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DIY Drill Press

Updated: Mar 15, 2020

While making the folding foot stool I found myself needing to drill fairly accurate straight holes into my material that would accept wooden dowels. Drilling straight holes with a hand drill can be quite difficult, especially if precision is required. The obvious answer is to use a drill press. But what if you don't have a drill press in your tiny workshop? There's got to be another option!

I learned a tip from Jimmy Diresta on YouTube suggesting to mount a flat piece of something to the top of a drill and then use that as a reference surface to drill straight holes. I decided to tackle this concept and bring it to life. I used a scrap piece of 2x2 material that I carved to fit around the top of my drill. Using a long piece of threaded rod in the chuck, I used this as a guide to transfer a straight line on the 2x2 that would be perfectly parallel with the drill bit. After transferring the line to the 2x2, I used my miter saw to cut it off. I then just used hot glue to attach the block to the top of the drill. This is all that's needed for the drill.

Gluing the block to the top of the drill

Tracing a parallel line from the drill chuck to the block

Cutting the block on the traced line

For a simple stand I used some scrap pieces of 3/4" plywood to make an "L" shaped stand that would provide the 90 degrees reference surface to my work piece. By running the drill's new reference block along the stand, I could now drill perfectly straight holes without relying on my eyes.

It works quite well, but it would stand some improvements. I think a better stand with two rails that capture the block on the drill instead of one would help guide the drill better. Additionally, some way to quickly attach/detach the reference block from the drill would be nice so that it doesn't have to stay on the drill at all times (although it's not that annoying).

Don't forget to watch the video below which shows the whole process of building this "drill press" as well as demonstrating its capabilities!


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