are many types of bits you can buy. Brad-point bits are better than standard twist drills for woodworking because the twist drill's point tends to wander when starting a hole. Brad-point bits have a sharp center point that keeps the hole where you want it.

Use special counterbore and countersink bits to make pilot and countersink holes for screws. A drill stop limits hole depth.

Drilling Repetitive Holes

Drilling multiple holes of the same size, such as for a bookcase's adjustable shelves, can be accurately done by using a piece of perforated hardboard as a spacing template.

Precision Drill Guide

With your drill chucked into a precision drill guide, you can accurately drill at any angle between 45 and 90 degrees. The guide's built-in depth stop limits hole depth.

Drilling Horizontal Holes

To drill straight holes -- not angled ones -- horizontally, slip a metal washer over the bit as a guide. The washer should be a close fit on the shaft. If the drill is perpendicular when the bit is turning, the washer won't move along the bit.


Before driving a wood screw flush with the surface, drill a countersink hole with a countersink bit. To recess a screw, use a combination bit to drill a countersink hole with a counterbore. Conceal the screw head with a standard wood plug or one you make with a plug-cutting bit.

Comments (1)
dhaile2 wrote:

I am dtrying to find a guide for determining the right size pilot hole for the screws I am using. is there a formula for doing this. thank you Donald Haile dhalile@cox.net

3/5/2011 03:56:42 PM Report Abuse
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