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This worked good for me as I didn’t have access to an actual drill press. Made clean straight holes using fornster bits with it
I would use something like this to hold the drill straight because you're going to be drilling a while. Additionally, you're lots less likely to break a drill bit if you're going straight in.
Use plenty of water, keep the bit cool. A spray bottle works well.
Use high speed, and light pressure. You're actually grinding the hole more than anything else; it's not like metal where you are actually shearing material. You're taking off very small amounts per revolution of the bit.
Ask your family and friends if anyone has a drill press that you could use to drill your holes. If not, you can get this drill guide rather inexpensively, then keep it for woodworking, or other crafts. https://smile.amazon.com/Milescraft-1318-DrillMate-Drill-Guide/dp/B014A1Z92I/ref=sr\_1\_5?keywords=drill+guide+for+straight+holes&qid=1657251569&sprefix=drill+guide%2Caps%2C137&sr=8-5
A drill press won’t help much in terms of the desk, itself, unless you’ve got a free standing one (not a bench top). That said, working slowly and deliberately will help. If you have a piece of wood with a 90 degree hole already, you can use that as a guide. I also have a jig by Milescraft that allows me to turn my drill into a makeshift press.
I use the recessed door sensors as well. They work great, but damn that is a tricky hole to drill! Luckily I have old-school wood doors, I’m not sure how you’d do steel or fiberglass. I found a portable drill guide indispensable for the task (Milescraft 1318 DrillMate Portable Drill Guide - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014A1Z92I/).
I use this contraption with my handheld electric drill.
Personally I'd probably use a step bit. Maybe not all the way through, but they're usually a bit nicer in regards to tearout and will keep the trajectory going in the right direction. Once I got at least a little bit of depth at 18mm then I might switch over to an 18mm drill bit.
Also, maybe just buy different tuners? There's a few nice ones that would only require 14mm.
I just use a jig like this with my electric drill but I'm sure you could find a woodworking shop in your area and call them to ask if they or some shop they know would be able to accommodate you
I have one of these: Milescraft 1318 DrillMate Portable Drill Guide - Multi-Angle Drill Guide Attachment - Compatible with most 3/8 in. Drill Accessories - Self-Centering Drill Guide Base - Multi-Angle Readouts https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014A1Z92I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_BMJAMEE3PKAX9XG2DVGG?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 it’s not perfect but decent
Maybe something like this. Works well on wood but for your case you might need to clamp it to the post with some clamps.
Milescraft 1318 Drillmate Drill Guide with chuck https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014A1Z92I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_G1XDF67Y17EQJXE3KMNC
Milescraft 1318 Drillmate Drill Guide with chuck https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014A1Z92I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fabc_OSdWFbE4SH5BS
I have the above and it’s actually pretty good. I just drilled 5” holes with a spade but for floating shelves and it was 95% straight.
The pocket holes are weaker with 1) shorter fasteners 2) where you drill the hole, you remove a decent amount of material that would be a weak point.
Originally I was planning to drill them on the drill press before lamination the top. I totally forgot to do that, so I impatiently went at it with a forstner bit. I should have gotten a drill guide because some of the holes are a touch wonky.
The only advantage I can see would be perpendicular holes - and a whole lot of scorching on the walls of the hole. If you want to do it with a router, use a bushing guide and a spiral bit, but I doubt that would go very deep. Or just pick up something like this and put that on the jig. But really if you can drill halfway vertical, locate the start of the hole with the jig, remove the jig, then drill through.
Instead of all that though, just make smaller holes in a thicker top then pick up some holdfasts.
I use one of these with my cordless drill: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014A1Z92I
I used this
Milescraft 1318 Drillmate Drill Guide with chuck https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014A1Z92I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_xPSxyo8ysEYb6
With this bit
Eagle Tool EA56254 Flex Shank Installer Drill Bit, Auger Style,9/16-Inch by 54-Inch, Made in the USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DNEEYFW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_CSwu6ags4ebQI
I drilled hundreds of holes with this setup and a corded hammer drill (overkill but it was what I have) and every hole came out great.
Milescraft makes a drill guide that essentially does just this, it works pretty well from what I've heard.
I would try one of these. https://smile.amazon.com/Milescraft-1318-DrillMate-Drill-Guide/dp/B014A1Z92I/
I use one of these with my hand drill
Vertex Pro base with a custom 72x36x1.75 walnut top with machined edge. Shipping was easy and communication on build was excellent. I decided this was going to be a major furniture piece for me so I went all-out with the install. I let it rest for a few days in the room before starting the process. Inserts were installed with a precision bit and a jig after outlining all the holes. I was off on 1 by about 1-2mm, but figured that was ok.
Three months later: I started getting really into Blacktail Studio on youtube and he mentioned something about allowing for wood movement so I checked all my bolts. Low and behold a couple were hard to remove, and one was clearly tilted as the wood contracted. I pulled everything then channeled out the ends to allow lots of movement. There's currently only 4 bolts holding the top to the base but I don't noticed any difference in stability given the weight of the system.
Six months later: The top developed a crack from the front edge across the grain to the next plank. I was 100% devestated when I came home from work one day and my wife told me about it. I'm still trying to figure out how to get it fixed. I've reached out to a couple companies about an epoxy repair, but haven't heard back from anyone.
Lessons learned: Don't use M6 inserts. They don't allow enough room for movement in solid-wood tops. Go M4 or screws+washers. Instructions and washers were not included when I did the original build. I don't know what type of sawing was used on the planks, or the change in humidity is in my office, but using the PDF below and their 3% example my top could experience up to 0.3" of movement which is quite a bit.
Inserts: Rampa M6 + mushroom head screws
Cable Mgmt: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086VZ72ZP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Laptop Stand: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086RRJ82R/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Monitor Arm: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RD4FJ3Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Amp: Yamaha WXA-50
Speakers: Aperion Audio 5" bookshelf with a 8" sub on the floor
Here's a comment I replied to in a different thread:
> With that, I bought an Acacia island top from Home Depot and used 1/4-20 x 1/2" brass inserts from EZ Lok with their specialty insert tool. I did it this past weekend and used a cheap drill guide to make sure I drilled the holes square to the table. Then I used that same drill guide to insert the insert square to the hole.
> This was my first time ever doing something like this along with using the inserts and I think it was a success. I did use a 10mm Brad Point Drill Bit and I put a light coat of Gorilla Glue Epoxy to make sure it went well.
> I did use my leg frame as a template but used a self centering drill bit as a pilot hole for Brad Point Drill bit.
> It went smoothly for my first time. I only had 1 hole that will require me to slightly expand the hole in the frame but not bad for my first time.
I'm told that the screw will be fine to make the attachment.
With that, I bought an Acacia island top from Home Depot and used 1/4-20 x 1/2" brass inserts from EZ Lok with their specialty insert tool. I did it this past weekend and used a cheap drill guide to make sure I drilled the holes square to the table. Then I used that same drill guide to insert the insert square to the hole.
This was my first time ever doing something like this along with using the inserts and I think it was a success. I did use a 10mm Brad Point Drill Bit and I put a light coat of Gorilla Glue Epoxy to make sure it went well.
I did use my leg frame as a template but used a self centering drill bit as a pilot hole for Brad Point Drill bit.
It went smoothly for my first time. I only had 1 hole that will require me to slightly expand the hole in the frame but not bad for my first time.
On a sidenote, what do people think about drill guides? Are they a good alternative for the occasional user?
Maybe an unpopular (or at least unconventional) choice, but I’d buy this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014A1Z92I
Depending on your particular bit and brace, I’m fairly certain you could use it with it, so no need to “cheat” and use an electric drill.
I would use a drill guide, or drill press. I got the below guide, it works reasonably well for my limited need. I chose it for price.
Thanks for that! If I could install a stainless steel rivet nut with a hand drill I was thinking of this product which straightens out your drill to a perfect angle:
Would this be a viable solution? Do you happen to know what type of drill is needed to do a stainless rivet nut if so?
Even the Rockler one someone else linked is a bit steep at $180.
This is more my price range -
but quality wise? No idea.
But here's a knockoff of the Woodpeckers, for only $46 -
even uses Woodpeckers in part of the name.
But it's also direct from China and only has 1 rating, so, not very trustworthy.
Milescraft 1318 Drillmate Drill Guide with chuck https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014A1Z92I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_SX57WYJ1M7KBX4HG400C
Vix bits are great and all, but they’re a completely different tool.
Better to compare this to a portable drill guide like this or this
Amazon sells a $34 [Milescraft 1318 Drillmate Drill Guide with chuck https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014A1Z92I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_HG61QKQT5V0BPY3TJ2PB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 ](drill guide) that might do it.
My friend has two MilesCraft guides. The Drill-Mate and the Drill-Block.
Milescraft 1318 Drillmate Drill Guide with chuck
Milescraft 1312 DrillBlock- Handheld Drill Guide
The drill block I don’t have any experience with. But I did use the drill guide. It’s not perfect, but I liked it enough to put it on my Amazon wish list. My intention is to supplement my existing drill press, and add consistency to larger pieces that can’t fit in my press.
It seems there will always be a small amount of runout or wobble. It’s never going to match a true drill press. There seems to be some variation in quality control, some have gotten a bad one and returned it for a better version.
But, for $30 you can get a bit (pun?) more consistent with your holes. I’m terrible at drilling, so this guide helps. But others may be able to match it’s performance freehand, with the additional complexity.
My friend says he uses the hand block for tight spaces. 🤷🏻♂️
Something like THIS will help you drill straight holes.
I haven’t tried one but I’ve seen this which could help.
Also - I don't have a drill press, so I'm considering getting one of these drill-holder-guides from Milescraft or Wolfcraft in order to control the drill during this operation.
This is the one I used. I would be very cautious to use it again. Just be sure it is square before you start. I set mine at the labeled 90deg mark on the tool but clearly was not.