Drilling Tips For Beginner Homesteaders

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Homesteading is one of the key things that people strive to do if they want to become self-sufficient. It’s a way of expressing one’s independence and lack of need for typical municipality services. It’s the American Dream, but instead of making huge piles of cash, the main goal here is a more noble one: freedom. 

Many people want to be free of the shackles that tie them to paying vast amounts of money for services that they otherwise could procure on their own. The problem is that with independence comes hard work. And many people set unrealistic goals, which make them feel stressed out because they can’t handle doing all that they want.

We want to help you out with knowledge from other homesteaders, so you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes they’ve made. Having the right tools can make a huge difference. It will determine how much effort you’ll have to put into building and maintaining your homestead. And since the drill is something you’ll be using more than other tools, we will be giving you some essential tips regarding it.

Make a list of projects and ideas

One thing to keep in mind: creating a homestead is a complicated process, and this is just the beginning. If you’re not used to staying organized, you’re going to have a hard time. Being organized is the key element of making your homesteading life easier. So work on getting better at organizing projects and ideas first.

After you’ve organized your ideas, it’s time to settle on the necessary tools. We’ll be focusing on drilling today since that is what you’ll use throughout many projects and renovations. Let’s start with the basics.

Choosing the right drill

If you’ve never had to deal with construction before, chances are you might think that all drills are the same. Far from it. Each drill type exists for specific situations. Some are for lightweight work, others for heavy-duty projects. Some are more capable of drilling through wood, while others are made for metal or concrete.

How big and heavy the drill is will also play an important role. Keep in mind that at times you might need to work in tight spaces. Or you might need to fix something on the ceiling, in which case handling a heavy drill can get tiresome quickly. Corded drills are good if you’ll always be working with a power socket nearby. But on a homestead, you might want to consider buying a cordless drill instead.

Having spare batteries, or even multiple drills for different purposes, is essential for starting a homestead. Especially if you plan on doing everything on your own. Or even with only the help of another friend or family member. 

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Don’t forget the drill bits

A drill without a bit is like a writer without a pen or a keyboard. And just like the drill itself, the bits you choose will also influence how you work. It is essential to note the material that the bit is made out of, as well as the bit type. The most common bit materials are carbon steel, High Speed Steel, and cobalt. Carbon steel bits are designed for wood. HHS bits are made for wood, soft materials, and fiberglass. And cobalt bits are used for many types of metal.

Now for the most common drill bit types. Brad point drill bits have a sharp spur on the tip, and spiral grooves on the sides, which makes them perfect for speedy work on wood. They actively expel wood chips from the hole right as you’re drilling.

Twist drill bits are considered the standard, and they have certain similarities to brad point bits. You can use these to work on wood, thin metal, and plastic. Forstner drill bits are your go-to option if you want to build high-end furniture. They’re designed to drill holes that can hold dowels instead of screws, giving you more a more stable frame for your furniture.

This is the most basic knowledge you need before starting any homestead project. It’s up to you to pick out the tools you need for specific tasks. Now that we’ve covered the basics, you probably want to choose the best options for your budget. You can find more detailed information about the best drills and drill bits on Drilling Advisor.

How to properly use the drill for your projects

Like with all tools, you need to take proper care of your drill if you want it to last you for a long time. The most common mistake beginners make is forcing their drill to handle more than it can take. If you’ve bought a drill that’s made for lightweight work, do not use it for heavy-duty tasks. If your drill starts overheating, leave it aside to cool down.

Take speed and torque into consideration. We’ve mentioned size and weight earlier for comfort, but for actual drilling, the specs matter just as much. Even though size and torque are not necessarily related, you will find that drills with high torque usually have a lower speed and vice versa. Torque is essential for heavy-duty projects, and since you don’t want to break the drill or the bit, you’re going to have to go at a slower speed anyway.

The next thing you’ll want to check is the chuck size. Choose a product with a larger chuck diameter if you expect to drill larger diameter holes routinely. You may also want to consider a drill that has a clutch. You’ll be using that to switch between functions and even adjust the speed limit, which comes handy in a lot of ways.

Finally, replace the bits and batteries as necessary. Working with malfunctioning parts will only put more pressure on your drill, and you’ll eventually have to invest in another one. Think of it the same way as you would think about the tires on your car. You wouldn’t use a worn tire for long, so apply the same logic to your drill and other tools alike.