Gimlet Bits Anyone?
Not Hand Gimlets but Gimlet Bits
Many of you are probably familiar with the Gimlet or Hand Gimlet. This is an odd little tool that excels in drilling a pilot hole in a confined space.
But the Gimlet bit is a slightly different beast. First is has to be chucked into a brace to be used and second it does not have a lead screw but instead a sharpened point that actually cuts instead of wedges into the wood. Moreover without cutting spurs it can cut at low, acute angles. Boring the acute angles on a Windsor chair bow was where I first encountered these bits and have found a myriad of uses for them in the intervening years. Unfortunately no modern manufacturers of these bits but if you dig around the antique market you will find these bits. Usually in shoebox with a bunch of other bits or in an auction of a bunch of bits. You will probably have to buy several duds in a lot to get the 1 or 2 Gimlet bits you want but building a collection of these in sizes from 3/16 to 3/8 can be really useful.
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