Author Topic: Center punch starter for drills...  (Read 4663 times)

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Offline Mark Enomoto

  • Posts: 269
Center punch starter for drills...
« on: March 19, 2013, 07:20 AM »
Has there been any designs where a drill can tap a screw into material before driving? Like a hammer drill, this would only tap the fastener once or twice to set the point into the material so that it didn't skid out of alignment. I've been driving a lot of screws into plywood and when I'm sitting on harder grain, the screw has a tendency to skid off to the softer stuff. If the drill lightly tapped the fastener into the material to start it I think we'd be able to shoot screws one handed with better accuracy and ease.

Now reverse the same action for when the clutch releases and the bit is tapped back out of the fastener as when you use robersons and sometimes have to wiggle the bit out of the head.

Tap in... drive... Tap out...

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Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2338
Re: Center punch starter for drills...
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 09:34 PM »
Would using screws with a self drilling point lessen the need for this feature on a drill?
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Mark Enomoto

  • Posts: 269
Re: Center punch starter for drills...
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 05:06 AM »
About the only screws that are sharp enough are pocket screws by Kreg that can actually set themselves w/o add'l pressure on the driver. SPAX are close but being able to just sink a screw .5mm into the material would ensure a solid start I think. The design problem is how to prevent a fastener from skidding on the material...

Offline fdengel

  • Posts: 854
Re: Center punch starter for drills...
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 08:01 AM »
Have you considered one of those self-feeding screw guns like are used sometimes when installing drywall?

Offline ccarrolladams

  • Posts: 1466
Re: Center punch starter for drills...
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 10:13 PM »
Have you considered using an actual center punch? Spring-actuated center punches for machining have been on the market at least since 1939, when my grandfather gave me one made by Starrett for my 7th birthday. Those will make an effective centering dimple in tool and stainless steel. I have yet to use a wood so hard one of those center punches could not make the dimple.

Traditionally in woodworking the awl is used as a center punch. The downside is they need two hands, while the spring center punches only need one hand.

Offline JJ Wavra

  • Posts: 256
Re: Center punch starter for drills...
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 11:23 PM »
The only way I have found to start a screw,or mark a center when turning, and have it accurate is by using a birdcage awl.  You can not try and compress you have to cut/scrape the beginning of the hole in hard woods.
Jeff

Offline Upscale

  • Posts: 754
Re: Center punch starter for drills...
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 03:09 AM »
Has there been any designs where a drill can tap a screw into material before driving? Like a hammer drill,

Don't know of any drills that will do what you're asking, but since I grew up with centre punches as the goto devices for starting a drill hole, I wouldn't buy such a drill if one existed. I just recently purchased a new standard centre punchs from Lee Valley Tools. Only downside is that it likes to roll off benches. Fixed that with a little electrical tape wrapped around the head of the punch.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=56652&cat=1,43456

Offline Chris Wong

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Re: Center punch starter for drills...
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 04:53 AM »
Interesting ideas.  When I was doing a lot of rougher work, I was in the habit of starting my screws by tapping them into the material with the back of my drill, then sinking them as normal.

I like the idea of the screw-from-bit-remover, although it sounds complicated.  I've had lots of screws fit so well on the driver that I've had to drive the screw back into the material to remove the bit.
Chris Wong, http://FlairWoodworks.com
First Festool was a free pencil.
Shipping live-edge cribbage boards around the world since 2010.