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If only a couple of holes are needed and using a drill press where the rod fits, another way is to first clamp the rod to the chuck, lower it, clamp it in the drill press vise, secure the vise and open the chuck. Insert the required drill bit and just drill your centered hole.
Quite true but for this to work you need first to center the drill bit. You put the drill bit backwards into the chuck, lower the drill press and then clamp the drill bit into the vise. Now you have a centered bit. Then you use the chuck to hold the rod.
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