any suggestions on drilling a straight hole without a drill press

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they get reviews from "worthless" on up. "exceptionally well" is the most credit I've ever seen them get. I have one and use it when I have to, but My take is "slightly better than by hand and eye alone"

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Mark, Already mentioned - twice - in the replies to date . . .
some type of alignment jig/tool holder that attaches to your drill. I have a 'PORTALIGN' attached to an old {ALL METAL} Rockwell {bought out by B&D, years ago}. Basically 4 parts - a 'Base' that has provision for two heavy steel rods, the two steel 'Rods', and a 'Holder' that attaches to the drill, behind the chuck. Except for the part on the drill, all the parts are separate.
I keep mine in one of my 'buckets' with an assortment of woodworking-specific tools. When I have to do some 'aboard work' it's amazing how it feels like I have a 'workshop in a bucket'. It's nice to be at a dock or workyard and be able to drill a hole through a 'reverse angle' transom and know it is perpendicular to the surface. Or attach a cleat to a deck, or cabin side, etc.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 20:04:05 -0400, marksro wrote:

stuck in a straight hole (sorry, gotta start somewhere). You can bend the wire to an angle (set by protractor). Set the wire&block next to your work and eyeball the drill bit parallel to the jig. For 90 deg holes, use the squares as another poster suggested. You'll find that a pilot hole punched with an awl will help you avoid skittering at the start of your drilling; one less thing to worry about as you train your drill hand.
2. Another trick I found in a book is to saw a square chunk out of a small length of 2x4. You have an L-shaped piece left. Put your bit along the inside edge of the L to guide it straight into your stock.
3. To drill straight across the diameter of a dowel, saw off a 3/4 to 1" piece of the same stock. Mark the center of the disk. Clamp the disk atop the workpiece. Drill straight through the disk into the work. This'll work better after you've trained your drill hand.
__|__ | __|__ [_____] | [_____] __________ _ ( ( / \ ( ( | | (_________( \ / --
4. Practice. Practice is always boring, right? ;^P
5. Oh, and PLONK the a**h*le into your killfile.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


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snipped-for-privacy@sympatico.ca wrote:

All the answers so far seem to presume that a hand-held electric drill is the only alternative. IMHO, a brace is a much easier tool to get desired alignment, as is a push drill for small holes. And while I don't have an egg-beater drill or breast drill, I think those would be very easy to use accurately, too.
Secure your work well and securely, at a position and angle that allows the drill to be held naturally. Use guide sticks to align the tool.
BTW, by "straight" I presume you man "perpendicular or desired angle to the surface", since it's hard to drill a non-straight (curved) hole with any drilling tool I am familiar with.
--
Alex
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On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 13:14:26 +0000, alexy wrote:

Yes, with a brace bit you can watch the spurs cutting and tweak your angle until both cut the same amount. Then hold that angle. Eggbeater drill is a cinch to keep straight. Push drills are trickier because your supporting and guiding hand is also pushing down. I find it easier to drill straight with a push drill if I drill horizontally, instead of vertically.
While we're neandering, let's ask the OP if he's drilling pilot holes; bradawls and gimlets are just the ticket for those little jobs.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


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wrote:

the breast drill takes some getting used to.

heh. you haven't seen some of my drill bits....
<G>
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alexy wrote:

I've had long bits smaller than 1/16th inch follow the grain somewhat instead of going straight through. With a DP I guess it's easier to force a small bit through faster than it's cutting.
I worked at Homestake Gold Mine in the 1970's. The 5 foot borehole bits had the same problem. Too much pressure and they would follow the softer rock.
-- Mark
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snipped-for-privacy@sympatico.ca wrote in message

I read all these posts. A lot of BS here. The one suggestion that works is the simplest one that was posted. Drill a straight hole in a block of wood and use that as a guide. Simple, cheap and works every time. Eyeballing works as long as precision is not required.
George
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lutherdail responds:

Ayup. Except it's not BS. First problem is getting the straight hole in your drill guide. After that, it's gravy. Except you don't really need the drill guide if you can drill the hole straight through it without some other form of checking as you go.
Charlie Self "When you appeal to force, there's one thing you must never do - lose." Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

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Answer: The chicken. look in any dictionary -- 'C' comes before 'E'.

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Answer: The egg. Dinosaurs laid eggs before there were chickens.

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free.com> says...

The rooster!

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CW responds:

Not really. You CAN drill a perpendicular hole with nothing but a try square standing next to it. You MAY then use that drilled hole as a block to make sure a series of holes are perpendicular, and do that job faster. But why that's BS, I can't figure.
Charlie Self "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in message

Yep, that's exactly the way I do it when I need a "perfect" hole. It might take you a couple of tries to get a hole that's perfectly perpendicular, but once you get one you are satisfied with, use it as your guide.
I tend to do my drilling with braces or an eggbeater hand-drill, and I've found that it's easier to track them for verticality than an electric drill.
Also, if you have to do a long (deep) hole and keep it perpendicular/vertical, it helps to mark the vertical on your piece and use that to help you eyeball it. I tend to tilt a drill/brace/whatever slightly past vertical away from me, so I make sure to get the bit started vertically from the front and then I move around the piece to check from another angle before going any further.
I was able to drill a 15" deep hole for a lamp and come out about 1/8" off perfect (front-to-back; side-to-side was as close to perfect as the eye could see). The trick was I marked the verticals on all four sides, I used a brace and a ship's auger (once you start one of these straight, the lead-screw tends to pull it straight), I clamped the piece to the floor with a handscrew and stood over it to drill, and I stopped and checked from various angles frequently. (This was a big slab of mesquite, and I was not about to screw it up.)
Chuck Vance
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Thank you for all your suggestions. I have decided to buty a 10" Mastercraft DP at Canadian Tire for 99 bucks.
On 21 Jul 2004 05:52:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@txstate.edu (Conan The Librarian) wrote:

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CW wrote:

Glen
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Glen wrote:

Great ASCII art! Or just a typo?
Wolfgang
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Charlie Self wrote:

I recall using a miter box to make a small, approximately v-shaped notch (3 cuts, center cut deepest) in each of two pieces of 2x4. Carefully clamped the boards in the vise and screwed 'em together. The drill bit followed the diamond-shaped hole. This drilling guide worked passably well for all the holes in the project.
If you do something like this, remember to drill the smallest holes first (-:
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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On 19 Jul 2004 07:49:13 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (George) wrote:

Still a problem for anyone who leans to the left a bit. Try this:
Cut a squared block on the table saw. On one side cut a 45 two ways to form a slight groove. With the groove vertical, use that as a guide for the bit. Once well-started you can switch to eyeballing, or "feel". All of these ideas are only semi-accurate over a short distance, but near as dammit is to swearing.
Bill.
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