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Same old drill

Of all the things woodworkers buy, use and accumulate in the woodshop, drill bits have to be at the top of the list for sheer volume.

I finally got around to building a small cabinet for all my drills and related accessories, which I’ll mount on the wall by my drill press. With the cabinet done, the next step was organizing the bits into some semblance of order so they’d be easy to grab when needed.

That’s when I discovered that, a) I have hundreds of drill bits and, b) their condition is all over the board from pretty good to worse than garbage. Some of these have just simply been beaten to death over the years, while others showed obvious damage from having been dropped on a concrete floor. Some were just dull, and a few bent. (Why I kept bent drill bits is beyond me.)

The kinds and sizes were amazing. I had no fewer than two-dozen 1/8" bits, and nearly as many 1/4" ones, and most of both were long past their useful lives. On the other hand, I had only a single 3/16", while a few other (admittedly oddball) sizes were missing entirely.

I ended up sorting them into three piles: a “good” pile, a “sharpenable” pile, and a pile of extras I labeled “save these for one-time future use in material that you know will destroy them.” The rest went into the trash. All that’s left to do now is to go down my list of what I need to buy for replacements, and I’m once again in the drilling business.

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