Drilling straight holes without drill press - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 Old 01-22-2012, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 62
View nolo's Photo Album My Photos
Drilling straight holes without drill press

How can I drill a straight hole without a drill press? Does Harbor Freight sell an accessory? The holes will be 3 1/2 in deep. One option I was thinking of was having a friend drill holes in a 2x4 with his drill press and then using that as a guide. Unfortunately, I can't bring the wooden posts to his house for drilling.
nolo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 01-22-2012, 09:08 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 18,607
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
drill guide

If you use a long drill bit, it's easier to tell if it's not plumb or square to the surface.
A simple guide can be made from 2 pieces of wood 2" x 3" x 3/4" thick. Just glue them together at right angles, like an "L" so they form a corner. They must be cut square at least on the bottom edges. Locate your drill bit in the corner resting against both inside surfaces.
The problem with most hand drills is that there is not a straight line or square surface parallel with the axis of the chuck/arbor. They design all these fancy colorful rounded surfaces ...none of which help make drilling a hole square to the bit. bill

There is no charge for the free advice, but you get what you pay for ... just sayin'

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-10-2012 at 06:46 AM.
woodnthings is online now  
post #3 of 20 Old 01-22-2012, 09:28 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,062
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
One of these might help.





.
cabinetman is offline  
post #4 of 20 Old 01-22-2012, 10:40 PM
In The Basement
 
aaronhl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Central Connecticut
Posts: 419
View aaronhl's Photo Album My Photos
What can you used on the edge of a 3/4" thick by 3" wide board? 3/8" holes

"And remember this, there is no more important safety rule than to wear these safety glasses..."
aaronhl is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 01-22-2012, 11:06 PM
I run with chisels.
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: AZ
Posts: 913
View joesbucketorust's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronhl View Post
What can you used on the edge of a 3/4" thick by 3" wide board? 3/8" holes
On the edge like for joinery? How about a dowel jig?

Insert witty signature line here.
joesbucketorust is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to joesbucketorust For This Useful Post:
aaronhl (07-10-2012)
post #6 of 20 Old 01-23-2012, 12:59 AM
John
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: La Crosse, Kansas
Posts: 3,028
View jschaben's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronhl View Post
What can you used on the edge of a 3/4" thick by 3" wide board? 3/8" holes
I made one of these. Works with a 1" bushing and any size bit you want that will fit. Please note the error on those plans. The #8 x 1 F.H. screws DO NOT go through the acrylic base, they go through the aluminum bars into the rails.
I have one of those drill press wanna be's that c-man linked to. The one I have has so much slop in the rails in order to get a good hole, square to the work I need to lock the drill on and plunge it with both hands on top of the support rail. It does have a couple of centerfinding bosses on the base though. I think mine is a Wolfcraft. General also makes one. I think Joes' suggestion of a doweling jig is a good one.
Attached Images
 

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood

Last edited by jschaben; 01-23-2012 at 01:02 AM.
jschaben is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old 01-23-2012, 01:06 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 298
View mveach's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
One of these might help.





.
I had one of those years ago and it worked pretty well.
mveach is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 01-23-2012, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 62
View nolo's Photo Album My Photos
Thank you
nolo is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 01-23-2012, 10:49 PM
In The Basement
 
aaronhl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Central Connecticut
Posts: 419
View aaronhl's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by joesbucketorust View Post
On the edge like for joinery? How about a dowel jig?
I think that is exactly what I need. Thanks for the name, going to research it a little more.

"And remember this, there is no more important safety rule than to wear these safety glasses..."
aaronhl is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 07-10-2012, 01:20 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 27
View spidennis's Photo Album My Photos
so there's two models out there that's pretty much the same thing,
and both got similar reviews and have similar problems
but no where did I see one thing ......
.... how deep can you drill to?
I got 8 pieces of 3/4" to drill thru, about 6" worth, using a 5/16" bit or so .....
spidennis is offline  
post #11 of 20 Old 07-10-2012, 11:15 AM
John
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: La Crosse, Kansas
Posts: 3,028
View jschaben's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by spidennis View Post
so there's two models out there that's pretty much the same thing,
and both got similar reviews and have similar problems
but no where did I see one thing ......
.... how deep can you drill to?
I got 8 pieces of 3/4" to drill thru, about 6" worth, using a 5/16" bit or so .....
That will vary depending on the length of the bit. If the bit almost touchs the wood when the drill guide is up, you get the full travel of the drill guide.
That said, If I can get a hole a inch or so deep that will act as a drill guide and I can usually just finish it off by hand without any issues.
Also, $50 seems a bit steep, I think I've seen them at Home Depot and ACE for around $30-35

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
jschaben is offline  
post #12 of 20 Old 07-10-2012, 03:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Alchymist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central PA
Posts: 1,737
View Alchymist's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
That will vary depending on the length of the bit. If the bit almost touchs the wood when the drill guide is up, you get the full travel of the drill guide.
That said, If I can get a hole a inch or so deep that will act as a drill guide and I can usually just finish it off by hand without any issues.
Also, $50 seems a bit steep, I think I've seen them at Home Depot and ACE for around $30-35
$50 does seem steep. Double it and you're in the ballpark for a good used drill press, which is a lot more versatile. Not a big fan of Rockler anyway, just bought a set of hardware for a highchair tray, and hardware was $15, but the shipping was $7.00, came in a padded envelope via US Mail. Hardware was not the best, either, one latch was a real pain to make latch on the notched bar. Kind of surprised, Rockler supposedly has a good rep. Oh well, buy somewhere else next time.
Alchymist is offline  
post #13 of 20 Old 07-10-2012, 05:48 PM
Senior Member
 
MT Stringer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Channelview, Tx
Posts: 2,116
View MT Stringer's Photo Album My Photos
I bought the Sears model. Looks the same as the one in the pic. $19 I think. I drilled four holes through three inches of wood with an 11/16 inch bit. No problem.

The drill guide is not really sturdy to make for very accurate holes but it does help the user to guide the bit on a fairly straight path. I was drilling holes through my workbench table top so I could mount a wood vise. I might add that I drilled up through the bottom of the benchtop with the smaller bit, then put the forstner bit on to countersink the top for the bolt head/washer.

As you see in the pic, I also mounted the guide on a piece of 3/4 inch oak.

I have a bunch of lag screws to install and plan to use the guide to drill pilot holes.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by MT Stringer; 07-10-2012 at 06:04 PM.
MT Stringer is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old 07-11-2012, 09:58 AM
Senior Member
 
Pirate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 1,568
View Pirate's Photo Album My Photos
Sounds to me, like it's the perfect reason to justify a drill press!

If cash is a concern, a used drill press would be my pick. 95% or more of my tools were bought used. Much less expensive, and usually higher quality.
Pirate is offline  
post #15 of 20 Old 07-12-2012, 02:18 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 27
View spidennis's Photo Album My Photos
I haven't seen of a drill press with a 6" throw, plus have 8 layers of 3/4" ply in it. If you know of one let me know! presently my well worn table top drill press is less than ideal for this purpose .......

I ordered one of these portable units for 36 bucks, but knowing about all the concerns I think I can work past them. I should have it in a few days.

besides, this gadget is in my price range right now, my next drill press will have to wait for a better budget, and time to shop for just such a critter. I will be doing lots of this operation so it's on my growing list of tools to be upgraded!
spidennis is offline  
post #16 of 20 Old 07-12-2012, 04:27 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 97
View EHCRain's Photo Album My Photos
If you drill through the hole of a cd or dvd with the shiny side facing you you can see if the bit is straight or not. Just line the bit up with its reflection.
EHCRain is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to EHCRain For This Useful Post:
jschaben (07-12-2012), spidennis (07-12-2012)
post #17 of 20 Old 07-14-2012, 01:36 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 27
View spidennis's Photo Album My Photos
I got my general AccuDrill Precision Drill Guide in today and went straight to testing it out for my main tasks.

The grey parts are plastic and the drill doesn't slide up and down the rail very smoothly, and it's just a bit unsteady .......

I screwed a scrap piece to the bottom and with a 1.5" hole saw cut out a hole. My Irwin 3/4" augur bit (49912) fit in just fine and I drilled thru 4 pieces of 3/4 pretty easily so I think it's gonna do that job just fine.

It's certainly not a drill press like others have mentioned, but I was able to drill these holes much better than if I was to try it freehand. This will work out fine until I can afford a $1k or better drill press! but since this will do the job, that drill press is now lower on the list as I got other stuff to get as well.

tomorrow I'll try out the next task on my test pieces and then move on to the real McCoy.
Attached Images
   
spidennis is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 07-14-2012, 11:37 AM
John
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: La Crosse, Kansas
Posts: 3,028
View jschaben's Photo Album My Photos
Those are pretty decent things to have. For one thing a lot more portable than a drill press anyway. They won't replace a drill press by any means but they can also do some things a drill press can't.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
jschaben is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old 08-28-2012, 04:52 PM
Senior Member
 
jharris2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,339
View jharris2's Photo Album My Photos
Or:

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=31286

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
jharris2 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to jharris2 For This Useful Post:
newbirdhunter (03-28-2013)
post #20 of 20 Old 08-29-2012, 03:55 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NYC
Posts: 84
View GroovyMambo's Photo Album My Photos
I have an upcoming project that will require drilling 220. 3/4 inch holes on a 4x8 sheet of 3/4 plywood and the holes have to be straight so I don't have much of a choice than to get one of these even though I have a large drill press
GroovyMambo is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drilling holes in the end of 1x2s cat1870 Tips, Tricks, & Homemade Jigs 23 01-09-2012 09:54 PM
How do you drill straight holes for dowel joinery? kayak1009 Joinery 3 06-18-2010 05:42 AM
Drilling holes to depth with a drill press Mike C General Woodworking Discussion 8 07-27-2009 08:40 AM
drilling holes in dowels BigFishBite Joinery 6 10-28-2008 02:42 PM
Tips for drilling through (straight) width of a board? ARECHER Tips, Tricks, & Homemade Jigs 8 10-20-2008 01:33 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome