Perfect Pilot Hole Trick | Popular Woodworking Magazine

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Too many times we look for complex solutions when the answer is right in front of our eyes.

This is an old trick, but a good one: drilling pilot holes for the nails using the nail itself. It works with both flush and cut nails.

With a pair of lineman pliers, cut out the head of one of the nails from the box you are using. Make sure it is good and straight and that there are no protrusions around the area where the head was cut off.

Put this “headless” nail in your favorite drill tool and use the nail itself to “drill” the hole. With flush nails, you can block the hole as you go through the molding. With trimmed nails, it is best to pilot half to two thirds of the length of the nail.

This will result in perfectly sized nail holes every time. –Grant Burger


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