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

Picture of 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:

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!


squimby1 (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.

M3G (author)squimby12014-09-27

Those are great ideas! I love the sandpaper suggestion.

daj102 (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?

drackos_20 (author)daj1022014-09-23

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

Bring out the kragle!!!!

klindner (author)secretshedfreak2014-09-26

Takos Tuesday already?

daj102 (author)secretshedfreak2014-09-25

LOL ... #approved

M3G (author)daj1022014-09-23

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

lovethebackwoods (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!

rlove4 (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.

throbscottle (author)rlove42014-09-24

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

M3G (author)rlove42014-09-23

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

gravityisweak (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.

M3G (author)gravityisweak2014-09-22

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

Lorddrake (author)2016-06-14

simple yet brilliant.. good work

M3G (author)Lorddrake2016-06-14


JulianAzz (author)2015-08-17

cool ,but wont you scratch the lego?

M3G (author)JulianAzz2015-08-18

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

stleary (author)2015-08-04

haha great idea!

M3G (author)stleary2015-08-04


buck2217 (author)2014-12-15

Well done, brilliant, simple idea

M3G (author)buck22172014-12-15


fadai (author)2014-09-30

So simple it´s brilliant!

klindner (author)2014-09-26

Brilliantly simple solution for a major problem.

M3G (author)klindner2014-09-26


eteal111 (author)2014-09-25

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

jerryeby2 (author)2014-09-24

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

M3G (author)jerryeby22014-09-24


blatantimage (author)2014-09-24

Cool! Also a great way to start a tap.

neffk (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?

M3G (author)neffk2014-09-24

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.

neffk (author)M3G2014-09-24

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.

dmacaoidh (author)neffk2014-09-24

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

rafperp (author)2014-09-24

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

dmacaoidh (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.

SomePolishGuy (author)2014-09-24

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

alcurb (author)2014-09-24

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

M3G (author)alcurb2014-09-24

No, it was pretty smooth.

The Rambler (author)2014-09-24

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

M3G (author)The Rambler2014-09-24

Happy to help!

throbscottle (author)2014-09-24

Pure genius :) Voted!

M3G (author)throbscottle2014-09-24

Thank you! :)

georgesun (author)2014-09-23

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

M3G (author)georgesun2014-09-23

Hope it helps!

verger (author)2014-09-23


M3G (author)verger2014-09-23


JON-A-TRON (author)2014-09-23

So smart. Thanks for the tip!

M3G (author)JON-A-TRON2014-09-23


mgeier (author)2014-09-23


M3G (author)mgeier2014-09-23


About This Instructable




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