I must have bored over 10,000 perpendicular holes so drilling square is no longer a problem for me but as the ale was tasting good last night I didn’t want to trust my sight this morning when drilling a dozen ¾” holes in a + 5” thick top. We get floods of emails asking about how best to drill holes in a workbench top and as there’s nothing worse than a wangy hole in your bench top I thought now would be a good time to share my tip for this little gismo.
A quick search on the internet brings up countless complex solutions to this including some weird router jigs that look like they take longer to build than the bench itself. My solution that I’ve used for many years and that guarantees an almost perfectly perpendicular hole is a simple chock of wood fairly deep in section with a ‘V’ cut out in it.
It has a flat face that registers to the surface being drilled and is used to guide the drill bit square in both directions. You sit the point of your drill bit in the location of the centre of your hole and butt the chock up to the bit so that it’s cradled on both faces of the ‘V’ and you’re ready to drill.
This little gismo works great with power drills as you can hold the chock with one hand and drill with the other. Once the drill bottoms out on the chock you remove the wood and continue drilling using the start of the hole that you’ve made to keep the rest of the hole square. Simples…
If you’re using a bit and brace as you have to use both hands you might want to clamp the guide down or alternatively do what I do and use the ‘V’ to sight down without actually rubbing against it.