Drilling Pilot Holes
A pilot hole is a smaller hole drilled into any surface prior to and to assist in the installation of a screw, nail or other fastener.
Pilot holes help to:
1. Prevent wood from splitting from large screws or when near the end or edge of
2. Make installing the screw easier in hard materials.
3. Improve accuracy by providing a path for the screw to follow.
4. To prevent bridging, splitting, and stripped screw heads.
Importance Of Drilling A Pilot Hole
When a screw is driven into a material, it can act as a wedge, generating outward pressure which can cause many materials (such as wood or plastic) to split. By drilling a small pilot hole into the material, into which a screw is then driven, less ‘wedging’ takes place, thereby reducing the likelihood of the material being split.
How To drill a pilot hole
Drilling pilot holes requires you to use a slightly smaller drill bit than the screw you will use for fastening. If the bit is too big, the screw will not hold and strip out over time. If the bit is too small, you still risk the chance of the wood splitting.
TIP: To minimize splitting and maximize holding power the pilot hole must match the screw shank diameter [not the screw threads] as well as the penetrate to a depth of the screw length.
Specialty counter sink sets are available that drill pilot holes and countersinks in one step. With these bits, creating the proper size pilot holes easy.
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