Drill guide suggestions

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Forum topic by groland posted 02-09-2009 08:52 PM 1657 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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231 posts in 4380 days

02-09-2009 08:52 PM

I am in the process of building a workbench. The top I am using is 2 5/8 ” thick ash. I want to drill 3/4 ” dog holes in a grid on its surface. Drill presses won’t do because they cannot get out into the center of the top. I bought one of the little “General” brand drill guides, but it is too lightweight and inaccurate for my purpose.

Have any of you built or found for purchase a guide that would be helpful in this context?

Many thanks,


8 replies so far

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 4455 days

#1 posted 02-09-2009 09:07 PM

Just make one out of a 2×4 at your drill press. You could drill 3 or 4 holes in a line, equally spaced apart, making them 3/4 ” in diameter. Then you drill your first hole on your bench, put a 3/4” dowel in it and line your first hole in your jig on it, square it to the front edge of you bench, and drill the next 3 holes. Repeat as necessary. The holes should be sufficiently square to the bench for dogs.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4956 days

#2 posted 02-09-2009 09:13 PM

The above is the way I did mine. I stacked and screwed together 2 2×4’s though and made sure I used an auger bit. A spade of paddle bit flops around too much and a fosrtner bit won’t always get you straight up and down hole.

An aguer bit will get you perfectly straight up and down holes.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Jim's profile


49 posts in 4736 days

#3 posted 02-09-2009 10:54 PM

I used a template-guided router to establish the holes. This helped with spacing and placement and got the holes as deep as the router would plunge. Then I followed up with a forstner bit using the routed hole itself as the guide. Worked fine for me, but an auger bit would probably work even better.


View bendisplays's profile


40 posts in 4368 days

#4 posted 02-09-2009 11:41 PM


The best way that I have found to drill accurate holes in a far end of a part that cant be accomodated by the swing of your drill is to use drill bushings. You can insert the bushings by drilling a hole in your tool that is the diameter of the outer diameter of the bushing. The bushing can then be pressed into your tool. Drill bushings are used for very accurate drilling and are hardened steel so you it will be a very accurate guide. You can find drill bushings at MSC, Grainger, or McMasters and Carr.



View groland's profile


231 posts in 4380 days

#5 posted 02-10-2009 02:14 PM

These are great suggestions. Thanks to all of you for this help!


View cpt_hammer's profile


133 posts in 4780 days

#6 posted 02-10-2009 02:26 PM

I am always amazed and the different ideas each of you come up with for projects/problems and solutions. One thing I am learning is that the tool can and will make a difference. I bought a cheap Skill router and table and after buying a nice Porter-Cable Router, I never know why I bought cheap tools again. Now I have to build a good table for it.

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 4595 days

#7 posted 02-11-2009 12:05 AM

Drill bushings are a good idea. It will cost $5-10 to get one, but it would be around for the duration. Mcmaster sells longer lengths, but $20 minimum from the looks.

I used a 1.5in thick scrap, drilled it on the DP, and then clamped it where I needed to guide the bit. This worked fine. I would recommend getting a good brad point bit. I drilled mine with an Irwin auger bit and that was a bear to keep unclogged. It was also tough on my drill.

If I were doing it on a nicer bench I would probably do an Onsrud 3/4in upcut spiral router bit. That bit will get the top 1.5in perfect and you could then finish up the hole with a brad point bit using the routed hole as the guide.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

976 posts in 4361 days

#8 posted 02-11-2009 12:10 AM

For a clean and “perfect” hole, I would suggest to avoid “drilling”. A plunge router with the proper bit, would make a nicer job.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

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