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Problem drilling hole in dowel

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Forum topic by thelt posted 1207 days ago 7662 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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thelt

618 posts in 2005 days


1207 days ago

Problem: While building a project that requires drilling a 3/8” hole through the center of a 5” 1 1/8 Oak dowel rod, the hole started in the center of the dowel, but when it came out the bottom it was not in the center of the dowel.

I have checked and rechecked to make sure the drill bit was at a perfect 90° angle to the table. I used two methods to hold the dowel. The first was with a large Handscrew clamp. The second method was with a Pen Blank Drilling Center Vise. Both resulted in the same thing, center going in and off center coming out.

Any suggestions to solve this dilemma?

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."


37 replies so far

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thelt

618 posts in 2005 days


#1 posted 1207 days ago

The bit is 3/8” brad point. I have checked the dowel and it doesn’t seem to be eccentric. I have done the drilling in halves and the two holes meet offcenter in the middle. I am at a complete loss in this and don’t know where to go from here. I have thought of putting a 3/8” dowel in one end and drilling with my lathe but I would have to buy another chuck. I don’t have any jaws from my lathe.

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."

View DonH's profile

DonH

483 posts in 1443 days


#2 posted 1207 days ago

Hi thelt

When I drill a dowel a start by checking the trueness of the drill press table to the chuck, you stated you do this but I am not sure of what methodology you used. I chuck up a straight rod and measure the angle on all four sides to the table – adjust the table as required then make sure the clamping arrangement for the dowel is secure and true as well. The rod can be checked for true by rolling it on a known flat surface, MDF will do. I use the pen blank drilling vise to hold my dowels as you have and it works fine for me. Finally, you may want to check the trueness of your drill bit and ensure it is equally sharp on all flutes. Unequal sharpness can cause drift.

Hope this helps.

Don

-- DonH Orleans Ontario

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Howie

2656 posts in 1548 days


#3 posted 1207 days ago

cut a 45 degree groove in a 2×4. clamp the dowel and drill away.

-- Life is good.

View jackass's profile

jackass

350 posts in 2338 days


#4 posted 1207 days ago

Slow,slow, slow, I had a similar problem recently, both ends of the dowel should be clamped and the brad point drill chucked in as far as it will go but leaving enough protruding to go through your dowel. You are into a situation where either the dowell is moving slightly or the drill is bending slightly. Not detectable by eye, or you are hitting a hard piece of grain in the wood throwing the dowel or drill off. Hope this helps, worked for me. Howie above has the right idea also.
Jack

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

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thelt

618 posts in 2005 days


#5 posted 1207 days ago

DonH, I used a piece of 3/8” All Thread rod. I rolled it across the table and it seemed true. I then used a 90° triangle square and checked the relationship to the drill press table. Like I said, I’m lost at this point.

Howie, can you explain a little more on that.

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."

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Jack_T

621 posts in 1657 days


#6 posted 1207 days ago

To be clear, are you trying to drill a hole through the center of the dowel along the entire length of the dowel (basically hollowing out the center of the dowel, like in the picture of the clamp in your link) or are you trying to drill a hole that goes across the dowel passing through the center?

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View BobG's profile

BobG

172 posts in 1587 days


#7 posted 1207 days ago

The best way to check true square with the drill press quill is to use a rod that is bent at a 90 degree angle.
Put a dial indicator on it, spin the drill chuck with your hand, to check the table to see if it is square with the quill in all directions!
Machinists use this method to setup a Bridgeport milling machine.

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View mole's profile

mole

32 posts in 1651 days


#8 posted 1207 days ago

Other than using a drill press, there are two other evil idea in my mind…

One is to use a drilling jig that has 3/8 guide bushing, along with V shape groove to hold the dowel.
I guess..something that look like Bridge city tool’s DJ-1 drilling jig.

Another one is, to drill it on lathe, using some kind of 4 jaw chuck on head stock to hold and spin the dowel,
while having a drill chuck with the drill bit on tail stock… I ‘m gonna try this in the future when my lathe
accessories arrive :}

I don’t have a drill press, so I used only drill/dowel jig for drilling. I had a similar case when making my hippo box project. I have to drill 5-6” long, 3/8” diameter, into a 3/4” thick wood. But since it is a flat piece of wood,
I can use my old Stanley 59 drill jig. I even start drilling using my bit brace.. hu hu, then follow by the drill jig. Luckily, the hole came out a little off target, but is still acceptable..
I don’t think that the old drill jig has been built as precise as the modern DJ-1 anyway :))

Anyway, as Anji12305 said. I guess that it should be better to drill half way, from both side. Since it is a big long dowel shape, if it is really straight, then the result should be ok. And, if not necessary, the middle part of the long hole inside that 5” dowel can be bigger than exact 3/8” :D as long as the mouth of the hole on both side is exactly 3/8”... no one know how not precise the inside hole is!

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saddletramp

994 posts in 1264 days


#9 posted 1207 days ago

If everything is square and you have tried slowing way down (Per Jackasses suggesstion) then you might try using a forstner bit. You would have to drill from both ends.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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BobG

172 posts in 1587 days


#10 posted 1207 days ago

Another solution would be to drill in from both ends making sure the entry holes are centered with an over size drill and then press bushings in both ends. Just a brain fart!

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

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Howie

2656 posts in 1548 days


#11 posted 1207 days ago

Lay the 2×4 flat and cut a 45 degree groove down the center. Make it at least half the dowel deep. This will support the dowel on both sides. Clamps keep it from rolling. I’d make it long enough to go across the DP table and clamp it to the table.

-- Life is good.

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jackass

350 posts in 2338 days


#12 posted 1207 days ago

Sorry, I misunderstood, you are going through lengthwise, I have never done this, my post was thinking you were going through the side of the dowel.
Jack

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

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mpounders

725 posts in 1521 days


#13 posted 1207 days ago

I do something slightly similar with pieces for my canes. I sometimes have better success drilling as far as i can with a drill press, from one end, and then using a longer drill bit in a cordless drill to completre the hole. It uses the previously drilled hole as a guide and seems close enough for my purposes. But, if you really want it perfect, you might drill the hole completely through a square block using a long drill bit, and then turn the square piece into a dowel on your lathe….kinda like the pen makers do it?

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

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hairy

2005 posts in 2157 days


#14 posted 1207 days ago

Consider this: Drill your hole first. At this point it doesn’t matter how big your workpiece is, drill the hole first.

Then cut the piece into a spindle blank. Put it between centers and turn the outside down to the dimension you want. The hole will be on center.

If it was me, I’d put a 7” long piece between centers, then cut it down to 5.

-- the last of Barret's Privateers...

View mole's profile

mole

32 posts in 1651 days


#15 posted 1207 days ago

Hairy, with lathe, if I use a drill chuck on tail stock, with scroll chuck on head stock, and may be with spindle steady. Should I be able to drill a loooooooooooong straight center hole ? em, unfortunately, there is no 3/8” Colt maxicut forstner bit, otherwise I would like to try to use it along with a long extension rod on lathe… :D~

showing 1 through 15 of 37 replies

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