How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

I have a confession to make…I LOVE THE OCEAN! Just listening to the ebb and flow of the tides can sooth a troubled soul and make worries disappear. I’m never more relaxed than when I’m stretched out on a lawn chair, listening to the sea gulls and the surf.

Another reason I love the ocean is because of the treasures it leaves between tides. It’s a lot like treasure hunting and you never know what you’re going to find!

Hubby and I are fortunate enough to have family that own a timeshare in Florida. Every September for the last few years, we get away from it all and chill out on Manasota Key. We spend our days searching for treasure and our nights enjoying what the local food establishments have to offer. I know…it’s a rough life but someone has to do it!

Needless to say, I have amassed quite a collection of seashells and pretty pieces of coral and sea glass. If you love the ocean as much as I do, I’ll bet you have quite a collection too!

I don’t hoard seashells

Although an outsider might think otherwise. No, my goal has always been to put all these pretty seashells to good use. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making jewelry with seashells. Making a seashell wind chime has been on my list forever. Also, I’ve got a nice list of craft projects to do when the grandkids come to visit.

Oh, so many ideas!

The one thing that has held me back is that I didn’t know how to drill seashells for some of my projects. I was concerned that I might break more than a few in trying to figure it out. Seashells are a bit on the fragile side. I didn’t want to waste them.

Eventually, my seashell basket started overflowing. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would need to make a decision about what to do with all these seashells. In the course of scouring the internet for ideas, I came across this little device called a Pin Vise Hand Drill.

The Pin Vise Hand Drill

The Pin Vise Hand Drill is operated manually. There were no instructions with my Pin Vise when I received it. But, after further investigation, I found that you don’t really need them. It’s a simple tool to use. According to Google, you place your palm on the top of the vice and apply slight pressure while at the same time turning the bit manually with your other hand.

As you can see in the above photo, I used my forefinger to apply the pressure and I turned it with my other fingers. This action reminded me a lot of the ratcheting screwdriver I received as a gift. (Shout out to darling husband for getting me tools I actually need!)

Holding the Pin Vise like a pencil (sorta) allowed me to see my progress a little better.

Since there were no directions with the Pin Vise, I don’t know if water should be used to cool the drill bit or not. But I had no issues making holes without the water. There were no cracks or breakage either. I’m guessing that because the drill bit wasn’t spinning fast enough to create friction, there was no need to cool it down with water.

I was impressed with the number of different size drill bits that came with the Pin Vise drill. They make it possible to drill any size hole you want. The tiniest drill bit is about the size of a sewing needle. Additionally, the largest bit might accommodate rope, cord or twine.

This post contains affiliate links. That means when you click through and make a purchase using the links provided, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate, I will never recommend a product I don’t use or trust myself.

Before You Drill

Whether you’re using a power drill or a Pin Vise, there are a few things that you need to do before drilling:

First:

Make sure your seashells are clean and dry. By clean, I mean that they are free of any creature that used to live inside of them. You will know if a seashell is not empty by the horrible smell.

You’ll need to remove the critter as carefully as you can without breaking the seashell. I have found that curved needle-nose pliers work pretty good.

Once your seashell is empty, you can give it a quick wash with dish soap and water. Let the seashell air dry for a couple of days and any foul smell should be gone. Alternatively, you can avoid this issue altogether by choosing seashells that have no inhabitant.

Second:

When drilling seashells of any size, it’s a good idea to wear a mask since inhaling the seashell dust can be harmful. I also suggest eye protection when drilling larger seashells. You never know when a seashell will shatter or chip. Better safe than sorry.

Third:

Whether using a power drill or a Pin Vise, it’s a good idea to place a small piece of tape over the spot where you want to drill. You can use either painters tape or masking tape.

There are some who believe the tape will keep the seashell from cracking. But the majority agree that it also keeps the drill bit from slipping and sliding. Use a pen to mark the spot on the tape where you want the hole to be.

Finally, you need to protect your work surface. I use an old wooden cutting board…a few more cuts and gouges won’t hurt it at all.

Once again, whether you use a Pin Vise or a power drill, I recommend practicing on a few “ugly” seashells first. This will give you an idea of how much pressure you need to apply. Also, you get a general idea of how long it’s going to take to drill one seashell.

When using a power drill, you need to keep the drill bit cool. Do this by placing your seashell on a wet sponge. The wet sponge should be resting in a shallow dish of water. This should keep the drill bit from leaving burn marks on your seashells.

With the power drill, you need to be mindful of how much pressure you put on the seashell. Remember, the drill bit should do the work while you apply gentle, steady pressure. Too much pressure and you’ll ruin the seashell.

It’s all about personal preference

And the size of the seashell you’re drilling. The Pin Vise is great for small seashells but it also takes more time to create a hole. On the other hand, a power drill may be overkill for small seashells but might be a better option for the bigger, thicker seashells. I don’t know about you, but I like options![/vc_column_text]

If you need inspiration, be sure to check out my seashell jewelry or my seashell wind chime . I really had a lot of fun making these.

Do you have a collection of seashells? Have you used seashells to make something you’re especially proud of? If so, I’d be tickled pink if you would leave a comment below. Inspiration can come from anywhere…maybe we can inspire others!

Read, more elaboration about it is given here. Hereof, how do you make a hole in a seashell for a necklace?

steps

  1. Place sponge in container. Fill with enough water to just cover sponge. (The water will keep the drill from overheating and the shell from cracking.)
  2. Set shell on sponge, top-side down, and hold securely with your fingers, as shown. Keeping edges barely submerged, slowly drill through shell.

Subsequently, question is, what kind of drill bit do you use for seashells? How to Make a Hole in a Seashell with a Dremel Drill. Using a dremel drill bit is similar to the hand drill except the dremel is electric. There are two things to keep in mind when using the dremel.

Keeping this in view, how do you put a hole in a rock without a drill?

The stone(s) you want to drill a hole in. Dremel, Foredom or similar rotary tool, preferably with a flex-shaft attachment (can be done without the flex-shaft, but will be much easier with). Container deep enough for the stone being drilled, but not so deep you can’t comfortably hold the stone in place.

How do you drill through sea glass without breaking it?

Begin by placing the piece of beach glass in the middle of the sponge and holding it down with your thumb and index finger. With the Dremel on at the lowest speed, carefully place the drill bit on the beach glass. Initially keeping the glass above the water will help the drill bit begin the hole.

December 2, 2016

Learn how to drill a hole in a seashell with this tutorial using a small hand drill or dremel. Make crafts and jewelry out of shells easily with this method. Don’t worry about accidentally breaking your seashells when you carefully drill a hole in them following these instructions.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

Table of contents

  1. How to drill a hole into a seashell without breaking it
  2. Supplies you may need to make a hole in a shell
  3. Where to get seashells and how to prep them for drilling.
  4. How to drill a hole in a seashell with a hand drill.
  5. How to Make a Hole in a Seashell with a Dremel Drill
    1. Steps for drilling the hole

How to drill a hole into a seashell without breaking it

Today I am going to show you how to drill a hole into a seashell- without breaking it.

Of course, if you want to take these cute little seashells and turn them into Christmas ornaments or holiday crafts I am certainly not going to stop you.

Seashell crafts are fun to make regardless of your age. Whether you have a collection of shells from a day at the beach or a special holiday in an exotic location you can drill a hole in your seashells and make them into a fun ornament or decoration.

Supplies you may need to make a hole in a shell

  • Seashells
  • Hand drill
  • Dremel

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

Where to get seashells and how to prep them for drilling.

The shells were also purchased from the craft store. Normally, I would just go to the beach and pick some up but it’s winter and I am in hibernation mode. I feel like I need to warn you, if you buy shells from the craft store be prepared for a horrible stench when you open the bag.

Apparently the shells are not cleaned very well before being sealed up in an airtight bag. What’s left of the crustaceans sits there fermenting for months until purchased. It smells exactly what you would expect it to, so be prepared to wash the shells.

If you don’t live near a beach or don’t have the patience to scrounge around for hours looking for the perfect shell you can purchase them on Amazon here.

How to drill a hole in a seashell with a hand drill.

A regular drill is very heavy and there is a good chance that trying to drill into a delicate seashell would cause the shell to break. With this hand drill light pressure is used to slowly drill a hole into the seashell.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

To make the hole simply mark on the shell where the hole will go, place the hand drill bit and start turning in a clockwise motion.

Once drilled through, reverse direction to remove the drill bit.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

How to Make a Hole in a Seashell with a Dremel Drill

Using a dremel drill bit is similar to the hand drill except the dremel is electric. There are two things to keep in mind when using the dremel.

  • Start with light pressure and build up so the shell doesn’t break
  • You need to use a little bit of water to prevent cracking and breaking

Steps for drilling the hole

  1. First place the shell in the sink on top of a washcloth or something soft.
  2. Next, Either drizzle a small stream of water from the tap over the area you are drilling or if the shell is really small just dampen it.
  3. Then, lightly press into the shell where you want the hold with the drill until a hole is made.

Now the shell can be hung or used in a craft project.

What would you use these shells for? Let me know in the comments.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

How to drill a hole in a shell

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

Learn how to make a hole in a shell for craft and jewelry projects. Make a hole in a shell without breaking it.

Complete answer to this is here. Beside this, what kind of drill bit do you use for seashells?

DRILLING SEASHELLS

  • Use a drill that will turn in slow revolutions. I use my drill press set at 1100 rpms.
  • Use a titanium nitride-coated drill bit from the hardware store. The ones I use cost about $2 for 10 bits.
  • Drill shells underwater.
  • Start the drill moving very slowly and apply light pressure.

Secondly, how do you drill a hole in a seashell without a drill? To make a hole in a seashell without a drill, start by marking the spot where you want the hole to be with a marker. Then, place the tip of a thumbtack or a scissors blade on the mark and twist slowly while applying downward pressure. Keep doing this until you break through to the other side of the shell.

Also asked, can you drill a hole in a seashell?

With this hand drill light pressure is used to slowly drill a hole into the seashell. To make the hole simply mark on the shell where the hole will go, place the hand drill bit and start turning in a clockwise motion. Once drilled through, reverse direction to remove the drill bit.

How do you make a hole in a shell with a drill?

steps

  1. Place sponge in container. Fill with enough water to just cover sponge. (The water will keep the drill from overheating and the shell from cracking.)
  2. Set shell on sponge, top-side down, and hold securely with your fingers, as shown. Keeping edges barely submerged, slowly drill through shell.

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There are many reasons you may need to drill through carpet, from getting power to a desk in the middle of the room, to running network cables for television or internet. Follow this guide to avoid unsightly snags created by drilling into carpet.

Snag-free Carpet Drilling

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

  1. Choose a method below and assemble the appropriate supplies and materials. This includes a cordless or corded handheld drill and an appropriate bit. If the carpet is installed over concrete, you will need a masonry bit. For wooden floors, a regular steel twist bit is sufficient.
  2. Eye protection is always recommended when using a tool that rotates at high speeds. While drilling is unlikely to produce dangerous projectiles, you only get one set of eyes. The use of extra protection is justified. If drilling into materials that release silica dust, you absolutely must protect your lungs with a respirator.
  3. Using the method of your choice, prepare your drilling surface. This could include melting the carpet fibers, compressing them, cutting the carpet, or even beginning the hole by hand.
  4. Attach the drill bit to the drill and tighten the chuck. If you prepared the carpet for drilling by melting the fibers with reverse drilling, make sure you flip the toggle switch to ‘forward’ before starting to drill.
  5. Holding the drill at a right angle to the floor, squeeze the drill to start the rotation of the bit. A variable speed drill can be operated at low speeds, allowing you to monitor for signs of snagging. Should a thread become caught or wrap around the bit, stop drilling immediately and disentangle it. Use one of the methods below to enlarge the prepared surface.
  6. When you’ve created a hole of the desired depth and diameter, back the bit out of the hole and clean it using a vacuum or a can of compressed air. Don’t blow into the hole, as you may displace dust or debris into your eyes, face, and lungs. If necessary, clean the edge of the hole with an abrasive material such as sandpaper.

Methods for Drilling Through Carpet

Many different techniques can be used to prevent carpet fibers from unraveling and wrapping around the point of your drill bit. Any of the methods below will make it easier to drill through carpet, and decrease the likelihood of snags.

Use Heat

Carpet fiber melts when introduced to high heat, forming a plastic-y barrier that is easier to drill through. You can use a heat gun or soldering iron to melt a small portion of the carpet.

Alternatively, heat the tip of your drill bit with a candle or torch and touch it to the carpet surface. The melted area should be slightly larger than the hole you intend to drill.

Insert the Screw By Hand

Snagging is more likely to happen when drilling through the carpet at high speeds. Avoid this by starting the hole using just a screw and the rotational force you can generate by hand.

Turn the screw slowly while applying pressure to slowly work it through the carpet and pattern. Once you’ve passed through the carpet backing, enlarge the hole by rotating the screw in a wide circle.

Drill in Reverse

Another way to melt the carpet fibers is to use the friction of your drill to create heat. Instead of drilling into the carpet, flip your drill into reverse mode. Hold the spinning bit against the carpet until the fibers melt.

Make a Flap In the Carpet

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid snagging is not to drill through carpet at all. Use a utility knife to score the carpet in a U, V, or X shape. Fold the resulting tab back, exposing the material underneath.

After you’ve made the hole or inserted the screw, you can unfold the tab so that it covers your work. You could also use a small piece of copper tubing to hold the flaps out of the way while you drill.

Compress the Carpet Fibers

A small cylinder of PVC can be pressed firmly into the drill site. While this won’t prevent snags entirely, it should prevent large, cross-carpet thread pulls.

Use a Carpet Cutter Drill Bit

If you frequently need to drill through carpet, it may be worth it to purchase specialty accessories. Carpet cutter drill bits and guides bore a clean hole through carpet without snagging.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

They usually include a drill guide that performs double duty, compressing the carpet and ensuring production of a straight and even hole. Carpet cutters produce a recoverable plug of discarded carpet, which can be replaced if desired.

Use an Awl and Mallet

Specialty tools aren’t always necessary – sometimes it’s better to go back to basics. Tapping gently with a mallet on the handle of an awl should generate sufficient penetrative force to break through your carpet backing and underlayment. You can then drill into the subfloor below.

Carpet-Specific Drilling Recommendations

Most carpets are made by attaching long fibers to a plastic backing. This creates loops of fiber on the surface of the carpet. When these loops are cut, the result is called cut pile carpet.

When the loops are not cut, the carpet is more durable and resistant to compression. This kind of carpeting is called Berber or looped carpet. Unfortunately, it’s prone to snags, which can affect large areas of carpet due to the connected loop design.

Choosing the right method for your carpet will increase your odds of successful, no-snag drilling.

Drilling Into Berber/Looped Carpet

Scoring the carpet with a utility knife is the best way to prevent snags when drilling into looped carpet. Alternatively, you can melt the carpet fibers, but you may need to make a larger melted area to avoid snags.

Drilling Into Pile Carpet

Methods that rely on melting or compression of carpet fibers work best for pile carpets. Each tuft of carpet fiber is attached only to the carpet backing, so the potential for large snags is considerably lower. Non-powered methods such as using a screw or an awl will also work well.

Conclusion

Snagless drilling through carpet is possible with a little foresight and planning. There are multiple methods to choose from. You may need tools like a utility knife, drill guide, or carpet cutting drill bit. Work slowly and carefully to break through the carpet before drilling through the surface underneath.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

Ellenkate grew up on job sites run by her family’s construction company. She earned her theater degree from The Hartt School, a prestigious performing arts conservatory in Connecticut. Her design and DIY work from her Chicago loft was featured in the Chicago Reader and on Apartment Therapy.

SawsHub is a collection of DIY enthusiasts and woodworking experts. Learn about the team! How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

Searching for How To Drill Holes In Seashells For Jewelry information? Follow the links below to find all the information you need and more.

How to drill a hole in a seashell without breaking it.

    https://www.craftylittlegnome.com/drill-a-hole-in-a-seashell/
    May 14, 2019 · Instructions decide where on the shell you would like the hole and mark it chose a drill bit the size of the hole you want place the tip of the drill bit on the spot you marked turn the drill bit so that it cuts through the shell continue turning …4.6/5(39)

How to Drill Seashells for Jewelry eHow

    https://www.ehow.com/how_5904039_drill-seashells-jewelry.html
    Aug 30, 2017 · How to Drill Seashells for Jewelry Step 1. Soak the seashells in a bucket of warm soapy water for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash your seashells to remove the sand. Step 2. With a narrow, felt-tip marker or pencil, make a dot where you want to drill a …

HOW TO DRILL A HOLE IN A SEASHELL ♥ Drilling Holes in .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siVLprNGO7c
    Nov 04, 2017 · HOW TO DRILL A HOLE IN A SEASHELL: Drilling Holes in Sea Shells. (A Tutorial for Mermaids!) If you want to make jewelry out of seashells, then you are probab. Author: The Magic Crafter

How to Drill a Hole in a Seashell Using a Dremel eHow

    https://www.ehow.com/how_8287217_drill-hole-seashell-using-dremel.html
    Aug 30, 2017 · How to Drill a Hole in a Seashell Using a Dremel. Step 1. Place a seashell in the rubber coated jaws of a spring clamp. The rubber coating will help prevent the shell from cracking or …

Drilling Holes of Seashells – Making of Seashell Jewelry

    https://ezinearticles.com/?Drilling-Holes-of-Seashells—Making-of-Seashell-Jewelry&id=2017559
    This article will describe some tips and advices how to drill holes of seashells in making of seashells jewelry. Drilling holes of seashells is quite difficult and shall be done very carefully. Seashells are often quite fragile. Be very careful drilling holes in them and also try to pick shells that are not chipping or flaking at the edges. There are a few precautions that we should know and .

How to Drill a Shell for Jewelry-Making Martha Stewart

    https://www.marthastewart.com/1119498/how-drill-shell-jewelry-making
    steps Place sponge in container. Fill with enough water to just cover sponge. (The water will keep the drill from overheating. Set shell on sponge, top-side down, and hold securely with your fingers, as shown. Keeping edges barely submerged.

We hope that you have found all the necessary information about How To Drill Holes In Seashells For Jewelry using the links above.

How To Make A Seashell Necklace Without A Drill – Hello friends Handmade With Lovelisa, In the article you are reading this time with the title How To Make A Seashell Necklace Without A Drill, we have prepared this article well so that you can read and retrieve the information in it. Hopefully the content of the post Article how to make a seashell necklace without a drill, what we write can make you understand. Happy reading.

Title : How To Make A Seashell Necklace Without A Drill
Link : How To Make A Seashell Necklace Without A Drill

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Next string your center shell before you add any beads charms or other shells you want on either side.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

How to make a seashell necklace without a drill.

This year we were able to get most of the.
Make crafts and jewelry out of shells easily with this method for making a hole in a shell without breaking it.
Turn your beautiful seashells from the beach into one of a kind seashell jewelry.

Grill out relax go hunting for crabs relax build sand castles relax watch for dolphins relax and hunt for gorgeous sea shells every morning.
Then use pliers to attach a jump ring to each shell so theyll hang properly.
Many people gather shells to make jewelry or wind chimes.

Whether youre making seashell wind chimes or a beachy shell necklace drilling holes into your shell is a necessary but tricky part of the process.
How to drill a hole in a seashell without a drill.
Whether youre making seashell wind chimes or a beachy shell necklace drilling holes into your shell is a necessary but tricky part of the process.

To make a shell necklace start by using a drill or a hammer and nail to put a hole in each shell you want to string.
And in a very short time.
Your options might seem limited when.

Hey gnomies today i am going to show you how to drill a hole into a seashell without breaking it.
How to make a hole in a shell without breaking it how to drill a hole into a seashell without breaking it.
Sea shell necklace.

How to put holes in seashells.
Always wear eye protection when making.
When the family and i go to the beach we have a few traditions we like to do.

How to drill a hole in a seashell without a drill.
With this method we can make shell charms but without drilling them.
How to make a shell necklace and without a drill.

Going to the beach and picking up seashells is a wonderful pastime.
Drilling a hole in the seashells is not too difficult.
Whatever you plan to make you may need to drill a hole into the seashell to hang it from a chain or string.

How to drill seashells for jewelry.
Your options might seem limited when.
From all natural to shiny chic here is a collection of seashell jewelry from beach necklaces to seashell earrings and a whole lot more from a group of very talented ladies.

You can use one of a variety of power tools to make holes in your seashells but low tech everyday sharp objects can make holes in most shells and are safest for beginners.

How To Drill Stone Pebbles

Drill A Hole In A Seashell Without A Drill Seashell Sea Shells

Diy Seashell Necklace No Drilling Needed Diy Seashell Necklace

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

Need to drill a straight hole, but don’t have a drill press handy? You are not alone, and there are a few easy methods to help you out.

Some options will need to be bought in a store, but others you can create with materials you have lying around your house. In either case, following one of the methods below will make sure that your project isn’t crooked, that it’s perfectly level and true.

4 Best Methods to Drill Straight Holes Without a Drill Press

Without further ado, let’s get started with the most common methods of getting straight holes drilled.

Method #1: Handmade Drill Guide

You can go into a hardware store and buy a portable drill guide, but why would you when you can make one yourself? You can use wood or metal to create your own. This is an easy way to create a perfect angle.

Take two pieces of either wood or metal and clamp them together. Use a 90-degree angle to make sure the materials are square. Glue the pieces together and let them sit to dry.

For safekeeping, drill a hole in one side and tie a string to it.

Method #2: Drill Bit Guide

A drill bit guide is a great option because it will cause no damage to your drill bits in the process. All you need to do is place the drill bit guide over the spot you are going to drill. Hold the drill firmly with your dominant hand and the drill bit guide with your other hand.

Drill straight down.

Method #3: Drill Block

The drill block is likely the most helpful because it offers holes of different shapes and sizes. This allows different sized drill bits and different drilling angles to be used. You can drill large or small holes and you can drill straight holes at different angles than just straight up and down.

Check this article to see my favorite drill bit guides and blocks.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

Method #4: Get Creative

Need an extra quick option for drilling a straight hole without a drill press? You can use some items that may already be in your home, your car, or your shop. CDs and Legos are two popular household items that can be of service to you.

If you have a CD available, place the label side down and center it over where you need to drill the hole. Place your drill bit in the center of the disc’s hole. Looking into the CD, position the drill bit such that it is in a straight line with its reflection.

Start drilling, holding the CD in place, and keeping your eye on the reflection.

Alternatively, you can make a guide out of Lego blocks.

Snap some pieces together to create an L shape. Make sure to check the L against a square object, like a protractor or a wall, to verify the 90-degree angle. Place the Lego creation down where you need to drill. Hold in place until drilling is finished.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

It is important to always mark the spot you want to be drilling with a pencil, pen, or marker. This will help you know exactly where you are supposed to be drilling and where to place the guide you are using.

Additionally, steady your wood or metal with a clamp before drilling. Make sure the clamp is tight, you don’t want your material moving and messing up the straight line while you are drilling. Clamping also provides extra protection for you, the drill is less likely to slip and injure you.

Always start at a slow speed. You don’t want to drill at full speed right away, it can be dangerous and possibly split the wood. Make sure you increase your speed at a slow, steady rate. It will help you keep your drilling line straight.

Similarly, don’t force the drill into the material you are using. Doing so can cause damage to not only your material but your drill as well. Trying to force a drill that isn’t moving can possibly split your material or break your drill bit.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

If you are cutting into harder materials, consider lubricating your drill bits. That will help it penetrate the surface of steel or brick or similar much better. Use cutting fluid or a multipurpose oil to minimize friction as you drill.

Also, cool the drill when it gets hot and starts to smell funny. When you take the drill out of the hole, run it at full speed for a few seconds to get air into the drill, cooling down the motor. This is an extra important tip if you are drilling into brick or another kind of thick, dense material.

Finally, when your hole is finished, make sure it is smooth by getting rid of any sharp pieces that may have been left behind. You can do this by using your drill on low power and running it around the outside edges. There are also tools called deburring tools that you can buy or rent to get your holes clean.

Summary

Using a drill press may be the easiest way to drill a straight hole, but it is not always the most logical way. There are other tools that are readily available, and even some DIY projects to create your own tool.

The most efficient tools to drill a straight hole are a portable drill guide, a drill bit guide, and a drill block. All of these tools can be bought at a hardware store, but can also be created yourself if you are on a time crunch.

Some household items, such as CDs or even Legos, are also an option if you don’t have the time to make or buy one of the other tools listed. These items will help you maintain a straight hole in a simple way, you just need to hold them in place and drill.

As long as you take precautions, follow your guidelines, and keep your tool safe, you can drill a straight hole without a drill press! If you want, on the other hand, to drill at a certain angle, check this guide.

How to drill a hole in a seashell (without a drill)

Do-It-Yourself projects can be fun and rewarding when you have the correct tools. But going out to the hardware store to buy a quality power drill for a simple one time fix is hard to justify. When all you are trying to do is make a hole bigger in a piece of wood or pipe, power tools are a waste of money.

To make a hole bigger without a drill, you need to get either sandpaper and a dowel, a hand file, or a jab saw. It’s helpful to draw the size of the circle needed first, then manually file the excess wood until the hole is the right size. Wipe away the dust and your project is ready to continue.

The following five steps below will help you enlarge a hole without any power tools. It will need some arm strength and patience, but your goal will be achieved in the end.

1. Buy the Tools

Your options for manually making a pre-existing hole larger are limited because today, most people have a power drill (or know someone who does).

If you are one of the unlucky people who don’t or don’t want to ask, you will need to buy a manual tool.

There are three options to help you get the job done. If you can spare the money, it’s a good idea to get all three of them and return what you don’t use.

Each method will need different levels of strength and patience.

Sandpaper and Dowel

Using sandpaper will need the least amount of muscle, but the most amount of patience. This method requires you to buy coarse grit sandpaper and a dowel small enough to fit into the hole you are trying to make bigger.

The dowel or long cylindrical device needs to have a diameter small enough to be able to wrap the sandpaper around it and fit into the hole.

It will need to be long enough to wrap the sandpaper and hold it while sanding up and down.

To make sure your dowel is the correct diameter, measure the diameter of your hole, and buy a dowel smaller than the hole’s measurement.

These are cheap and come in different sizes. I recommend getting this pack of various sizes from Amazon.

The correct grit sandpaper will make the work easier and take less time. Coarse sandpaper is under #100, and #80 Grit is the recommended grit.

It’s important you get PAPER and not a block. A large sheet is okay because you can cut it down to a better size.

3M is the largest maker of sandpaper in the United States and you can get a 5-pack of 9 x 11 inches (22 cm x 27 cm) from Amazon. Go with the #80 Grit option.

Hand Rasp or File

If the sandpaper and dowel system seems like it will be too slow for your liking, then consider buying a hand rasp or file.

These industrial files shave away at wood, metal, PVC, tile, or glass. If you are looking for a tool that will be great for other projects, the hand file is great.

These come in a variety of options, but you will need one that is curved or a full circle. Not sure which one to get, then invest in the multi-pack like the Kalim Mini Needle File Set. (Amazon affiliate link)

Jab Saw

The jab saw will need the most amount of effort and is best for larger beginning holes. The blade does taper, so you could use it on smaller holes, but it will be harder.

These saws are used to cut drywall and have teeth pointed in 2 directions.

If you want a jab saw that is good as a multi-tool for all sawing purposes, order the Klein Tools 31737 Drywall Saw from Amazon. It folds for safe storage, but as strong as a fixed blade.

A jab saw is a sharp tool, so pick up a pair of safety work gloves while you are at the store.

2. Set-Up Work Site

Having your prep work done before you start filing at the hole will make sure you don’t make your hole too big and decrease the mess. Whether you are working with wood, PVC, or metal, there will be shavings to clean up.

You don’t need to go all out for this project. Whether it’s a door or a piece of furniture, you will need a couple of added supplies:

  • Rag towel. Or sheet to lay under the work area for easy clean-up
  • Pencil. To draw out the desired size circle on the work surface
  • Vacuum cleaner. To get any dust the towel didn’t catch
  • The tool of choice: Sandpaper and dowel, hand file, or jab saw
  • Safety gear. Leather or nylon gloves and safety glasses.

3. Draw the New Hole

You don’t need direction in drawing a circle on a piece of wood, but you do need it to be exact and perfectly round.

If you have the object you are fitting into the hole on hand, then use the pencil to trace the circumference of it on the outside of the existing hole.

If you don’t have an object to go in the hole after it’s the correct size, find another round object around the house that is the correct size (i.e., coin).

4. File, Saw, or Sand the Hole

Now is the time for the actual work. The process is close to the same for each of the three tool options.

Sandpaper and Dowel

If you decide to try the sandpaper and dowel, the next step is to attach the sandpaper to the dowel with tape, rubber bands, or staple gun. The sandpaper needs to be secure enough to create friction without slipping off.

Once the sandpaper and dowel are one, it’s time to get sanding. You will want to sand up and down (or back and forth) until you reach the new hole pencil line.

It might take some time, but it’s the cheapest choice to enlarge a hole without a drill.

Hand Rasp or File

The hand file requires no extra prep. Put the file in the hole as far as it can go and start filing the wood away.

It will go fast if you can put some extra muscle into the motion. Keep filing in all parts of the circle until you have reached the hole size you want.

Jab Saw

The jab saw isn’t as straightforward as sanding or filing; it cuts into wood or drywall. Once you have your gloves on, you will need to put the saw blade into the hole and slowly slice away pieces of the wood.

The jab saw will give you a more chopped appearance, so this is a good one to pair with the sandpaper to smooth out the hole once it’s the correct size.

5. Clean Up

Now that your hole is the correct size, clean up! Roll up the towel or sheet to keep the debris from flying onto the floor, and vacuum up any that does.

Shake the towel outside into the yard (assuming its biodegradable material) or shake it over the trash.

Store your tools in a safe place to await the next project.

Conclusion

When your home project is thwarted by a hole that is too small, don’t get discouraged because you don’t have a drill.

Go on Amazon, buy a hand file, sandpaper, or a jab saw to widen a hole in wood or plastic. You will impress all your friends with your ability to work with your hands and not power tools.

Good luck with your projects!

Cheers, tools owners!

Jack Adams

Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.