Broken drill bit in timber door.
I am a beginning woodworker and in my attempt to hang an entry door whilst drilling a pilot hole for one of the hinges the drill bit broke and is now embedded flush in the timber. The door is cedar and all was going well until this mishap. I wish to remove the drill bit as I have already created the mortise for the hinge but have no clue as to how to do this properly without creating further damage.
Any suggestions as at the moment I have no peace with the wife with the “I told you so to get a professional”
For the sake of my sanity and saving face I look forward to any worthwhile suggestion. I even thought of tricking her by trying to glue the screw head to the hinge but she saw me doing this and thought I ought to get out of woodworking. Surely I’m not the first to make this mistake?
You have my sympathy. I'd suggest buying a new drill bit and using it to drill a fresh pilot hole right into the screw that snapped off. Hold the drill firmly and don't push on it too hard. Before you drill again, you may want to take a nail set and tap the broken-off bit slightly below the surface of the wood; doing that will reduce the risk of having the new drill skate over the wood.
The other thing you could try is this: take a sharp knife and pare away a little of the wood around the broken-off screw. Go just deep enough and wide enough so that you can grab the bit with a needle-nose pliers. Then carefully twist and pull the broken bit out of its hole. Don't worry about the wood you pare away; the hinge leaf will cover it. If you have to go real deep to extract the bit, leaving you with a too-big hole for the screw, pack it with bits of toothpick and some yellow glue. Then, when the glue dries, you can drive the screw into something pretty solid.
Thank you all.
Both ideas are worthwhile and practical. I will give one of them them a try.
1) Use a small knife or chisel to remove enough wood from around the stub of the drill bit that you can get enough purchase on it to pull it out with a pair of pliers or vise-grips. Try to avoid removing more wood than necessary, of course, but don't worry too much about it, because you will be repairing the wood later.
2) You now need to drill a hole to clean out what's left of the chewed up wood. I'm guessing that a 3/8" drill will be sufficient, but if you need to go bigger, so be it. I recommend that you use a Forstner bit, such as one of these:
The advantage is that a Forstner bit will cut a clean hole without following the existing one. Drill the new hole about 1/2" deep.
3) Based on the diameter of the drill you used in step 2, get the appropriate size of one of these:
Use it to cut a plug from a scrap piece of cedar.
4) Put some glue on the plug, hammer it into place, then use a chisel or router to trim off the excess after the glue is dry.
5) Drill a new hinge screw pilot hole through the plug. Don't break the bit this time. ;-)
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