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My steady stream of questions never seem to end.


I study build logs many times a week as well as the other forums to learn all that I can.  One problem that I have and must have missed the solution is how to drill straight holes through dowels, in particular the sides.


I make a lot of ships in a bottles (these are very thin dowels) for grand-kids and silent auctions at charity groups.  When working on any scale ship, accurate placement of mast or spar holes is essential.


I have created "V's" out of wood to cradle the dowel and help to center it, but then the very thin drill bits will often bend and roll off target.  I have filed a flat spot to try to help stay on target, but it does not mean that there will be consistent results across all of the stock of dowels. 


I have a Dremel with work station, push drill, and hand drill that I turn manually so there is no shortage of tools or bits.


Any suggestions for consistent results???



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Hi Chuck


Sounds like you have a dremel set up as a drill press.


I'd suggest putting a block against a fence and drilling a hole through a block the size of your spar then turn it over keeping the same edge of the block against your fence and drill a cross hole the size you want to drill through the dowel. Using the fence this way will ensure the centres are aligned.


Slip your dowel into the block, align it to the fence and when you drill the dowel, the block will stop the bit wandering as it starts into the dowel.



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Chuck, try a jig made from scrap square.  Drill out / bore the square first to the size of your dowel  (if you have a mate with a lathe get them to do it - much more accurate), then cut it in half.  This makes the placement and holding of the round dowels much easier.  You can have several sizes all ready to go. Select the appropriate size, hold it vertically/horizontally in a vice and centre it (again easier using the square).


A couple of tips; cut dowels to a minimum workable length - the longer the piece the harder to keep it aligned for the vertical bore.  For horizontal drilling, use the same jig - again much easier to find the centre line.  For regular  (repeatable) positioning of these holes use a stop for the round dowel once you have measured up for the first drill. As long as you have taken the time to make the square (jig) centred the rest is a production line effort.





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