If it involves wood boring bits or drilling holes in wood, Popular Woodworking has it covered. Below you’ll find information on choosing and using drills, Forstner bits, eggbeaters, and augers. Whether you’re in search of the latest technology or reliable advice for tuning up and using antique hand tools, we’ve collected it all here. Boring holes in wood cleanly isn’t always as simple as you’d like it to be. We’ll help you choose the best tool for the job at hand and improve your drilling techniques.


WoodOwl Bits Eat Oak for Lunch

When building a workbench, boring the dog and holdfast holes is a drag, even with an electric drill. Last month, however, that all changed. While building a French oak Roubo workbench at an event put on by Benchcrafted (details here and the movie is here), Jameel Abraham introduced me to Japanese-made WoodOwl Nail Chipper...


Chair Joinery: Tapered Tenons & Tapered Mortises

Because chairs take abuse like a rented mule, the simple mortise-and-tenon joint is sometimes not enough. In traditional Windsor chair construction, the legs and spindles are attached to the plank seat using tenons that are cone-shaped along their lengths. So the mortises have to be the same shape. These tapered joints are clever. The...


Tune up a Hand Drill in 30 Minutes

Vintage hand drills – sometimes called “eggbeater drills” – are common, useful and easy to fix up using stuff you already own. You can buy hand drills all day long on eBay and never deplete the world’s supply because they were in every homeowner’s toolbox. When I buy a hand drill, I don’t pay...


How to Drive Brass Screws with Care

There is some good advice out there on how to drive brass screws when installing furniture hardware. To recap: 1. Use the right-size pilot holes. The bit should be the diameter of the un-threaded portion of the screw. 2. Use good screws. If your brass screws are soft, you should first cut the threads...


Video: Pegging for Destruction

When I build a reproduction, I try to remain as faithful as I can to the construction of the original – even if my modern brain says it’s not ideal. The original builder of this early 18th-century table used several techniques that wouldn’t fly in a modern shop. For one: The bottom of the drawer...


How to ‘Time’ or ‘Clock’ Your Screw Heads

First a warning: Don’t read this blog entry if you already obsess too much over the details of your furniture. This entry could only make things worse. Years ago, a high-end finish carpenter infected me with a disease for which there is no cure: clocking your screw heads. What is “clocking” – sometimes called...