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drilling straight with hand drill (without jigs)

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Forum topic by treesner posted 06-01-2016 05:44 PM 550 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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treesner

166 posts in 424 days


06-01-2016 05:44 PM

Hey guys, wondering if theres any method to learning to drill straight with a hand power drill? I know you can use multiple combination squares or corner guides but i’d like to get good at it without relying on those. Is there any body technique that helps ensure a straight hole. For instance to saw straight with a hand saw making sure you’re square with the piece and your sawing arm freely moves in a straight line.

thanks,
-chris


13 replies so far

View Viking's profile

Viking

878 posts in 2655 days


#1 posted 06-01-2016 06:03 PM

I bought one of these, several years ago, for drilling items that won’t work on drill press. Works very well.

https://www.amazon.com/Wolfcraft-4525404-Attachment-4-Inch-8-Inch/dp/B000JCIMEA?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

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DanielP

489 posts in 1352 days


#2 posted 06-01-2016 06:05 PM

Duct tape around your elbow, wrist, and wrist to drill. clamp work piece to lazy Susan on waist high small diameter table. Have an accomplice slowly turn the Lazy Susan. :) Do not turn on the drill.

-- --- Dan

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1735 posts in 599 days


#3 posted 06-01-2016 06:28 PM

Personally, I put my left hand on the butt of the drill, then get it lined up. Then, keep your left hand (or right if you’re lefty) right above the drill bit with some down pressure. You’ll be able to “sense” it if your hand sways off-axis. Hope that helps…

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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jdmaher

384 posts in 2040 days


#4 posted 06-01-2016 06:45 PM

There are several tricks that use mirrors (or mirror-like surfaces) that help you “see” if the bit is truly plumb. I used several – until I sorta got the “feel” of it, or at least good enough.

Try this one from Timber Frame Tools, which uses an old CD as a mirror-like surface to see “straight”.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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onoitsmatt

225 posts in 636 days


#5 posted 06-01-2016 07:07 PM

+1 on the CD trick above. Your drill may have a bubble level built into it. You could keep your eye on that, but this assumes the work piece is level as well.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

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bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1811 days


#6 posted 06-01-2016 07:15 PM

You also drill a hole in a block of wood on the drill press then clamp that to your work piece and use that to get your hole started.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#7 posted 06-01-2016 07:24 PM



+1 on the CD trick above. Your drill may have a bubble level built into it. You could keep your eye on that, but this assumes the work piece is level as well.

- onoitsmatt

i don’t have a bubble on the drill, is that something i could glue on? seems hard to get it initially level before glueing

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#8 posted 06-01-2016 07:24 PM



There are several tricks that use mirrors (or mirror-like surfaces) that help you “see” if the bit is truly plumb. I used several – until I sorta got the “feel” of it, or at least good enough.

Try this one from Timber Frame Tools, which uses an old CD as a mirror-like surface to see “straight”.

- jdmaher

oh yeah thats interesting, kind of like the saw reflection trick.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14538 posts in 2143 days


#9 posted 06-01-2016 08:06 PM

Just place a square to sit where you can see it and the bit, maybe use two.

As for me…....

takes a bit of practice…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2408 posts in 2382 days


#10 posted 06-01-2016 08:09 PM

I learned how to do this because I spent 36+ years as a sheet metal worker and we run in screws with a drill motor and no pilot hole. Get some sheet metal screws and try driving them into some sheet metal. If you are not perfectly plumb as you start the drill the screw will go flying. Practice will get you there.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2704 days


#11 posted 06-01-2016 10:05 PM

I find that drilling in a horizontal plane vs a vertical plane makes it easier to keep the drill perpendicular to the work. I brace my arms to my body while holding the drill with both hands. Sawing a straight line takes practice. I find here that a Japanese “pull” saw keeps my cut line straighter than with a “push” style saw. The less set on a Japanese style saw helps keep the blade from drifting to either side. Western style saws have much more set allowing it to drift from side-to-side more easily.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 941 days


#12 posted 06-02-2016 12:16 PM

My take is abandon the idea. This would be one skill not worth the effort because you are drilling in all different directions, horizonal, vertical, etc. and would be impossible to perfect.

I use guide blocks like Bondo described all the time. They only take a minute to make.

A decent bench top drill press if relatively inexpensive and a necessity for any shop.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#13 posted 06-06-2016 03:41 PM



Personally, I put my left hand on the butt of the drill, then get it lined up. Then, keep your left hand (or right if you re lefty) right above the drill bit with some down pressure. You ll be able to “sense” it if your hand sways off-axis. Hope that helps…

- HokieKen

this does seem to work pretty well, but only if the piece is clamped you can afford to use two hands

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