A metal drill bit is a significant improvement over a PVC drill bit. After
you drill a well or two with a PVC drill bit and you have to resharpen your bit
You will need a two inch galvanized metal pipe nipple for this.
I'd suggest getting a four to eight inch nipple. A pipe nipple is a piece
with two male ends that is normally used for connecting two pieces of pipe.
Fortunately for our purposes, the threads on two inch pipe nipples match the
female threads on two inch PVC female couplers, which in turn connect to our
Below is a picture of a six inch long, two inch diameter galvanized nipple as purchased. I got
this one at Lowes, item 0024061. There is nothing special about
buying this from Lowes. It is just the closest hardware store to
my house and I like it. Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and
numerous plumbing supply houses have comparable items.
TWO INCH GALVANIZED PIPE NIPPLE
- SIX INCHES IN LENGTH
THREE WAYS TO MAKE A METAL DRILL
To try to accomodate as many folks with different tools as possible, I am posting here three ways to
make a metal drillbit that leave the middle of the bit open. It is
necessary to leave the middle open if you are planning on slipping a wellscreen
down through it at the conclusion of the drilling.
Quick review: the process in this particular technique is to completely drill/wash the hole with
a larger drillpipe and then put a smaller wellscreen down through it.
Most of the time this involves drilling with a two inch drillbit and pipe and then putting a 1.25 inch
wellscreen and pipe down through it. After the wellscreen pipe is
inserted and extended all the way to the bottom of the hole, the two inch
drill pipe are raised up over the 1.25 inch wellscreen. The two inch
drillbit and pipe should be taken completely out of the ground leaving
only the 1.25 inch wellscreen and pipe in the ground.
The examples shown here are all two inch drill bits which anticipate a
1.25 inch wellscreen being installed after the hole is drilled.
The first technique is the easiest, provided you have a jigsaw. It
takes about 10 minutes to make a drillbit using a jigsaw.
Be sure and use a metal cutting blade with your jigsaw. They are
finetooth blades as shown below.
METAL CUTTING JIGSAW BLADE
CUTTING METAL BIT WITH JIGSAW
As you can see, the jigsaw cuts a very sharp drillbit. It is a
quick, effective method and is my favorite.
A hacksaw creates a drillbit just as
effective as one cut with a jigsaw. It just takes more effort to
cut the bit. It generally takes me about 30 minutes to cut a bit
with a hacksaw. Also, don' t do like me - put in a new blade
before you start!
CUTTING A DRLLBIT WITH A
EXAMPLE OF DRILLBIT CUT WITH
A grinder can make a very effective drillbit. It is not quite as
high of quality as drillbits made with with jigsaws and hacksaws but it
is perfectly servicible for our purposes. The technique here is
virtually identical to the one described for PVC drillbits. It is
just a little messier. Be sure and wear eye and hand protection.
PREPARING TO CUT A DRILLBIT WITH
CUTTING A DRILLBIT WITH A GRINDER
EXAMPLE OF DRILLBIT CUT WITH GRINDER
Here are all three together so you can compare the results of
the three techniques
The pipe nipple is then screwed into a two inch diameter female PVC
adapter. One final step is necessary with all drillbits made from
pipe nipples. Since we will be twisting the drill pipe back and
forth we have to put a set screw through both the PVC piece and the
metal drillbit so it won't loosen while we are "drilling."
DRILLBIT ATTACHED TO PVC ADAPTER
WITH SET SCREW
MAKE SURE SET SCREW DOES NOT
EXTEND INTO THE INSIDE (i.e., if you are planning to put a wellscreen
down through it!)
METAL DRILLBIT ATTACHED TO 2" PVC
- READY TO DRILL
The following video demonstrates the
three techniques for making metal drillbits. Each technique
results in a drillbit that will work just fine. Use whichever is
best for you.