Ball Drilling Jig

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Project by johnhutchinson posted 12-29-2013 01:06 PM 2749 views 19 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I was making my radial wave lamp, I needed to come up with a way to drill accurate holes through wooden balls. So I came up with this “clothespin” solution. I mounted a short board with a slot to a longer board and then drilled a hole with my variable-diameter hole saw. The hole saw’s 3/16” pilot bit gave me the center point in the base board. I then used a regular 3/16” twist bit to position the jig on my drill press table. After clamping the jig to the table, and then pinching the ball in the clothespin, I can use any size bit for a perfectly centered hole.

PS—The table on my little 10” drill press may look a little unusual. It’s an oval Corian sink cutout that I mounted to the steel table with double-face foam tape.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

33 comments so far

View Vince's profile


1039 posts in 2465 days

#1 posted 12-29-2013 01:34 PM

Nice jig, I’ll have to make one of those. Thanks for sharing that.

-- Vince

View SPalm's profile


5174 posts in 2918 days

#2 posted 12-29-2013 01:35 PM

Clever one John.

I have used Corian cutouts too for various things. They make a nice stable flat surface. Glue does not stick to it either.

Good idea, thanks,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View stefang's profile


14699 posts in 2370 days

#3 posted 12-29-2013 01:39 PM

Good jig John.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

17904 posts in 1374 days

#4 posted 12-29-2013 01:49 PM

Great idea.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View johnhutchinson's profile


912 posts in 665 days

#5 posted 12-29-2013 02:04 PM

I used a variable-diameter hole saw for the hole in the “clothespin” so I could slightly upsize it from the advertised diameter of the balls. The true sizes are all over the place, and a lot of them are egg-shaped rather than true spheres.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View doubleDD's profile


3834 posts in 1079 days

#6 posted 12-29-2013 02:13 PM

A well thought out simple jig. Should be handy for many projects. Good idea.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5489 posts in 1328 days

#7 posted 12-29-2013 02:31 PM

Very nice solution and jig—thanks for sharing another keeper.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View JoeinGa's profile (online now)


5430 posts in 1043 days

#8 posted 12-29-2013 03:19 PM

How do you like that adjustable hole bit? What brand is it?

Nice jig by the way.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View johnhutchinson's profile


912 posts in 665 days

#9 posted 12-29-2013 04:15 PM

The Vermont American adjustable hole saw is probably the safest of its kind out there. I’ve been using mine for a dozen years and it’s easy to sharpen. Here’s a link and a picture.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View luv2learn's profile


2168 posts in 1339 days

#10 posted 12-29-2013 04:23 PM

Very clever idea John, its in my favorites.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Roman Hrytsak's profile

Roman Hrytsak

625 posts in 1722 days

#11 posted 12-29-2013 04:34 PM

I like the jig. I see safety and precision! Keep your posts coming. RH

-- Roman:... FIGHT HUNGER ----- DON'T EAT!

View johnhutchinson's profile


912 posts in 665 days

#12 posted 12-29-2013 04:53 PM

I just looked at your wooden shoes, Roman. They’re amazing! I like the idea of taking one thing and doing it over and over until you’ve become the master.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Diggerjacks's profile


1923 posts in 2175 days

#13 posted 12-29-2013 07:04 PM

Hello John

An indispensable jig for who want to drill a ball

I will make one like this in the next days

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2113 days

#14 posted 12-29-2013 07:21 PM

Very Cool!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View hoss12992's profile


3265 posts in 929 days

#15 posted 12-29-2013 11:02 PM

Great job, I can def use one of these

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

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