DrillPilot

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Gogsi

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I'm not at all good at drilling 90 degree square holes and was shocked the other day when I saw that the exit hole on a hole I'd just drilled was 2 cm off from where the entry hole started.
Time for a drilling aid I thought to myself. I've scoured the web and have narrowed my choices down to two. The Milescraft and the DrillPilot.
Personally, I really prefer the DrillPilot as it's so much smaller and would therefore be more versatile, but I would love to have the thoughts of some of you experts on this forum. Having not used pilot holes very often, my concern with the DrillPilot was that, if I drilled the 1.6mm hole (it includes 1/16 x 3" drill) would, say an 8mm drill follow it all the way through and still be nice and straight too?
Here's a DrillPilot video showing how it works. It doesn't appear to be available in the UK but have found it on Amazon US and can get it (including delivery) for under £14.
Thanks so much for your help.
 

Duncan A

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A block of wood with a square end and a V-groove down one side will guide drills of all sizes and cost nowt.
Duncan
 

Bm101

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That Drillpilot seems a proper winner to me Gogsi. If I was selling a thirteen quid bit of 3d printed plastic that cost me a few pence to make I'd love it! :D
Two issues immediately stand out to me. In metal you drill up through the sizes afaik. (I'm no expert btw). But a 1.6 mm pilot won't help keep an 8mm bit square in wood. Think about it for a second. 1.6 mm bits are very short. They have to be otherwise they snap too easily. I'd like to see how far that pilot hole is into the wood. :shock:
An 8mm bit wont take any notice of 1.2 mm pilot direction in a material as soft as wood. The issue is drilling accuracy. Repeatable accuracy. With respect (and as someone who has also fallen into lots of rabbit holes btw) you're looking for a solution to a skills/confidence issue. Drill 20 holes into a bit of scrap and I reckon you'd have it at 8,nailed it at 14 and eased off for a pint by 19 cos it's nearly friday and you're feeling like a professional...

There's lots of solutions. Get someone with a decent pillar drill to knock you out a jig, go with Duncan's advice or similar... (there's loads of ideas online.... google mirror drilling or similar) sometimes maybe you get the eye for drilling in two planes, ie, plumb forwards/backward and plumb side/side through practice. It's nor engineering tolerances but it might help.
Cheap old record/wolf electric stand. A lovely old hand press if you're a sucker for old tools and have space.
Final choice is a stand. Now you're rocking the newchavdrillpress or buyoldbuygold argument and you only wanted to find out how to drill a hole straight. Now you're forking out £600 etc.
You're not alone fella. How do you think I know the dance? :wink:

If i absolutelybleedin'had to buy my way out, I'd buy the milescraft or similar. the other one seems like a proper take on to me at least.
Have a little trust in yourself, scrap pine etc, measure it out, draw lines round the faces, etc I reckon you'll have it mostly nailed in under 20 attempts, that's about 20 minutes.
Good luck.
Regards
Chris
 

Mike Jordan

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Keep it simple!
Drill a correct size hole in a block of wood using a drill press or mortiser, cramp the block to your workpiece and you are sorted with a free guide block.
The same thinking can be applied to pocket screwing, biscuit jointers and other largely useless gadgets who's only real function is to vacuum out the woodworkers wallet!
 

Gogsi

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Thanks Mike and Duncan A for your helpful answers.

Chris, you are a CHRIS among Chris's !
Thank you so much for taking such time and effort to help a fellow woodworker. You've given me a lot to think about and, at the first opportunity, I'll be practising what you suggested and, I'm sure that in not too much time I'll be much better than before. I think you're dead right about the skills/confidence thing . I really loved your
" Drill 20 holes into a bit of scrap and I reckon you'd have it at 8,nailed it at 14 and eased off for a pint by 19 cos it's nearly friday and you're feeling like a professional..."
It brocht a wee chuckle tae ma face : )
I'll positively take your advice and have a little trust in myself and be off fer a pint before the wife can catch me.
It's grrreat to have such experts to consult with.
Thanks again.
Gogsi
 

Droogs

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Gogsi if you dont have a drill press give me a pm and I'll make a guide block for you out of oak or ash for you
 

matt

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+1 the suggestion to practics in scrap. I've never been particularly bad at drilling straight holes but recall my early days when I'd not learnt to get the "feel" for drilling straight, or sawing straight etc. I've had and disposed of many jigs because I was too lazy to set them up and often they fail to live up to promises. In a way I'm glad because it forced me to practise. I do have a drill press but more for convenience rather than accuracy (although I do use it when I don't want to leave absolute accuracy to chance). I also use a router for accuracy too - for example, drilling holes for shelf pegs in a cabinet.

I don't know if this is really the answer but if I reflect on technique over the years I *think* I changed from being above or behind the drill to sort of holding it out in front of me, side on, so I can see what's going on. This allows me to see the bit. That could be a complete red herring.
 

novocaine

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this depends on how you are drilling (vertical or horizontal), but if you have the piece clamping in a vice and you are drilling with the bit horizontal you can hang a washer of the smooth bit of the drill, it will move forward and backward with the angle of the bit in the wood (vertically) so as long as you keep it still you then only have to worry about side to side, which is easier to see and manage.

obviously it doesn't work if you are drilling down though.

go drill, drill lots and lots, when you think you've got it, go away for a hour or so, then drill some more. practice makes...... lots of holes. :D
 

Droogs

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novocaine":24hswzqt said:
go drill, drill lots and lots, when you think you've got it, go away for a hour or so, then drill some more. practice makes......

a very fetching grill for a radiator cover

:p
 

E-wan

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Another technique for a larger holes is to use a mirror with a hole in the centre so you can see the reflection of the drill bit which will help you judge whether the whole is going in the required Direction.

Ewan

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Tasky

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E-wan":2c3o6x5e said:
Another technique for a larger holes is to use a mirror with a hole in the centre
Such as a signal mirror for an emergency survival kit. Couple o' quid on Amazon, usually.
 

AndyT

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Tasky":1zc6a3qq said:
E-wan":1zc6a3qq said:
Another technique for a larger holes is to use a mirror with a hole in the centre
Such as a signal mirror for an emergency survival kit. Couple o' quid on Amazon, usually.

Or any old CD, apparently. For holes up to 15mm.
 

AndyT

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sorry, skim reading while I was supposed to be doing something else :oops:
 

PiratePete

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Well it shows you're never too old to learn!
I never thought of CDs and I often have to drill freehand.
 

Spragnut

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If you want to try something similar to the plastic jobby I could probably model something up and 3d print it for you, always trying to find excuses to 3d print!

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