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The Hole Picture: Tips for Great Core Drilling

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Core drilling is one of the basic skills required to fit out a building with plumbing or electricity.  It's a fairly simple process; the drill cuts out a cylinder of a specific diameter - the 'core' - and removes it from a wall.  It's just like coring an apple, if a little more physically demanding.  However, there are certainly ways to improve on your technique and to make the entire process run more smoothly.  With this in mind, here is a small collection of quick tips from experienced core drillers.

Check Before You Start

It seems simple, but many a job has been derailed by the failure to conduct quick checks before you drill.  Assuming that there are no pipes or wires behind the piece of wall you're looking to cut is optimistic at best, and foolish at worst - and you may be adding hours of repair work to your roster that could have been completely avoided.  It may save time, and it probably won't show up anything you weren't already aware of, but do yourself the favour of making certain.  Whether you do this manually or with a specially designed piece of kit is up to you - though the equipment may be quicker and more effective.

Come At It from Both Sides

Again, it may slow you down, but drilling so far from one side and then finishing the coring process from the other will actually give you a much neater and cleaner cut.  Of course, you will need to pay careful attention to ensure that you hold the tool just as level on both sides to avoid mismatching of angles - but done correctly, this will give you a result that's much neater and more professional-looking.  Patience is key.

Go Easy

In fact, you'd be wise to go at the problem slowly and carefully across the board, as putting pressure on the tool can seriously impact the quality of its performance and lifespan.  Any force from you may actually damage the teeth of the core drill - and that's an expensive replacement whether it's equipment you own or something you're renting from a third party.  It may seem counterintuitive, but really taking your time can keep costs down in the long run.

When deadlines are hovering over you, it really can be hard to force yourself to go slow and steady.  Everybody's under pressure at work, after all - but this is one case in which it's definitely worth fighting the instinct to hurry up.  All the most experienced contractors certainly do.