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Drilling at a perfect angle without a drill press

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  • Carlos
    replied
    I ended up using a piece of 1" Starboard (HDPE) scrap mounted to two pieces of scrap maple. The bit ran great in the HDPE. After a few holes, I finally got good at the whole process. My fifth dog was perfect (out of five). My first had to be redone, and second remains kind of sketchy. I guess I should have practiced in scrap, but it didn't seem all that hard. Not just the drilling, but the sanding and chamfering, the depth, etc. But the result is great, I love the pop-up dogs without leaving holes in the top, which I absolutely hate.

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  • durango dude
    replied
    I just use my drill's level bubble.
    But hey ... what do I know? My drill has
    this thing called a cord.


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  • leehljp
    replied
    Well, practice, practice, practice and praying for eyes like Sam Maloof had. In his book, Sam related a story about drilling the holes for the back of his well know rocker. Each one had to be drilled at a slightly different angle. An apprentice was watching as Sam drilled each hole without a jig, and then the apprentice measured the angle of the holes. They were dead on. He looked at Sam and asked: "Do you have crosshairs in your eyeballs?"

    I watched a Japanese woodworker do the same thing. Skill, some from practice and some naturally born with.

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  • Carlos
    replied
    I have a decent size scrap of 1" starboard from when I made a swim platform, great idea!

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  • d_meister
    replied
    I like your "Plan A", but instead of cutting a relief into the guide block, add a couple of stand-off cleats to the underside. I've made drill guides with scrap Starboard (HDPE) because it's nicely self-lubricating. One that I made was angle adjustable to drill pilot holes for angled fishing rod holders in cockpit coamings. Designed for and works well with a 12" long 1/4" drill bit. After the pilot hole is drilled at the correct angle, I just slip on a hole saw mandrel and a close, tight fit results. You could do something like that, but a hole saw may not be a close enough fit for you.

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  • cwsmith
    replied
    I would also recommend the Portalign drill guide. Today I mostly use my drill press, but of course that's not practical for everything.

    I have two portable drill guides, the "Portalign" and a much older Craftsman version. Both work well, though the Portalign is more advanced.

    CWS

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  • Jim Frye
    replied
    I forgot to mention that I used a Forstner bit to drill the dog holes for my bench.

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  • Carlos
    replied
    I used to have one of those, but never really liked it, got rid of it. Usually if I need a straight hole I either use the DP or use a little guide block, but neither will work for a 2.5" hole into a huge surface. I like the router idea, and I think I have pattern following inserts for one of my bases. But I couldn't find a 2.5" bit at either of the big box stores. Why the heck do they skip 2.5" and only have 2 9/16??? Confused.

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  • leehljp
    replied
    My first thought was what MPC said, then I saw Jim's. I used to have one of those guides and used it often, but I gave it to a son in law. That guide was sure handy but I got a DP and thought I would not need it any more. Boy, was I wrong.

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  • Jim Frye
    replied
    Click image for larger version  Name:	009_5.JPG Views:	0 Size:	94.2 KB ID:	837957Click image for larger version  Name:	010_4.JPG Views:	0 Size:	68.3 KB ID:	837958I have an old PortALign drill guide that has a 2 1/2" hole in the base. I have it mounted on a plywood add on base that can be mounted under a BT3000 accessory table or clamped to the work piece. I used it to drill the dog holes in my bench. I use it with a Makita corded 1/2" drill. The newer PortALigns have an adjustable base for angles, but my 30 some year old one is fixed at 90 degrees.
    Last edited by Jim Frye; 12-24-2019, 02:59 PM.

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  • mpc
    replied
    Or make a template with a circular opening and use a router with a pattern bit to make the first part of the hole. Once the hole is almost as deep as the bit can reach, remove the template and use the cut part of the hole itself as the pattern for more depth.

    mpc

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  • Carlos
    started a topic Drilling at a perfect angle without a drill press

    Drilling at a perfect angle without a drill press

    I'm going to be installing the Fastcap Blue Dogs in my workbench, which requires drilling a 2.5" diameter hole about 1.5" deep. Having it perfect would really help make sure they are flush. What are some ideas on drilling perfectly? I was considering making a wood or MDF block with a hole the size of the shank in it. Put the shank through, install it in the drill, and lay the block flat on the bench top. Of course, it would need a 2.5" clearance hole in the bottom too.
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