Step 5: Drilling A Line Or Grid

This is where we really get down to business and find out if all of our careful planning and dust avoidance has payed off. Speaking of dust avoidance...

1) Remove any dust or drill shavings from the area.

2) Figure out how many cards you need to space your holes (center to center). For my example 3 of my business cards gives me 3/64" (1.2mm) distance.

3) Count out that many cards and put them between the jig and the drilling subject.

4) Drill your next hole.

5) Clean up your drill shavings.

6) Repeat steps 3,4 and 5 by adding layers of cards and drilling until you have as many in your row as you need. Be sure not to miscount the cards. (I did this more than once during practice and it will throw off your spacing and can cause spontaneous face palm.)

If you're just doing a line, then you're done!

If you want a grid, you need to make another line, offset from the first. Repeat the steps above, but also put cards at right angles to the first set. This will offset your material in two directions.

For advanced users you can draw a pattern using different numbers of cards and drill bit sizes. Like this amazing project, only smaller.

To do this at a larger scale size everything up and use sheets of plywood or square doweling as spacers. It makes the whole thing easier since you don't have to worry about sawdust or your drill press moving fractions of a millimeter.

Anything unclear? Ask in the comments and I'll try to help.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
Graham Lane11 months ago

Very good idea! I might use a round head woodscrew instead of card on one side. Measure the pitch of the thread and screw or unscrew one complete turn if the distance you require is one pitch. Fraction it if you want anything different.

Put two screws in one face and one in the other. This keeps the three-point location rule.

The gap the screw-heads create will also take care of any swarf or shavings that slip down the sides.

Card is probably simpler though!

Well done 'ible. I appreciate the sketchup drawings to fill in forgotten photos.

dombeef4 years ago
For the last picture you could use a presured air can to get the burs out
Battman5 years ago
Great idea! Worthy of the Galactic Institutes' prize for extreme cleverness.
desertdog5 years ago
Very good idea. I will use that.
JimmyM5 years ago
You can also use resharpened carbide drill bits. I found a big set on eBay for ~$25. Thay have 1/8" shanks and the resharpened ones work just fine. Plus they last many many times longer than steel wire gauge bits when drilling FR4 and you don't need a Dremmel chuck, the 1/8" shanks fit the standard collet. The only drawbak is that they break really easily if you side-load them. The drill press prevents this.
jeff-o5 years ago
Ah, very clever idea!