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Thread: Sometimes Power Tools Can't Handle the Work

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    Sometimes Power Tools Can't Handle the Work

    It is time for collecting and storing seeds from the garden and one of the things that helps is a small box to keep things almost organized.

    It wasn't a fancy box. Just something nailed together from a scrap of poplar. It is the same piece of poplar that was being planed in an earlier post.

    My nails were actually more like little brads, ~1/2" long. My experience with nails has taught me to avoid splitting of thin wood by drilling pilot holes.

    The brads diameter measured at about 3/64". It seemed an 0.040", #60 bit would do the job. Picked up my newest DeWalt cordless drill motor and started to close down the chuck. Imagine my dismay seeing slots in the jaws preventing it from hold a bit less than ~3/32".

    The only way to use a #60 or other small bit in my shop is either one of the drill presses or my Millers Falls #2 eggbeater drill.

    One has to hold the eggbeater back as the weight will make the drill bend and wobble. Sixteen holes drilled and as many brads driven home without any problem.

    Makes me wonder why a fancy cordless drill is made without the ability to hold smaller bits…

    Maybe there is a problem with too many people being heavy handed and breaking a lot of bits.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 08-26-2019 at 8:01 PM. Reason: words, words, words
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Picked up my newest DeWalt cordless drill motor and started to close down the chuck. Imagine my dismay seeing slots in the jaws preventing it from hold a bit less than ~3/32".
    I wonder if you might have defective chuck. I just checked two relatively new (< 3 years old) DeWalt cordless drivers, and both of them hold a 1/16" bit securely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Ragatz View Post
    I wonder if you might have defective chuck. I just checked two relatively new (< 3 years old) DeWalt cordless drivers, and both of them hold a 1/16" bit securely.
    Mine wasn't tried to see the exact size, it was estimated by eye. You are likely correct that mine will also hold a 1/16" (0.0625") bit. That would have been too big for the brads being used.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post

    Makes me wonder why a fancy cordless drill is made without the ability to hold smaller bits…

    Maybe there is a problem with too many people being heavy handed and breaking a lot of bits.
    Probably this and the reality that most cordless drills are marketed at tradesman/contractors and DIY guys are their respective work probably doesn't require such small bits. I have smaller chucks that will accommodate very small bit but these need to be chucked in a chuck. Why didn't you use a gimlet? I love those things and my set from Lee Valley is used all the time.
    "If you have all your fingers, you can convert to Metric"

  5. #5
    Get a better drill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilton Ralphs View Post
    Probably this and the reality that most cordless drills are marketed at tradesman/contractors and DIY guys are their respective work probably doesn't require such small bits. I have smaller chucks that will accommodate very small bit but these need to be chucked in a chuck. Why didn't you use a gimlet? I love those things and my set from Lee Valley is used all the time.
    My smallest gimlet is bigger than 0.040" or 1.016mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post
    Get a better drill
    Already have one, a Millers Falls #2.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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    I have some drill bits at work that have 1/8" main shank, but for the better of me I cannot remember where they came from, - I do know there are bits like this out there.... For my daily electronics work, I use PCB drills that are either 3mm or 1/8" shanks, but these are carbide drill bits and too brittle for hand held machines..

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    I have some drill bits at work that have 1/8" main shank, but for the better of me I cannot remember where they came from
    Those may be bits made for a dremel type of tool. They use a collet to hold bits and other tools. They all have the same size shank.

    these are carbide drill bits and too brittle for hand held machines.
    If one is careful they can usually handle such tools without breakage. It may take a few attempt while training oneself.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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    I have been using one of the North Bros. Yankee push drills....I figure one of the 8 bits will be close enough...

    Find the longest wire nail you find find, that matches the diameter you need to drill, clip the head of the nail off, chuck into a drill....and drill a hole.

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    Maybe a push drill

    https://www.google.com/search?q=push...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    I have the Garret Wade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    Maybe a push drill

    https://www.google.com/search?q=push...hrome&ie=UTF-8

    I have the Garret Wade.
    Do they make bits for a push drill in the 0.040" range?

    My money would be on such a small bit snapping before the second push of the drill.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    One thing I have done occasionally is chuck a pin vise in the cordless drill (just like it says not to on the pin vise package). That works pretty well in a pinch. I also have a hex shanked chuck that will hold an 80 bit, but it probably has too much run-out to be useful that small.

    Regarding using a push drill for a 0.040" bit, I doubt you could get the bit spinning fast enough to drill effectively with a push drill. My guess is you would have the functional equivalent of a very brittle bradawl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    One thing I have done occasionally is chuck a pin vise in the cordless drill (just like it says not to on the pin vise package). That works pretty well in a pinch. I also have a hex shanked chuck that will hold an 80 bit, but it probably has too much run-out to be useful that small.

    Regarding using a push drill for a 0.040" bit, I doubt you could get the bit spinning fast enough to drill effectively with a push drill. My guess is you would have the functional equivalent of a very brittle bradawl.
    One time one of my small bits must have been soft. Instead of breaking the thing bent.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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    I see that Rockler has an adapter to chuck very small bits into a standard electric drill chuck: https://www.rockler.com/micro-drill-chuck

    No first-hand experience with it, but if you want to use small bits with an electric drill, at $12, it might be worth a try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Ragatz View Post
    I see that Rockler has an adapter to chuck very small bits into a standard electric drill chuck: https://www.rockler.com/micro-drill-chuck

    No first-hand experience with it, but if you want to use small bits with an electric drill, at $12, it might be worth a try.
    One thing you may not have noticed:

    Oversold Until 11/07/2019
    My guess is that means out of stock or on back order.

    With a little care the Millers Falls #2 worked fine and the job is done.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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