Bow Drill

The traditional jewellers bow drill is functioned by moving the wooden handle up and down triggering the drill bit to rotate. Even though this may look complicated it is actually very simple to use with just a little practice and has a good, even drilling action. Jewellery drills, twist drill bits, diamond coated drill bits and rotary burrs can all be used with your bow drill

Putting together your Bow Drill:
First, slot the wooden handle over the metal shaft through the middle hole.
Secure a knot in one end of the cord and thread the other end up through one of the end holes in the wooden handle. Make sure the knot is on the underside of the handle.
Thread the cord through the hole in the top of the metal shaft and down through the other side of the wooden handle. Secure a knot to hold it in place under the handle as you have on the opposite side.

How to use your Bow Drill:
The drill can look a bit complex to use but it's truly a very simple procedure which you will soon get to master. If you are drilling sheet metal, it is a good idea to mark the point to be drilled with a center punch as this will give you a good initial point for the drilling and should help avoid the drill bit from gliding across your work.

Place the drill bit over the point to be drilled and twist the shaft whilst gently holding the handle. This will wrap the cord around the shaft and draw up the handle.
Functioning the drill only requires one hand so the other is free to hold your work if required. Place two fingers on the wooden handle either side of the shaft and push down gently. This will begin the momentum needed for the drilling action. Once the handle reaches the bottom it will begin to rise back up the shaft, so allow your hand to raise with it before pushing back down when the handle has returned to the top. This should become a smooth flowing action and the drill will build up speed as you work.

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