In Tricks of the Trade

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Accurately drilling an angled hole with a hand drill is a challenge – particularly if you’re using a brad point or Forstner bit. This angled drilling guide solves the problem handily. The guide keeps the drill bit from wandering as it enters the stock. It can be cut at any angle, and its alignment marks give me dead-on accuracy.

To make the drilling guide, start with a piece of hardwood about 2″ x 2″ and at least 12″ long. Make sure it’s perfectly square in cross-section. Mark center lines around all four faces.  Drill all the way through the block using a drill press, then rip the desired angle on a table saw, saving the offcut. Cut clamping blocks from the angled offcut, and glue them onto the drilling guide.

To use the drilling guide, I mark crosshairs on my workpiece that intersect where I want the hole centered. Then, I line up the marks on the guide with the marks on my workpiece, clamp the guide in place, and drill away. -Richard Helgeson


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