In the world of DIYing, we’re always in need to some hacks to help us save money, time or effort (or all three!), without compromising on quality or safety, of course. So here are some seriously helpful hacks to implement when you’re working with wood and drills. Don’t have the right size drill bit? No clamp? Need to fill a hole in the wall? All these problems can be solved with these awesome tips.
1. Makeshift Drill Bit
If you don’t have the correct size drill bit for a hole that you need to drill you can actually just use a nail instead. Take the nail that you’re planning on using, clip off the head, attach it to the drill and just use that as the drill bit.
2. No-Clamp Gluing – Side-by-Side
If you have to glue some pieces of wood together for a top but don’t have a clamp, take two pieces of scrap wood and attach them to a work surface a little bit further apart than the size of the pieces that are being glued. Put the wood pieces in the gap and then use two wedges to fill the open gap.
3. Wax Paper Cut (#2 continued)
Keep any glue from getting on your work surface by putting down a piece of wax paper underneath the wood that’s being glued. No scissors to cut the paper? Just use a metal straight edge (like a ruler) to tear it straight.
4. No-Clamp Gluing – On Top of One Another
If you’re gluing pieces together on top of each other like for a leg, for example, you can substitute C-shapes for a clamp. The same idea applies as in number two: make the gap of the C-shape a bit bigger than the pieces that are being glued and then use smaller wedges to fill the gap and keep the pieces in place.
5. Salt Glue Trick (#4 continued)
When gluing the pieces to each other, you may find that they slip around a bit while trying to clamp them in place. After applying the glue, sprinkle just a little bit of regular table salt before placing them together – it’ll prevent any of that movement.
6. Drilling a 90° Hole
Without a drill press, drilling a 90° hole can be quite tricky. There is a way to do it as close to 90° as possible, though. Stack together two pieces of dimensional lumber with one piece sticking up a little bit higher so that it creates a corner with a right angle. Place your drill right against that corner and drill away!
If you do have a drill press but can’t fit the piece of wood, drill the hole into a piece of scrap wood. Then attach the same drill bit to your hand drill, run it through the hole in the scrap piece and use that almost like a stencil or guide to drill through the piece that you actually need.
7. Sharpening Blades
A blunt utility knife isn’t very helpful when working with wood, but what do you do without a sharpener? Take a regular ceramic mug, turn it upside-down and scrape the blade against the bottom rim just as you would with a sharpening stone.
8. Filling a Hole
When removing a nail from the wall where a painting used to hang, you’re left with that hole in the wall. Instead of driving to the store and spending money on spackle, just apply some toothpaste. After about two hours of drying you can paint right over it and no one would ever know!
Video by Izzy Swan Youtuber.