In my experience with hole drilling, it is advisable to keep the drill holes perpendicular to the surfaces except in some few instances where you can alter the angles intentionally to achieve a certain design. For the holes to remain perpendicular to the surface, using a drill press will almost guarantee perfect results.
However, there are times when you will have to use a hand drill driver, therefore, making the process slightly complex. I have been working with drills for far too long and I am confident that I have the knowledge and skills needed to walk you through the process of how to drill straight holes without a drill press.
Making a Jig-a Portable Drill Bit Guide
Depending on your finances and how much you are willing to spend, you can always purchase a specific jig-a portable drill guide. Personally, I like the one from Big Gator Tools as I find it efficient and durable. However, you can always find one from your nearest store. If you have no idea what to opt for, you can always consider the various reviews available online or ask your technician.
On the other hand, you can always create your own guide using wood scraps/ metal. Making this guide is easy and allows you to cut on costs if you are on a budget.
The requirements for this project include:
Glue up two pieces of wood
Take two pieces of wood (medium size) and glue them together to assume a basic L-shape. Simply take the equal parts of woods and clamp them together. Use a square to align them at a 90-degree angle then use glue to stick them together. Let the pieces of wood sit for some time before boring a small hole in one side to which you can add some string for easy storage.
In my case, I always keep my attached drill bit guide in my tool bag because you can never tell when it will come in handy. The tool is not always far from other accompanying tools such as the drill, several bits, drywall anchors and a sizeable level.
Use the Drill Bit Guide to Drill
While it is true that the drill bit guide is a basic square, you do not have to worry about damaging your drill bits while drilling. Simply place the drill bit guide near the spot where you want to drill then proceed. Hold the drill firmly in your stronger hand and then use the other hand to support the drill bit guide.
After using your drill bit guide for some time, you will notice that its edges will start to wear out. When this happens, do not despair as you can always glue up other wood pieces from your workshop at no additional costs. Alternatively, you can fix your jig drill bit guide with a still or aluminum tube that has a diameter equal to the one of your drill bit. Remember, to drill straight holes without a drill press using this method, the drill bit guide has to be in top condition.
While it is true that the homemade drill bit guide method of making straight holes without a drill press is very effective, it is not the only one. Over the years, I have discovered different tricks and hacks of going about various workshop task. Here, I bring to you the Commercial Option.
Just as its name suggests, the Milescraft DrillBlock is a block that allows you to drill straight holes without necessarily having to use a drill press. All through the drill block reviews that I have seen, I think it is safe to say that these tools do not cost more than $10 and you can find them online.
How to Use the Drill Block
The drill block has holes of different shapes and sizes all over it. The holes range from the smallest to the biggest, therefore, allow you to use drill bits of different sizes. With a drill block, all you have to do is put it on the spot that you want to drill, hold it in place (using your hand or clamp) then use your preferred drill bit to drill your square hole.
The drill block and the homemade drill bit guide all work in an almost similar fashion. The main difference is that a drill block allows you to uses different sizes of drill bits with ease and you can also drill holes at different angles. However, the drill block comes at a fee while you can create a drill bit guide at home at no cost.
I cannot straight away advise you to use a drill block or a drill bit guide when making straight holes. However, I can tell you to choose one that suits your financial situation. If you have some money to spend, you can always use the commercial option. On the other hand, if you are a budget, you can always use the homemade drill bit guide to achieve the same effect.
In most occasions that you have to make a straight hole, a drill press will come to your aid. However, that is not always the case as you might sometime find yourself in a situation where you do not have a drill press but you have to make straight holes. In this article, I have highlighted one DIY method and a commercial method of drilling straight holes without a drill press.
It is my hope that the information provided here will help you solve some of the many problems in our workshops. If so, kindly share your feedback below and I will be sure to go through them for quality purposes.