4 Cheap Tricks for Drilling Straight Holes

Woodworking Workshop

1. Lay down an old Clay Aiken CD, reflective-side up. Position the drill bit in the center hole and line it up with its reflection in the CD for a 90° angle.

Drillbit centered in reflection of CD using middle hole.
Photography by Hep Svadja

2. Make a jig by nailing together a couple of 1×2 or 1×4 scrap pieces to form a right angle. Place it on its side, with the bit pressed flush and tight against the inside corner. Drill down.

3. Spring for a drill guide, which cost as little as $15 and can turn your drill into a drill press. They can also drill at fixed angles.

Cross measured drill hole started with center punch

4. To keep your drill bit from roaming around while drilling, always cross measure and use a center punch to make a dimple in the wood.

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Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni is an architectural historian who spends her time saving old buildings. She’s teaches DIY workshops, landmarks buildings, restores homes, runs repair clinics, works in salvage, and aspires to be a Viking blacksmith.

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