Wood Ball Drilling Jig

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Project by Wickate posted 04-03-2014 12:43 AM 2194 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello all. I just wanted to share a jig that I made from referencing a fellow lumberjock’s page here: johnhutchinson

It worked wonderfully and I just wanted to share my version so more people can see this quick and easy way of accomplishing a task. I searched Google a lot before settling on this version and I have to say, it was quick and easy to build and worked perfectly. I used two sheets of 1/2 plywood screwed together to make the “clamp” portion and a sheet of MDF that was longer than the actual jig to allow me to clamp it to my table. I used my table saw to cut the “slot” into the wood – starting very thin at first and widening it a little bit after testing the “clamp” each time to ensure I didn’t go too wide. I used the point made by my 2” forstner bit in the MDF to “aim” the jig by putting a 1/8” inch bit into the chuck and then making sure it centered up with the mark made from the point on the forstner bit (make sure just the very tip makes it into the MDF – you just want a small reference mark here, I drilled out the “clamp” boards separately from the base board to make sure I didn’t go too deep, then joined the boards). Clamped it to the table once that was done and it worked perfectly to drill 5/8” holes at my pre-set depth of 3/8” into 26 two-inch wooden balls to go onto the end of our curtain rods (made from electrical conduit and painted).

Just want to say thank you to John for the post – you made things simple and safe for me.

Here is a SketchUp file should anybody be interested. It’s based on a 2” ball.
Google Drive Link


4 comments so far

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2475 days

#1 posted 04-03-2014 01:40 AM

Excellent, Chad !!! I’m glad to hear that someone else found the “clothespin” jig to be helpful. I like it so much that I’m making up projects just to use it. :)

I submitted the “tip” to Woodcraft Magazine, and it’s in the current issue. I’m getting a lot of mileage out of that one.

By the way, I like the clean setup at your drill press. I’ll have to follow your lead.

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

View robscastle's profile


7314 posts in 3050 days

#2 posted 04-03-2014 10:42 AM

So where did the ball go?..... straight down the DC pipe?

Got to be the best looking ball, with a hole drilled in it I have seen in the DC in quite a while !

Sorry, so were did the ball go? there are two vacant pictures but no ball!

Good job on the Jig very detailed description

A ball sporting a 2” hole in the side last seen rattling along a DC pipe, may need urgent medial attention.

As a side:

A couple of nails were just standing around then without warning there was a bang and one was gone !!!

-- Regards Rob

View robscastle's profile


7314 posts in 3050 days

#3 posted 04-03-2014 10:56 AM

Make that a 5/8 hole and latest int reports have the ball being last seen flirting with a rod by the window.

It will be curtains for them both if they get caught!

-- Regards Rob

View Wickate's profile


71 posts in 3639 days

#4 posted 04-03-2014 11:21 AM

robscastle, I see you are more observant than I was (and quite humorous, you gave me a laugh, thanks) upon beginning the project. As a novice and beginner, I’m thankful that I was using my shop vac instead of my DC. I’m not too prideful to admit that I did leave the vac running between drilling the balls and when I went to place the next, I learned that the diameter of the hose end was just exactly large enough to accommodate the ball. Thankfully, the flex hose was not so it was an easy task to retrieve the ball. I switched the vac off and on with the press thereafter to avoid another problem. That said, I’m much more careful about what’s around the intake of my DC, and this experience will only serve to reinforce that.


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