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    Drill Guide for Super-Straight Holes

    Recently, while building a Shaker writing table, I needed to drill dowel holes in the front faces of my table's legs, after the table was fully assembled. I needed the holes to be perfectly straight, and that usually means using the drill press. Trouble is, you can't use a drill press on a fully assembled piece of furniture. So how do you drill perfectly straight, perfectly square holes with a handheld drill?

    You use a jig.

    This little drill guide couldn't be easier to make. It consists of a thick block of wood and a fence that holds it against the stock you wish to drill into. Holes of the appropriate size are pre-drilled in the block, and those holes, coupled with the thickness of the block, will force your drill bit into perfectly square alignment with the stock you're drilling into. Here's how to do it:

    Make a drilling jig
    click to enlarge
    What You'll Need
    The jig consists of a thick block of hardwood (in my case, I used a nearly 2-in. square chunk of cherry I had laying around) and a small piece of plywood or masonite to act as the fence.
    Make a drilling jig
    click to enlarge
    Drill the Block
    OK, for this, you'll need to use a drill press. In my case, I needed to drill two dowel holes - one right on top of the other. I used the drill press to make two straight holes clear through the hardwood block.
    Make a drilling jig
    click to enlarge
    Screw it Together
    Now it's just a matter of screwing the fence onto the side of the hardwood block. Presto: instant jig.
    Make a drilling jig
    click to enlarge
    Use Your Drill Guide
    To use the guide block, just clamp it to the workpiece and guide your drill bit through the hole.

    Perfectly Square, Straight Holes: After my two holes were drilled, I was able to glue in my dowels, cut them almost flush with a handsaw, and then plane them down flush (using a small block plane) before a tiny bit of hand sanding. Now my joinery is reinforced with straight dowels.

    Make a drill guide block



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    Paul Adam writes:

    A tought directed to the Editor of Start Woodworking in regards to Andries Koen's question.

    What is the possibitlty of putting on a Blog (Or whatever you may call it) with a full list of Tools for all those out there who wants to start woodworking as a hobby.

    Preferably with the starters and subsiquent tools that one will require as time goes on.

    I am sure it will be well received. Even us oldies would be interested to see all the old and new tools that is now available.

    Like Randy Heineman (hope you do not mind me quoting you) I also have been doing working for +30 years.

    I have acquired a fairly large range of tools over that period . But I still do not have all the tools that i would really like.

    Lastly. May i ask all the Woodworkers out there if they remember what tools they had when they started?

    I had, a Claw Hammer, Carpenter's Pincer, Back Saw, Small Rip Saw, HandDrill. 1/2 inch and 1 inch Chisel, Square and a small Plane.

    Sounds crazy

    Paul Adam writes:

    Well said Randy. We should all help where we can.

    Michael Thoma writes:


    You've been a member for over a year and your just now asking this scatter shot question?  Please spend some effort yourself and start reading on the web or watching videos.  Then you won't be asking such broad quesitons that don't have anything to do with the article.  

    Randy Heinemann writes: Michael, Ease up man! Regardless of how long someone has been interested or doing woodworking, most of us who do it for a hobby have regular jobs and can only allocate a small amount of time to these things. I've been woodworking 30+ years and always feel compassion for those who just start out. While there may be better forums for Andreis' question, help him out by directing him there then.
    andries koen writes:






    Randy Heinemann writes: One possible source for general information would be the Festool Owners Group forum. While it is mainly designed for Festool tool owners, there are a lot of other sections that cover more general woodworking issues and tool purchases. If you do a Google search for woodworking forums you will probably find a number which will give you a more receptive response than you originally got here. Good Luck
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