I ordered some inside-mount solar shades from Blinds.com. They come with mounting brackets that need to be installed very close to the side frames. I want to drill pilot holes before putting in the wood screws that are 1.5 inches long. The challenge is, I cannot hold the drill perpendicular to the top frame because the drill chuck hits the side frame. Though the window frame appears to be wood, deep inside there is strong resistance. It took me quite a while to drill a pilot hole that was close to 1 inch deep. Not sure what is inside the frame, but it does not feel like metal.

I have not found a drill with a chuck that is small enough to fit into the confined space. Do you have any drills to recommend? The radius of the chuck needs to be smaller than 5/8 inches. Is it possible to use a Dremel to drill the pilot holes?

drill chuck hitting side frame

I ended up using the following setup, which worked great.

Drill and Attachment

Here are two pictures of the shades after installation.

Shades 1 Shades 2

Thank you all for the suggestions!

  • 1
    That's an awfully big drill bit for a pilot hole.
    – SiHa
    Nov 26, 2021 at 7:38
  • When I had a similar problem a couple of years ago, I simply used a bradawl. Don't drill at all.
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 26, 2021 at 9:05
  • An extension bit would get you closer but why does the hole need to be perpendicular?
    – jay613
    Nov 26, 2021 at 12:18
  • Also why not use those side holes? Much stronger that way.
    – jay613
    Nov 26, 2021 at 12:20
  • The diameter of the drill bit is less than 1/8 inches. That's the smallest bit that comes with the IKEA drill set. I can't use the side holes because the plastic covers cannot be installed that way.
    – jumper1127
    Nov 26, 2021 at 17:51

3 Answers 3


You have 3 options:

  1. Use a drill bit extender. While you still might not be able to dill exactly perpendicular, the longer the extender, the closer you'll get, and it doesn't take much to get to "close enough" to perpendicular. The "chuck" on the extender is usually only a little bit wider than the 1/4 drill bit shank, so it fits in tight spaces.

  2. If you don't have the space for the extender, there are 90° drill adapters. Similar to above, they are narrow, and you'd hold the drill perpendicular to the hole, making the drill chuck size not important.

  3. There are also flex adapters, which basically are a sort of hybrid of above, but more focused on odd spaces.

  • Thanks for the suggestions! I decided to try a 90° drill adapter. Hope it works!
    – jumper1127
    Nov 27, 2021 at 1:06
  • I bought the right DEWALT angle attachment from Amazon, and it worked great! amazon.com/gp/product/B07NQS465R
    – jumper1127
    Dec 5, 2021 at 21:30

Firstly, get that bracket out of the way! Use a pencil to outline the screw holes' location.

If you're screwing into chipboard, that drill bit is way too big. In fact, a bradawl will give enough penetration through the plastic covering. A Dremel will do te job, but in any case, make the pilot hole as far from the left wall as possible. Easier for drilling, and screwing, and keeps the screw away from the edge - more in the meat.

A longer bit will help, or use a extension - there are hexagonal shaped ones which have magnetic ends in which to fit special bits.

In really desperate situations (this one is not), I've used a large washer, next to the bracket, overlapping, which takes the fixing hole further away from the side, or whatever's in the way.

  • Thank you for your reply! I did use a pencil to mark the screw hole's location. I just want to show the bracket in picture to explain why the screw holes had to be close to the left wall. The shades were customized to the window. I don't have much wiggle room in terms of where to drill the wholes. The brackets have to be mounted close to the left wall. I will try a bradawl and Dremel as you suggested.
    – jumper1127
    Nov 26, 2021 at 17:57

You don't need to drill the hole at a perfect 90° angle...

In fact if the side of the window frame is wood, you can just screw through the side holes at a 45° angle.

enter image description here

  • This is how you should do it. Use the top mount only if the side contains chains, tracks, or other window mechanisms that you cannot screw into.
    – jay613
    Nov 27, 2021 at 14:58
  • I actually considered that option but decided not to do it this way. Though I provided the accurate dimensions of my windows when ordering the custom shades, they were not made to fit tightly. There is about 1/8" clearance on either side.
    – jumper1127
    Dec 5, 2021 at 21:26
  • In addition, the brackets come with plastic covers that block the side holes. If put screws through those holes, the plastic covers cannot be installed.
    – jumper1127
    Dec 5, 2021 at 21:27

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