Boat Building 101
There are three fundamental elements that a boatbuilder should invest in, namely, skills, materials, and tools. Among the numerous tools needed to build a competent armory, there is one deemed the most flexible and needed. That is the power drill.
The Humble, Yet Powerful Drill Bit
To break down the power drill further, it has two main components: the body and the bit. The drill bit is the removable, changeable part that usually burrows into the material that you’re working or planning to work with.
The Two Main Types of Drill Bits
There are different types of drill bits for boat building for a variety of intended usage. They can be grouped into two main categories, namely:
1. Material-Specific Drill Bits
These are drill bits designed for a specific material in mind, so they are named metal bits, wood bits, masonry bits, and more. That said, you want to invest more in metal and wood drill bits since they are the ones you would utilize more as a boat builder.
2. Universal Drill Bits
The second main category is universal drill bits. These are general-purpose bits intended for different materials, including metal and wood. Some of these bits are quite shallow, though, so boatbuilders should invest in material-specific bits instead.
The Different Types of Drill Bits According to Style
Aside from the material that they are intended for, drill bits can also be categorized according to the form of their tips. The tips generally define the function that the specific drill bit can serve.
1. High-Speed Steel (HSS) Bits
As the name suggests, these bits can withstand drilling through steel thanks to the vanadium and tungsten used in making them. They are also referred to as “twist bits” because of the cylindrical shape of their shanks. They come in various lengths and sizes, ranging from 0.8mm to 12 mm, and you can use them for numerous materials, including metal, wood, and plastic.
2. Brad-Point Bits
Brad-point bits are commonly mistaken for twist bits because of the similar shape of their tips. It is fairly easy to distinguish them from each other upon closer inspection, though, thanks to the “W” shape of the brad-point bit tip.
They are available in various lengths and sizes, ranging from 3mm to 10mm, and are recommended to be used on wood.
3. HSS Rivet Bits
Those who widely utilize rivets into their designs will surely find these bits helpful. HSS rivet bits are specifically designed to drill holes for rivet insertion. Just remember to drill a slightly wider hole than the actual rivet to account for expansion and reduce force and fatigue.
4. Spade Bits
Those who need to create bigger holes in their projects will need spade bits. Aptly named, these bits have a shape similar to a spade with several sizes available that will dictate the diameter of the holes you want to make. You should use these bits only on wood materials.
5. Auger Bits
Another type of bit intended to drill large holes, particularly on hard lumber, is the auger bit. It is very distinct in terms of design and very easy to distinguish from other bits.
Auger bits are also equipped with flutes to allow easy wood removal. They also have single-spur cutting edges for conveniently making wide circumferences with minimal effort.
6. Plug Cutting Bits
To those who seek a smoother finish with a recessed part to conceal screws, plug cutting bits are the way to go. This type of bit has two parts: one part that cuts the hole with a countersunk base, and another part in charge of cutting a plug to fit that hole’s dimensions.
You must use a center press with these bits for a more accurate cut since they have a central point for added stability.
7. Saw Bits
Finally, there are saw bits that can cut and drill at the same time. Just like the previous bits, these bits have two parts. A saw bit’s tip looks and functions similarly as a standard HSS bit, while its main body, which is around 15mm in from the tip, has abrasive teeth to allow cutting materials laterally.
Drill Bits in Boat Building
There is a wide spectrum of different types of drill bits that a boatbuilder can choose from for there projects. These bits can be categorized into two main types, and beyond these categories, we have featured other bits according to their style. The bits that we included in our list are a focused selection of the ones that are most commonly used by boatbuilders.
The bottom line is, each bit serves a purpose. Each is intended to be used for specific materials and made of various components. Keeping these factors in mind is crucial in getting the results you want, the longevity of your bits and drill, and your safety.