It takes forty gallons of maple sap to yield one gallon of maple syrup.
Archaic drilling tools are not the way to go. How on earth did they use these? A strong cordless drill and short and sharp boring bit is the way to go for just a few trees. Please be careful while hiking on slippery slopes with long, sharp tools.
If the sap is running, a clear liquid should be expelled once the hole is bored. Note the thickness of the bark and the lighter wood inside. Drill a hole around 2.5 inches deep, sloped upward by a few degrees to promote draining, The circumference of the hole is entirely dependent on the circumference of the spile. I used a half-inch bit.
A healthy tree and clean tap hole will heal in time.
We couldn't find Rex's old metal spiles, so I made some real quick out of half-inch wood dowel. After cutting the dowel to length, I drilled an eighth-inch wide hole down its length and then cut a small perpendicular groove.
The can was drilled to slip over the spile, then hook into the cut groove.
And the sap flows into the can.
Wearing cans for the next several days.