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Tip #196
Drilling Deep, small-diameter holes

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Need a 10" to 12" or deeper 1/16" to 1/8" diameter hole in a project component…but don't happen to have a bit to do the job? Here's a nifty trick that often works. Start your hole with a conventional twist drill. If you're lucky enough to have a 4" to 6" long "jobber-length" bit, that's even better.

Once you've used this bit to bore a perfectly straight, aligned "pilot hole", reach for a piece of stiff steel wire or rod that's at least as long as the hole you want to drill is deep.

It's important that this wire or rod be straight…that it be within a few thousandths of your drill bit's diameter…and that you use a single cut mill file to cut an oblique, angled end on the rod. This file-sharpened end will do the cutting for you.

· Align your workpiece carefully with the axis of your drill Chuck
· Tighten the un-sharpened end of your rod in the Chuck's jaws
· Insert the sharpened rod or wire end into the pre-bored hole as far as possible
· Turn on your drill press and SLOWLY advance the bit into the workpiece until you've finished your hole

NOTE: Since your wire or rod drilling tool has no chip channels, it's important that you pull your "bit" out frequently to allow ample time for bit cooling while you use an air compressor (or a straw) to blow the drilling chips out of your hole.

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