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Simple depth gauge for setting plugs

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Project by Div posted 09-14-2010 09:18 PM 2347 views 6 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Plugging away! I use a lot of wooden plugs in some of the work that I do. This simple depth gauge makes counter boring to the right depth easy and is kind to your work piece. Drill vertically through a softwood block and cut the block to the correct length. Obviously the length of the drill bit sticking out will be the depth of the hole!

I mostly use 8mm (5/16”) and 10mm (3/8”) plugs and use brad point drill bits that I grind myself from standard HSS drill bits.

The photos should be self explanatory, but please shout if you have any questions.

Hope this can be of use to someone!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."





15 comments so far

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1689 days


#1 posted 09-14-2010 09:37 PM

Simple but useful. I like it.

Any secrets or tips for making brad points from standard bits?

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View heller's profile

heller

12 posts in 1582 days


#2 posted 09-14-2010 09:45 PM

Good idea.

I am also interested in making the brad point bits.

Thanks

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1657 days


#3 posted 09-14-2010 10:09 PM

Easier to do than to explain! First, practise freehand sharpening standard drill bits on the bench grinder. Look at the geometry of the tip, 2 angles involved. Heck, I need to make a pencil sketch now!

Study that last photo. Remember that the cutting angle slopes back from the cutting edge. Does this make any sense?

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View GabrielX's profile

GabrielX

231 posts in 1549 days


#4 posted 09-14-2010 10:37 PM

Cool idea… I have been working on a desktop and don’t have any countersink bits. Have always just used a larger drill bit then sanded it clean. Great solution!

-- GX

View Jason's profile

Jason

655 posts in 2226 days


#5 posted 09-14-2010 11:52 PM

Simple yet effective. That’s a great tip.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View cranesgonewild's profile

cranesgonewild

344 posts in 1625 days


#6 posted 09-15-2010 12:43 AM

Brilliant!! The pictures speak for itself. And we all have scrap wood lying around.

-- I'm a Fungi --

View mafe's profile (online now)

mafe

9600 posts in 1806 days


#7 posted 09-15-2010 01:25 AM

Very clever my dear Div,
Yes we use this trick also in Denmark, and if you remember to rest the depth gauge on the wood before drilling, you will have no tear out. (I’m sure you do so).
Best thoughts,
brother Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1832 days


#8 posted 09-15-2010 01:48 AM

yep one of those small tricks you learn in the DIY trade…lol
and clever of you to reuse hss bits that way but I think I hold me to buy them instead
even thow they ain´t as cheap as hss bits

take care
Dennis

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3185 posts in 2540 days


#9 posted 09-15-2010 02:25 AM

Nice jig Div. and clever work on the making of brad bit…BC

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1207 posts in 2192 days


#10 posted 09-15-2010 05:26 AM

I like the idea… I have excessive number of HSS bits… ought to try making brad point from one of them.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1689 days


#11 posted 09-15-2010 04:15 PM

”Study that last photo. Remember that the cutting angle slopes back from the cutting edge. Does this make any sense?”

I think I got it. I’ll know more when I actually give it a try.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1657 days


#12 posted 09-15-2010 10:31 PM

Friend swirt, maybe this helps:
First you hold the bit against the grinder wheel at the correct angle looking down at it. Then, while grinding and with the bit resting on you finger, you pivot the back down some while maintaining the angle. This grinds the “sloping” angle at the same time.
Let me know if you don’t come right. I would really like to help you. Once you get the hang of it, it is so easy to sharpen drill bits yourself without any fancy gizmo.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Flemming's profile

Flemming

417 posts in 1614 days


#13 posted 09-18-2010 01:30 AM

Nice depth gauge Div!!

I normally use duct tape around the bit… but after successive drilling the tape just gets pushed up the bit further and further, and then it’s not really a depth gauge at all is it? ;) heheh

i think i’ll be applying your technique in the near future :)

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View Bricofleur's profile

Bricofleur

1181 posts in 1910 days


#14 posted 10-04-2010 06:13 PM

Nice depth gauge. And you even chamfered all edges! In my shop I spare all bits and pieces of small scraps that I keep in a drawer close to my workbench. When needed I pick the size well suited, trim it if needed and drill through to make a quick depth gauge. Not as fancy as yours tough, but it works! Again, it’s all about sharing! Thanks for posting.

Best,

Serge

http://atelierdubricoleur.spaces.live.com

-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. -- http://atelierdubricoleur.wordpress.com

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1657 days


#15 posted 10-04-2010 08:35 PM

Thanks Serge. Those blocks look ready to go to work! You look very organized my friend!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

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