My New Precidsion Hole Installer

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Project by shipwright posted 11-16-2014 12:23 AM 4203 views 16 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In order to start inside cuts in packet cut marquetry it is essential to be able to drill the smallest hole possible and to drill it exactly square to the packet face. This can be quite easily done with a good drill press and that is what I have been using up to now. At home in Canada I have a large Delta floor model and here in Az I have my ShopSmith which is an excellent drill press.

However, I want a small one to keep in the marquetry shop and that doesn’t require dragging the ShopSmith out of its cabinet and setting it up in DP mode just to drill a couple of holes so small you can’t see them. Yesterday I was on the verge of buying a small HF benchtop drill press but thought I’d ask for opinions and ideas from the community here first.

There was a good conversation and several suggestions that eventually led to me designing my own. I had a look at what I already had and made this up for free in less time than it would have taken me to go into Tucson to buy something. ......... and this little guy is perfect. Smooth as glass with just enough friction to not drop on the fragile #74 bit. It is based on a carving tool from HF and comes with a variable speed foot control.

It is dead accurate,takes up way less space than a drill press would have, and can install holes deep into large packets unrestricted by the drill centreline to column distance that limits small drill presses.

The last photo shows the 1” cypher discs I made with it. You chevalet guys will know that without really accurate, square holes, you just dont get all four of these with no sign of where the holes were.


Thanks for looking


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

36 comments so far

View hoss12992's profile


3814 posts in 1317 days

#1 posted 11-16-2014 12:31 AM

That is really cool. Love it Great job as usual

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View changeoffocus's profile


457 posts in 1041 days

#2 posted 11-16-2014 12:38 AM

Impressive rapid prototyping process. From post to project blog at the speed of light.

View gbear's profile


492 posts in 3523 days

#3 posted 11-16-2014 12:49 AM

Wow…very cool. What a great idea not to mention quick build!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3306 days

#4 posted 11-16-2014 12:57 AM

Good job. I was shuddering at the thought of you buying that HF DP.
This is an excellent solution. All the pluses and none of the minuses.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2765 days

#5 posted 11-16-2014 12:57 AM

invent or innovate

great idea paul

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1852 days

#6 posted 11-16-2014 01:18 AM

LJ’s – what a great site for getting and sharing ideas, and Paul you really expedited this one – fast.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17577 posts in 3100 days

#7 posted 11-16-2014 01:23 AM

Nice work. Even had your trade mark on it ;-) Probably more accurate than the HF DP would be.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Woodwrecker's profile


3915 posts in 3000 days

#8 posted 11-16-2014 01:31 AM

Looks just like a Stewart McDonald luthiers’ router I have.
But yours cost a lot less and looks cooler.
Nice job Paul.

-- Eric, central Florida

View kiefer's profile


4873 posts in 2091 days

#9 posted 11-16-2014 01:33 AM

Imagination leads to innovation and this is a perfect example of that .
Nice little drill jig Paul and made from what you already had in the shop ,just the way I like to make things .


-- Kiefer

View DocSavage45's profile


7660 posts in 2267 days

#10 posted 11-16-2014 02:09 AM


Harbor Freight? wo’d athought!? LOL! glad it worked out.

what is the HF Tool? Is it an actual carving tool?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9331 posts in 3476 days

#11 posted 11-16-2014 02:31 AM

You did it!!

Good for you!

You improved on the method you were using before…

The only thing that it looks like it MAY need is a strapping a small LED flashlight on it somewhere to put some Light on the subject.

Do you have a link to the HF Carver that you used?


Thank you for the update!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View JoeMcGlynn's profile


219 posts in 1778 days

#12 posted 11-16-2014 02:40 AM

Nice Paul. I need to make something like that to hold my Foredom tool for routing out the cavity on inlay jobs. I ended up returning the mini-base from William Ng as it just didn’t work properly for me.

-- Blog:

View tyvekboy's profile


1311 posts in 2437 days

#13 posted 11-16-2014 02:41 AM

That is a great solution. Iʻm sure that can be use for other things too. I couldnʻt tell but is it spring loaded to retract the drill bit out of the hole?

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View shipwright's profile


7096 posts in 2222 days

#14 posted 11-16-2014 04:24 AM

Thanks all

Thomas, it was sold as a flex shaft carving tool.

Joe , I did a quick search and they apparently don’t carry it anymore. At least a search for “rotary carving tool” and “flex shaft carving tool” didn’t turn it up. I got it last year.

tyvek, no springs, just slight friction. I originally thought the parts I had found were the precision shaft and linear bearings I bought for the chevalet but when I put my glasses on I discovered that it was the parts from my first prototype, just steel rod and pipe. That may explain the quite welcome slight amount of friction. I think it will need springs ( or something) though as it is moving more easily the more I use it.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Dutchy's profile


1976 posts in 1593 days

#15 posted 11-16-2014 07:38 AM

Nice build Paul.

When I saw it I had to think on what I did with an old router base. Maybe others has benefit of it.

On the pictures below you can see the solution with a small europeen plunge router base. The neck of a drill has the same measure and fits in the base. This base has also the benefit of two springs.



-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

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