Screw Advance Hole Drilling Jig

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Project by Hayeshandcrafted posted 11-12-2013 03:47 AM 5996 views 22 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this simple jig when I was making some cribbage boards and wanted the holes to be very accurate. The fence is fixed to the base. The piece of scrap on the right side has a hole drilled in it that I chiseled out to receive a bolt. I then used a threaded rod as my advance mechanism. The rod itself has 16 turns per inch and if my memory serves correctly the holes are spaced 3/8 inch apart (6 turns) and the groupings are 3/4 inch apart (12 turns) and the holes were 3/16 inch. The horizontal movement is adjusted by moving the entire jig from front to back. It still takes a long time to layout the design but at least you know your final product will be accurate.

12 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25461 posts in 4018 days

#1 posted 11-12-2013 04:12 AM

That is a nice accurate way to do that. What do you use for pegs??
One suggestion might be to get a piece of steel and drill it like that once and then you could clamp it over a new piece and just drill all the holes through the steel plate that is real accurate. I do that a lot for repetitive parts…..........Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4489 days

#2 posted 11-12-2013 05:28 AM

That’s some very good thinking.great job.


View MrBagel's profile


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#3 posted 11-12-2013 03:27 PM

Impressive ingenuity here! Nice work!

-- Just remember... Keep your stick on the ice! - Red Green

View George_SA's profile


436 posts in 3125 days

#4 posted 11-12-2013 06:43 PM

Neat idea

-- Sometimes life gets in the way of one's woodworking :)

View Notsquare's profile


50 posts in 2761 days

#5 posted 11-12-2013 08:08 PM

Great idea!

-- "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"

View elduque's profile


31 posts in 2816 days

#6 posted 11-12-2013 11:03 PM

WOW! That is good. You used a .0625 per inch ( machinist measurement) thread pitch draw bar to create a 1/16” (woodworker measurement) per turn. You have turned a drill press into a milling machine! Now, how did you calculate what one turn is? Do you use a level to vertically zero the handle? Or use a template as a drill guide?
Nice work!

View Hayeshandcrafted's profile


10 posts in 2981 days

#7 posted 11-13-2013 12:01 AM

Elduque: I have a really cheap tap and die set that I got from harbor freight and within that their is a gauge in it (it kind of looks like a Swiss Army knife) that you can use to line up the threads on the rod and on the side it tells you the turns per inch for that particular thread pattern. Plus I am sure if you go to a home center you could probably buy a rod with whatever pattern you need. As for leveling the handle, I guess I am not worried about it being that accurate so I just eye balled it. I made this particular jig instead of a template because I wanted a little more flexibility. I defiantly sacrificed my time for flexibility.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3100 days

#8 posted 11-13-2013 12:38 AM

Great job. Love the Jig. Makes a cribbage board a piece of cake!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Brett StClair's profile

Brett StClair

68 posts in 4274 days

#9 posted 11-13-2013 06:35 PM

Thats a great idea for a jig.
I’ve recently made some peg scoreboards for my Crokinole boards (similar in nature to a cribbage board. It also has a bunch of regularly space holes. I might adopt this idea for that purpose. This would work very accurately and fairly quick. Nice work.

If I may also contribute to the thread discussion as well…
I did a similar thing with my own homemade router lift. In that case I used a 3/8-16 piece of all thread in my lifting mechanism. I purposefully chose 3/8-16 for the reason that elduque mentioned. Every full turn of the thread meant 1/16” of lift on the router. If you do the math then every quarter turn of the thread (90deg) is 1/64” of lift, every 1/8 of a turn (45 deg) is 1/128”, and so on and so forth. In my case I welded a large diameter fender washer to the end of the all-thread. It was then pretty easy to mark graduations every 22.5 deg on the circumference of this washer to achieve 1/256” or approx .004” of lift. This is way more accurate than most of us woodworkers need but occasionally we want to take just a “hair” off. This works great.

-- "Make things as simple as possible... but not any simpler." - Albert Einstein

View Brett StClair's profile

Brett StClair

68 posts in 4274 days

#10 posted 11-13-2013 06:49 PM

OH! I was going to make a suggestion also.
Because your row spacing is 3/8”, cut some 3/8” width spacers to put between your cribbage boards and the fence. It looks like you ended up with 9 columns of holes so this would require 8 spacers. This way you can set your thread stop for the first row of holes. Then you drill your 1st hole (nearest the fence), remove a spacer, drill the second hole, remove a spacer, drill the 3rd hole, etc, etc, etc. Once all of the 9 holes are drilled on the 1st row. Then adjust your thread stop 6 turns for the second row, drill the 1st hole in the second row, add a spacer, drill the 2nd hole, add a spacer, and so will most definetely make it faster than having to move the whole jig between rows and you will only have to adjust your threaded stop between rows rather than for every hole.

-- "Make things as simple as possible... but not any simpler." - Albert Einstein

View Greg D's profile

Greg D

238 posts in 2863 days

#11 posted 12-08-2013 02:09 AM

Great idea!

-- Greg D, Cen. CA, "Keep it on the Level, Do it Right the First Time!"

View Hitia17340's profile


11 posts in 2493 days

#12 posted 01-27-2014 11:10 PM

Brett, I like your idea of the spacers but looking at the position of the threaded rod there isn’t sufficient depth from the fence to allow for many spacers. If one were making loads of these cribbage boards, one solution would be to mount the screwed rod further from the fence to make allowance for the spacers.

One other observation: I think it would be quicker to make three turns of the screw, and drill a complete row of holes from end to end, than to keep moving the spacers in and out after every hole. What do you think?

Great idea though. Cribbage came up in conversation recently and it had crossed my mind to make a scoring board. I’m so glad I found this page first!

-- Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? Douglas Adams' take on religion.

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