I would appreciate some net-advice on how to drill a straight line of holes
at constant spacing and at a 45 degree angle to the surface of the wood.
Since I want to do this on the 2 inch surface of a 1x2x24, it is not
practical to drill perpendicular holes and them to slice the workpiece at 45
The angle and the spacing must be held as constant as possible.
It is the same concept that is used in Cado modular furniture,
Let me try an ASCII drawing
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Any tips would be appreciated.
You've already got good advice. My tidbit is to first drill small
leader holes vertically to avoid slippage when drilling at the angle.
Use the idea of a jig suggested. Constancy depends on your skill.
Also, I'd accept a bit of wastage if I'm reading your diagram
correctly. The hole definition is important to you, so possibly use a
longer piece to have something to grab while drilling, then cut off to
the 24" you want.
Another poster has already mentioned that this is
an easy job for a drill press, and that's certainly
what I'd do. But that's because I own a drill
press, and there is some possibility that you don't, or
you'd be using it instead of asking the wreck for help.
So if you don't have a drill press, make a 45-degree
drilling jig by drilling a hole of the desired
diameter in a block of reasonably stable dense scrapwood
(cherry is ideal, but anything in the scrap box will work,
except maybe balsa) 2" wide (the width of your workpiece)
and 1.5 or 2 inches thick. For this job you _can_ use the
trick of drilling a perpendicular hole and then slicing the
jig at a 45-degree angle.
Once you have your drilling jig, glue a small piece of wood
to one side to give you a fence to register it against the
side of the workpiece, clamp it in place on the workpiece,
and use the hole to guide your drill bit.
You'll still have the problem of spacing the holes evenly,
but that's just a matter of careful layout. You can
also use a spacer block: clamp the block to the workpiece
next to the jig, unclamp the jig, move it to the other
side of the spacer block, clamp and drill the next hole,
and advance the spacer block and the jig leapfrog down the
If you're planning to drill many holes (say, hundreds)
you might want to consider a metal sleeve for the hole
in the drilling jig, but a wooden jig will hold up just
fine of smaller numbers of holes.
Another poster has suggested that you might want to consider
cutting the workpiece to length _after_ you've drilled the
holes. That is excellent advice - makes the whole
process much more forgiving.
Larry Spitz wrote:
Another idea re spacing: Drill two spaced holes in the block and after you
drill the 1st hole in the piece through the first hole in the block use a
dowel or other drill bit to lock the second hole in the block to the first
hole in the piece. Then drill through the first hole in the block into the
piece. Repeat. HTH. -- Igor
I'd suggest using a mechanical index instead of a spacer block. I think its
more stable and repeatable. One way to do it is to insert a small wood
screw in the bottom of the jig, spaced over the distance that you want
between the holes. Screw it in flush with the bottom of the jig. After
drilling the first hole with the jig, back the screw out about 1/8". Move
the jig over so the screw head inserts into the hole in the work piece you
just drilled. This fixes the spacing for the next hole to drill. Then just
move on down the line, inserting the jig screw into the most recently
This is one of those rare cases where a RAS would come in handy.
Start with a 2x2 workpiece, cut 45 degree notches placed at the fixed
interval and cut only slightly deeper than the diameter of your drill
hole. This step is REAAALLLY easy to do on a RAS.
Now you have flat platforms, pitched at 45 degree angle, to drill your
holes. Drill them deep enough to reach the depth of the final board.
After drilling all holes rip off the stepped edge to your final
dimension of 1 inch thick.
How many holes do you have to drill? How many pieces? I or another
manufacturer could build you a single multi-spindle head to go on a drill
press and do many - if not all the holes at once if you can hold the piece
on the table in the right location...
Joe Agro, Jr.
I would make a small jig that had two perpendicular holes one to guide the
drill, and the other to index the next hole.
The jig should have a shoulder to space it properly from the edge of the
The way I would approach this would be to start with a block of wood larger
than needed and drill the two holes straight through. When the holes are
drilled make sure they are perpendicular to each other and properly spaced.
Once you have confirmed this, now cut the block at an angle. Now you can
conform the outside of the block to the size you want and add a fence.
With this done you can clamp the jig to the your board, place a piece of
tape on your bit to mark the depth, and drill your first hole. After the
first hole is drilled, insert a pin or a wood dowel into the other hole and
insert the pin into the first hole in your board. This will assure nice
even spacing and the proper angle.
Some points to consider. A brad point will probably work better than a V
point. This jig will self destruct over time. How much time depends on how
careful you are in holding the drill to avoid chewing up the guide.
Drilling a little and cleaning out chips will help the jig to last long
enough to finish.
Making a second jig using the first to gage the holes and the angle might be
the first holes you drill with the jig in case you wear the first jig too
The thicker you make the jig the more accurate it will be.
If you have a drill press, you might want to make a different king of jig.
Use a piece of pegboard clamped to your table. Also attach a fence. If the
holes in the pegboard are at the spacing you want this is easy to attach the
fence square to the peg board and use a peg to stop your board. If you need
a different spacing then setting the fence at an angle to the peg board will
allow you to shorten the distance between holes.
Either of these should give you a better result than measuring and
attempting to drill at an angle.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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