Introduction: How to Drill Straight Holes With a Hand Drill (Using Lego)

If you've ever tried to drill a straight hole with a hand drill you know how hard it can be. After screwing up drilling a hole three times in a row I decided to try to find a solution to the problem. This is what I came up with. The great thing about using Lego for this purpose is that you don't have to spend a lot of time making this jig; you just snap the pieces together and get to work. As with any project, be sure to use the appropriate safety equipment and be careful!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Fix & Repair Contest!

Step 1: What You Need:

- 9 4x2 stud bricks

- 3 2x2 stud bricks

- A right angle protractor (just to double-check the jig)

Step 2: Building the Jig

- Start by arranging 3 2x4 bricks and 1 2x2 brick into an "L" shape.

- Build up from that shape, covering the seams where the bricks meet on the layer below. You will have a 3 layer right angle when you're done.

- Use the protractor to make sure the jig forms a right angle.

Step 3: Using the Jig

- Hold the jig down against the wood the same way as in the pictures. Position the drill bit tightly in the corner of the jig and drill the hole.

- The bricks might get marked up a bit after a while; if that happens, just swap them out with new ones!

Comments

author
squimby1 made it! (author)2014-09-27

Great idea! I love the simplicity. Great for those (like me) that can't afford a drill press. I also like the modification ideas that have been posted. Here's what I came up with. Replace the bottom 2x2 brick with a 2x4 brick turned to extend outward, then replace the 2x2 brick in the second row with a 2x4 brick, again extended outward. Now you have finger holds. I also like the super glue idea, just for safety. Then glue and trim a piece of fine grit sandpaper to the bottom to avoid slippage.

author
M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-27

Those are great ideas! I love the sandpaper suggestion.

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daj102 made it! (author)2014-09-23

This is a great idea, but I do have one comment - your fingers are very close to the drill bit. I wonder if, for safety, you could build the jig with little 'nobbles' that poke out the back, so you could 'pinch' them to hold the jig? That way your fingers are protected behind the main walls. And I love the idea from gravityisweak about the depth gauge too - maybe a little axle sticking up somewhere marked off?

author
drackos_20 made it! (author)drackos_202014-09-23

Nice idea just same concern here i would add some super glue just to avoid any unplanned dissasambly ;)

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secretshedfreak made it! (author)secretshedfreak2014-09-25

Bring out the kragle!!!!

author
klindner made it! (author)klindner2014-09-26

Takos Tuesday already?

author
daj102 made it! (author)daj1022014-09-25

LOL ... #approved

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-23

Thanks for the suggestion, that's a great idea!

author
lovethebackwoods made it! (author)2014-09-24

This is a beautiful solution to an age-old problem - thanks for the excellent photos and understandable narrative. I have my students build music boxes, drum practice pads, toys, and all kinds of wooden things. We build jigs all the time. I made a drill jig with scrap wood which I sawed "straight enough" with the miter box, then glued together (before screwing together), squaring it up with one of those right-angle devices created for that purpose. We get nice straight drill holes with it and if it wears out and has to be replaced, the drill guide reverts to scrap wood for nameless upcoming projects. Making sawdust is what it's all about!

author
rlove4 made it! (author)2014-09-23

Thanks M3G, at first I thought this a bit much as you'll soon get your eye in but this will be a handy way to get you there. I'm also realising how handy this would be for applications over-head or at a stretch where we can't sight things up no matter how much experience we have.

A handy tip for drilling horizontally is to put a washer on the drill and if it spins towards the chuck you're aiming high, towards the job you're digging down.

author
throbscottle made it! (author)throbscottle2014-09-24

You never get your eye in good enough, though - that's my experience!

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-23

Thanks for the tip, I'll have to try that!

author
gravityisweak made it! (author)2014-09-22

Nice idea! Do you find that 3 bricks high is enough to keep the drill straight? Would more be better? Come to think of it, this would also be a good way to gauge depth while drilling. Make your jig a certain height so that you know when your chuck almost touches the bricks, you're at the depth you want.

author
M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-22

Thanks for the comment! I found that 3 bricks was high enough, however, the more layers the better.

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Lorddrake made it! (author)2016-06-14

simple yet brilliant.. good work

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2016-06-14

Thanks!

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mountain g made it! (author)2015-08-17

cool ,but wont you scratch the lego?

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2015-08-18

You will mark it up a bit, so it's best to use older pieces.

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stleary made it! (author)2015-08-04

haha great idea!

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2015-08-04

Thanks!

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buck2217 made it! (author)2014-12-15

Well done, brilliant, simple idea

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-12-15

Thanks!

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fadai made it! (author)2014-09-30

So simple it´s brilliant!

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klindner made it! (author)2014-09-26

Brilliantly simple solution for a major problem.

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-26

Thanks!

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eteal111 made it! (author)2014-09-25

This is not for a brace and bit I'm assuming

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jerryeby2 made it! (author)2014-09-24

Nice! I love the simplicity and creativity of this idea!

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-24

Thanks!

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blatantimage made it! (author)2014-09-24

Cool! Also a great way to start a tap.

author
neffk made it! (author)2014-09-24

How straight does it need to be?

I'm trying to be positive but this is such a silly idea. Why not use some other material for the guide? Legos are such a great toy but they're not really suited for use with drill bits. And how much better is a 2" guide than just free-hand? Is it better at all? Did you measure how much straighter your holes are with the guide?

author
M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-24

I did check, the holes are straighter than freehand. The whole reason Lego was used for this is so the jig can be assembled quickly. If you wanted to wait to use it you could make the jig out of wood.

author
neffk made it! (author)neffk2014-09-24


OK. So it was probably temporary, too. Makes sense. Still, it's a little red-green to post this on the internet, isn't it? Couldn't you use a bit of angle iron or make the same jig out of wood with 2 cuts ?

BTW, you can make stuff out of wood pretty quickly. I was watch Jamie whats-his-face-from-mythbusters make boxes the other day. He glues and stapes some things. The glue is long term strength but the staples keep it together so you can use it right away. Initially I didn't like it but my brother had good luck with the technique and I've used it several times recently.

author
dmacaoidh made it! (author)dmacaoidh2014-09-24

How straight does it need to be? The thicker your material is, the more important it is to be straight.

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rafperp made it! (author)2014-09-24

I will not put my left hand 1 cm. from the drill I am driving with my rigth. I

author
dmacaoidh made it! (author)2014-09-24

This is a near-perfect solution & much better than buying a drill guide. I made one from wood but the legos allow you to increase the height to match the length of your drill bit.

author
SomePolishGuy made it! (author)2014-09-24

Great and simple idea! I will use this with my push drill!

author
alcurb made it! (author)2014-09-24

Excellent idea. Do you have any issues with the drill bit grabbing the legos?

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-24

No, it was pretty smooth.

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The Rambler made it! (author)2014-09-24

This is brilliant, you are a genius. Thank you for making my life easier.

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-24

Happy to help!

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throbscottle made it! (author)2014-09-24

Pure genius :) Voted!

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-24

Thank you! :)

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georgesun made it! (author)2014-09-23

This is so brilliant! Will always use this tip in the future :)

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-23

Hope it helps!

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verger made it! (author)2014-09-23

Brilliant!

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-23

Thanks!

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JON-A-TRON made it! (author)2014-09-23

So smart. Thanks for the tip!

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M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-23

Thanks!

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mgeier made it! (author)2014-09-23

Genius!!!!!

author
M3G made it! (author)M3G2014-09-23

Thanks!

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