The Spiral Hand Drill

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In this video National Model Railroad Association’s Master Model Railroader Gerry Leone discusses the use of a device that makes drilling small holes on a model fast, easy, and accurate. Pin vices are common among modelers for drilling very small holes in models, but Leone has a device that is more accurate and fast than a typical hand held pin vice.

This device is called a spiral hand drill. Yankee screwdrivers would work by pushing the back end of the handle and turning the drill bit down in the front. The spiral hand drill operates on the same principle as this screwdriver. The drill functions by holding down the top of the drill with a thumb and moving the collar up and down the spiral groove which runs down the center of the tool. This will turn the drill bit on the front.

Leone demonstrates the ease and speed of drilling with this device on a thin piece of styrene. The accuracy comes from being able to hold the drill down steadily without any wobbling back and forth. The spiral hand drill can also be used as a standard pin vice tool as well, simply by holding the drill bit and turning. It is especially adept at handling very tiny drill bits, perfect for drilling tiny holes in a model. To learn more tips and techniques from Leone and other expert modelers, visit the Model Railroad Academy website.

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