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Square Holes Drilled With A Watts Drill Blows My Mind

Reuleaux or Watts Drill (Images courtesy The Home Shop Machinist & Machinist's Workshop BBS)
By Andrew Liszewski

Reuleaux or Watts Drill (Image courtesy Make) title=Make has a link to a pretty interesting discussion on the ‘The Home Shop Machinist & Machinist’s Workshop BBS’ about using a Watts or Reuleaux drill to make a square hole.

Now the idea of using a spinning drill bit to create a square hole is kind of counter-intuitive, but the animation on the right, while not exactly what a Watts drill looks like, helps you wrap your head around the concept.

And if you find yourself amazed at this new innovation in machining, you might also be surprised to learn that the idea isn’t a new one, and Harry J. Watts, for whom the drill is named after, actually received a patent (#1,241,176) for it on September 25, 1917.

[ The Home Shop Machinist & Machinist’s Workshop BBS – How do I make a square hole ] VIA [ Make ]

  • mcman

    Tell me something I don't know. I can remember Norm Abrams using this years ago. I'm not impressed. And by not impressed, I mean I'm very impressed….really.

  • slrman

    A video would have been nice with the animation.

  • kjuhygtrfdsw

    why would you want a square in metal …. can you say stess multiplier

  • Hector

    Wow I want to see this in action! Bet Fredy would get a kick out of this lol

  • Charles Clark

    Looks like someone thought about the “square peg, round hole” problem in the most literal way… and solved it…. NICE!

  • toestor

    Coincidentally that also is the shape of a rotary engines “cylinder” … interesting. #geekiness

  • UncleB

    Human ingenuity! Somebody built the pyramids too! but we forgot how? One day the world will look back on the internal combustion engine and ask why? but today Yankee Doodle is in postpartum distress over its demise and replacement with three moving part 98% efficient electrics! The Great Hulking American Neanderthals of today will survive – albeit downsized and living on veggies and rice and in sustainable form, and newer, more ingenious devices beyond his simple mechanical mind will be brought to him from Asia for his entertainment. His age is passed.

  • Outdoors2

    Moldboards on heavy equipment have square holes to keep the cutting edge bolts from turning as you tighten them. For one.

  • Phil E. Drifter

    That's absolutely amazing.

  • Dillon | Pure Painters

    Looks like it would be hard to use. I think it would wobble around be very hard on the equipment. Looks like a rotary engine. I would love to see a video…

  • mickrj

    There are a few videos on youtube

  • mickrj
  • mickrj

    There are a few videos on youtube

  • mickrj
  • Steve Branley

    I can… but you can't type it :p