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Thread: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

  1. #1
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    Default Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Hey everyone,

    I tried to drill the holes for the bridge posts for the Les Paul copy guitar I'm building only to discover that my drill press isn't deep enough. Any suggestions on how to drill this with my handheld drill? I was thinking about attaching 3 speed squares around the holes and putting the drill in between all of them. At least then I'll have a reference for keeping the drill upright. Think this will work?

    Alternatively, if I decide to buy a router bit to do this with my plunge router instead, what type of bit would be best for boring holes? (assuming I can get a 7/16" bit). One of those spiral upcut type bits?

    Thx
    Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    A router will work fine. Lee Valley has 7/16" bits, for some reason they are quite a bit more expensive than the 1/2". I'm not quite sure what you mean by using 3 squares ??? The router will need a flat stable surface to reference off of.
    Last edited by OttawaP; 12-22-2008 at 09:09 PM.
    Paul

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    Steve Morris

    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    a plunge router would the best way, any style would work but an up spiral would be the best

    just clamp the router in place somehow and plunge away

    i cut the bench dog holes in my bench that way
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont


    1915 or so crescent

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Take a thick block of wood and drill a hole in it with the drill press then when clamped in place it will guide your hand held drill bit into your other piece. HTH

    kEITH

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    What Keith from Brantford (brother of Wayne from Brantford?) says. Done this many, many times - never had a problem.

    Max
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith in Brantford View Post
    Take a thick block of wood and drill a hole in it with the drill press then when clamped in place it will guide your hand held drill bit into your other piece. HTH

    kEITH
    I was going to say that..... Best idea, I do it often with great success.
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    Bill "Hickory" Simpson

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith in Brantford View Post
    Take a thick block of wood and drill a hole in it with the drill press then when clamped in place it will guide your hand held drill bit into your other piece. HTH

    kEITH
    I was also going to say this, but with a twist: if you have a dowel jig, depending on the design of the one you have, many of them can easily be clamped to a flat surface and used to guide a perpendicular hole.

    Alternately, B&D offers an accessory for a standard workmate: a drill press holder thing. It's basically a stand with a sliding holder on it. You put the stand in the workmate vice, clamp it tight making sure it's true and vertical, then a standard drill will clamp into the holder and slide up and down on the stand, thus allowing you to drill perpendicular holes of any depth on the workmate.

  10. #8

    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Just out of curiosity...

    You said your drill press wasn't 'deep enough'. did you mean throat depth? Or you just couldn't drill a deep enough hole? I don't understand where you are tring to drill holes (I have read your other posts, very cool btw) but (and I assume you have) have you tried it from different angles? (assuming the former?)

    I'd love to see more pics of your progress. Good luck with the drilling!

    Cheers
    Erron.
    ---
    The grain has more direction then me sometimes.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Throat depth is the issue. Due to the shape of the body, I cannot position it anyway to get the holes for the bridge posts (see photo) in under my drill bit.



    Never thought of the block of wood idea. How thick of a block to be accurate? The drill bit is about 3.5" in length and the depth of the hole needs to be about .5" - So would a 3" thick block be good?

    As for using the squares - I got the idea from a similar setup in a woodworking magazine. Basically position 2 or 3 speed squares around the hole to provide vertical references when holding the drill upright. But I'm liking the block of wood idea more.

    THx guys.
    Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    That should be a snap with a block of wood, 3" is extreem, 3/4" should do fine or 1 1/2" max. anything thicker is a waste and creates friction and problems with chip removal.

    I would get a piece of hardwood long enough to reach across. Mark the piece with the location of the two hole , drill, etc. then locate the holes over the marks on the project and clamp down. Procede to drill through, unless you force it sideways, the drill should follow the predrilled holes and reproduce their orientation.

    Works the same principle as the Kreg Jig (except 90 degrees in lieu of the low angle)
    Bill "Hickory" Simpson

  13. #11
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Thx guys. I've got some 1" pine that I'll use. Now what's the chances the missus is gonna let me in the shop on Christmas Eve night to try this?
    Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try

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  15. #12
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Quote Originally Posted by ewjsmith View Post
    Thx guys. I've got some 1" pine that I'll use. Now what's the chances the missus is gonna let me in the shop on Christmas Eve night to try this?
    Pine would work but a harder species like oak is better because it is acting like a bearing for the drill bit to keep it aligned vertically.

  16. #13
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Thom View Post
    Pine would work but a harder species like oak is better because it is acting like a bearing for the drill bit to keep it aligned vertically.
    that's why I recommended a dowel jig, if he has one that will lay flat: its bushings would likely be much better even than oak. I use an old wolfcraft for this all the time.

  17. #14
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    This is my first post, so be kind. Also, pardon my rust.

    Years ago I bought an accessory called a PortAlign. Basically, you remove the chuck from the drill, then attach the drill and the chuck to the "wing" on the device.





    It then allows you to drill perpendicular holes ANYWHERE, and there's an adjustable stop to control the depth of the hole. The top of the baseplate also has two V shaped tabs that allow drilling in the center of round stock.

    By extending the guide rods, you can consistently drill holes on an angle or perfectly center holes for edge drilling.




  18. #15
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    Kenny

    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Plunge router would be my first choice with a spiral cut bit...fast and accurate!

  19. #16
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    Default Re: Drilling Perpendicular Holes without a Drill Press

    Hey Ray - that one cool looking "drill press". Busybee carries something similar now:

    http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=B2099
    Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try

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