Straight and Easy

DRILLING A PERFECT 90-DEGREE HOLE on the drill press is a piece of cake, but using a hand drill can be more daunting. Here’s a jig that’s easy to make from available scrap that can help keep your hand drill perpendicular to the work surface. Cut a rabbet into the corner of a rectangular block of hardwood sized to easily fit your hand while working. Line up your mark in the corner of the rabbet, using the sides to support the shaft of the drill bit as a guide. Once your hole is started, just pull the block away and finish drilling the hole to the desired depth.

Here’s an additional tip: If you frequently have to drill a lot of holes of the same depth, you may want to make several blocks of differing thicknesses. Just match the thickness of the block to your drill bit so that it stops the drill chuck at the precise depth you need. The block will not only help make perfect 90-degree holes, but will also act as a drill stop to make each hole the exact depth. 
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