It's not super difficult, but it does take the right equipment, attention to detail, and practice. I probably drilled 30-40 holes before I got the technique down well enough to get even spacing most of the time.
It's worth noting that this works best on soft material like plastic and wood. Harder materials like steel are a bit tricky since I don't center punch the holes which can cause the drill bit will to wander a bit.
Thanks to my brother Nick for giving me the nudge in the right direction to figure this one out.
Step 1: Tools
- Small drill press. The one shown is an adapter for a Dremel rotary tool (Dremel #212), plus a small keyless drill chuck for the same. (You can possibly use a full sized drill press, but I'm not sure you'll get as much accuracy, and getting a #71 bit to fit in a full sized drill chuck is a pain.
- Small drill bit. Or several of them, since they're so easy to break. If you're drilling soft materials don't spend a lot of money on them. This is the cheapo set I used.*
- Right angle jig. If you don't have one I'll explain how to make a quickie out of old scrap wood (like this one) in step 2.
- Business cards or notecards. Anything is fine as long as they're uniform thickness. This is what we will use to determine the space between the holes.
- Rubber bands I use a number of them to hold stuff in place. If you have some small clamps or vice grips or whatnot, those would be useful as well.
- Safety glasses (not pictured because they were on my face when I took the photo).
- Practice Material. Scrap wood or plastic or whatever so you can practice before going at your final project. Trust me, you won't want to drill your final project the first time out. You'll probably also want something disposable to put under your material as you drill through it.
* Often drill bits smaller than 1/16" are called "wire gauge" bits. This term can be helpful when shopping for them online.