Tips & Tricks: Horizontal Drill for Lathe Work

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This article is from Issue 107 of Woodcraft Magazine.


I recently completed a lathe project that required me to drill a series of equally-spaced holes around a small vase. To accomplish this, I made a banjo-mounted, horizontal drilling jig powered by a 1/2" handheld drill. I used 8/4 hard maple about 3 × 3" (size to suit) for the jig body and drilled a hole through it. I pressed 1/2" ID bronze bushings into each end of the hole, slid a 1/2" bolt, 6" long through the bushings, and threaded a drill chuck on the end of the bolt. To mount the block on my banjo, I drilled a second hole in the block’s underside the same size as the post hole for the tool rest. Then I slid a matching steel rod into the hole, locking it with a setscrew. After sliding a stop collar onto this rod, I adjusted the height of the chuck to align its central axis to that of the lathe and tightened the stop collar. To control the hole depth, I mounted another stop collar on the handheld drill end of the bolt. A 7/8"-dia. dowel press-fit into a hole drilled in one face of the block serves as a removable handle and adds stability.

—Jeff Peters, Redgranite, Wisconsin

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