Conquering the Fear of Drill Bits

Back in the day I used to think that drilling was something for specialists only. If I needed to hang a picture on my wall, I called my dad (who happens to be a specialist, conveniently enough…) If I needed to fix the light fixture – call the specialist…

But it all changed when I got my own house pretty far away from everybody who could help me, and paid so much for it that there was no money left to call in a professional.

The first tentative drilling steps involved hanging up the family pictures. Or… the terror of making a whole in the wall. The mystery of how the picture going to actually hang on it… I still get goosebumps remembering the first time I turned the drill on all by myself. All I could think about was “goodbye wall and goodbye fingers”.

Surprisingly enough that experience went quite well. Turned out that there was really more fuss about it than needed. Given the right drill (and I got a great one as a gift from my specialist dad) and the right bit (yes, he also explained to me how to choose a drill bit size to match the screws) the whole task literally took seconds.

Then I felt incomplete and drilled a whole set of wholes just for future frames. Decorating the house, you know?

And then there was that day when I was stuck with a baby gate and had to mount it on all by myself, or else chase the baby without a break till he learns to listen to me. The odds of him listening where too small, so up from the basement came the power tools.

I’m still proud of the precision workmanship I showed that day. Turns out the gate was a bit misaligned at the plant, so I even had to drill a whole in the metal to make it actually fit on the frame! And I had diamond drill bits lying around handy! That was too fulfilling. I don’t think I’m taking that gate off anytime soon. It has my bragging rights all over it.

I guess another thing that increased my comfort with basic drilling is the fact that drill bits are now pretty much everywhere. That makes them seem like the kind of thing everyone is using. And if everyone can – why not me?

And why not you either? Really, it’s not as scary as it seems…

How drill bits can keep you thrifty

Well. Ok. Not just drill bits. You’ll also need a drill. And something to drill. Obviously.

But getting to the point.

In this day and age when prices on things are soaring and global economy is going in the exact opposite direction knowing how to make and fix things on your own could be the difference between balancing your checkbook or having nightmares printed on your credit card bills.

Recently I went to a big-box furniture store that advertises great deals like crazy. From the sound of an ad, you could furnish your whole room for practically nothing. Just a thousand bucks or so.

So I went to check it out.

I am still in a state of shock that a basic table can cost almost a thousand dollars. Seriously.

A thousand dollars for a table.

A table which has probably $50 bucks of material worth in it. At best.

This is where a drill bit and a drill are your greatest friend. Cause if you have the basic know-how, and you really needed a table, you’d go to a place like Home Depot, buy a couple of planks for the four legs (those things are so long, you can probably make three legs from them), buy one sheet of wood for the top part. Get the stains and finishing to your liking and voila – a fancy customized table for less than a fraction of the cost.

This is why knowing your tools and working them is important in even this day and age. If you know what you are doing – they can’t trick you into spending thousands on things that are just not worth that much.

And if you are a newbie and never held a drill in your hand? There are workshops. In fact, your local Home Depot has tons of FREE workshops. They even have them for kids. That’s FREE education! And when did learning a new skill hurt anyone?

So before you cry yourself to sleep that those things you want for your house cost too much, dust off some drill bits and head to a workshop. Or down to your basement and start learning. If you are scared of drilling wholes in the wall or on your project, practice first! Get some old scrap pieces and drill away until you feel steady. (The same applies to hammering and sawing and… you get the idea…)

And by the way, you don’t even have to splurge on materials at the Home Depots. Once you get a little handy, you’ll be able to remodel things you find on the curb or in thrift stores. And they’ll look better than the big-box-furniture-store-things.

And they’ll have your heart in them. Won’t that be great?