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How to drill perpendicular to end of stick ?

22550 Views 44 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  CAS14
New to this forum, and to learning how to make walking/hiking sticks.

A question I have is :

How do you drill straight, perpendicular "end-on" holes into the end of a curvy stick ( not a perfect dowel).

I'm trying to drill into the ends of a rather tall hiking staff , which is taller than the florr mounted Drill press I have.

I've been looking at plans on how to build a horozontal drill/boring jig, and playing around with the idea of getting 2 x-y cross-slide vise to hold the top and bottom ends of the stick , to be able to adjust the alignment to a drill. Then looked at mounting my unimat with drill configuration mounted on the lathe bed, to be able to move the drill head. Other thoughts are to find one of those jigs that allows you to strap in an ordinary hand drill to "create" a cheap drill press....but still the problem of either moving the drill to drill into the stick, or vice-versa, moving the entire long jig holding the stick.

How do you all do the end-on perpendicular drilling ?
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I do same as Cobalt , put the shank horizontal in a vice and manually drill it, to mark the hole center I use a combination rule ( the ones with slide on attachments) and use the center finder one, mark 3 t0 5 lines ,if not round you can see the centre in between all the lines pop it, find a small spirit level and set you drill with a long bit horizontal and stick the level to the drill reading horizontal, this gives you a visual vertical positioning of of the drill, the horizontal position is by eye,
Hi Cobalt , I just use an old B&D drill table vice the moving jaw has a 45deg groove vertically cut for holding round bar, it is only a finger tightening vice (no T bar) never had a problem, for the heat prob knock the speed down if poss. and ensure drill is sharp. because of drilling varying mat'ls of differing hardness I invested in good quality HSS long series 8 & 10 mm drills, found the carbon steel drills lost their cutting edge very quickly.

Make a wood insert for the jaws with a groove to give 3 point contact and give it a try.
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Hi Cobalt, I prefer to leave bark on shanks and as you say this makes the joint a time consuming job has care needs to be taken to not damage the bark at the joint interface. I use masking tape (pre stuck on the bench to reduce its tackyness so bark is not removed when pulling off) I usually start with 3 thickness, and when starting to damage the tape, remove and reapply 2 thicknesses, then 1, and this is the time consuming bit , finally tickle up with no tape.ps at each tape change I usuall drop a grit grade or two, finishing off with 400 grit.
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Interesting jig you got there CAS14. give us a report on how it performs drilling the dowel hole in the shank.
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Being an ex draughtsman, got to stick with draughting tape - pun intended :)

Sticking first on clothing or bench solves the problem, also its really only the overlap that needs to stick.
My sticks are made for leisure as opposed to working sticks so I have never had a problem with breakage. On one or two occasions during my learning curve I have had difficulty with topper and shank not being in line, with the topper held safely in a vice and a bit of gentle persuasion with a lump hammer it was soon sorted - advantage of a steel dowel.

Back to the dowel method which is the old and original method of jointing I have read were it can be advisable to drill down the dowel an insert a round nail to go past the dowel-shank shoulder to add strength to this type of joint.
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