Question about drilling my custom tool handle

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Forum topic by bobasaurus posted 03-14-2013 06:22 AM 1836 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3546 posts in 3421 days

03-14-2013 06:22 AM

I’ve been making my own carbide turning tool and just finished the handle. I need ideas on how to drill a 5/8” hole in the end fairly straight and true to hold the tool rod. I couldn’t do it on the lathe due to problems removing my live center from the tailstock, and lack of a steady rest. I’m thinking about building a holding jig to use on the drill press to get a pilot hole started, then using that hole as a guide for free-hand drilling. Here are some pictures of it:

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

14 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3546 posts in 3421 days

#1 posted 03-14-2013 06:34 AM

Just thought of something… I might be able to chuck the brass ferrule into the lathe headstock (supporting the back of the tool with the tailstock live center), and drill through the headstock. I would need to find a long bit (and maybe some kind of adapter collet for the right diameter), but I think it would be possible… I’ve never done any lathe drilling before. Any thoughts?

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3769 days

#2 posted 03-14-2013 03:35 PM

Maybe you could make a jam chuck to do it. Put a piece of wood in a chuck or faceplate, drill or cut a hole the same size as the ferrule, then drill through the headstock as you had planned.

You could use a hand drill. I would make center line marks on the side and top for reference. Start with a small bit and work your way up to 5/8.Line up the bit with the pencil marks.

-- My reality check bounced...

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2783 posts in 3769 days

#3 posted 03-14-2013 07:03 PM

1 more thought. You will need a lathe with reverse or use a left handed bit to drill through the headstock.

-- My reality check bounced...

View bobasaurus's profile


3546 posts in 3421 days

#4 posted 03-14-2013 07:12 PM

Dang, you’re right. I might be able to stop the lathe and drive with a hand drill.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3278 days

#5 posted 03-14-2013 07:16 PM

Hindsight is 20/20, Drilling the hole first would have been my suggestion, before turning on the lathe..

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 3222 days

#6 posted 03-14-2013 07:20 PM

Another option is to take a thick piece of scrap. Use a forstner bit to drill a hole the same diameter as your ferrule, but not all the way through, only about 1/2” deep or so. Then use a brad bit the same size as your desired hole, drill the rest of the way through the scrap (all on the drill press). This will then become a guide block for drilling a centered, perpendicular hole. Stick the handle in your vise, put the guide block on, drill with a hand drill.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Don W's profile

Don W

19045 posts in 2805 days

#7 posted 03-14-2013 07:38 PM

Another option, drill it and hope for the best. If you get it straight beat your chest and proclaim victory. If it winds up you not that good, or its just a bad day, drill it a little larger, center it and fill it with epoxy.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2471 days

#8 posted 03-14-2013 07:52 PM

I would use the drill press to drill the square blank first, then turn it .

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View johnintecumseh's profile


127 posts in 3654 days

#9 posted 03-14-2013 08:25 PM

I have done a couple using 2 rectangles with a dado in the middle then glued with a paper insert , turned, split to epoxy the shaft and reglued. sounds like a lot of work . but it is not. keep smiling John

-- retired and smiling

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2348 days

#10 posted 03-14-2013 08:32 PM

I have used the method Ripthorn has offered with success.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2814 days

#11 posted 03-14-2013 08:43 PM

Maybe something like this for the drill press bobasaurus?


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3822 days

#12 posted 03-14-2013 08:50 PM

Either drill it in the drill press working up from small drills to the required size or make a pilot hole and hold the drill in the headstock and hand feed the handle onto it if possible using the tailstock as a way of driving it home but this is not neccessary.RichaRD raffan does it this way all the time with great success incidently I make alot of my own tools too inc tc tipped.Have fun young knight. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Dominik Matus's profile

Dominik Matus

104 posts in 2147 days

#13 posted 03-14-2013 09:04 PM

I think better way is make a hole to the wooden prism and turn it on the lathe.

-- Cabinetmaker, restorer

View bobasaurus's profile


3546 posts in 3421 days

#14 posted 03-14-2013 10:42 PM

Ripthorn, that’s a great idea for the drill guide. I might give that a try if my lathe drilling setup fails.

waho6o9, I also like your modified hand screw… maybe if I got two of those clamped vertically to keep it steady on the drill press table.

Yes, I should have found a way to do this while originally turning the handle, or while gluing up the blank, but I’m rather dumb sometimes. If I screw this up, I can make another I suppose. Thanks for all the great ideas.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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