Introduction: How to Drill Straight Holes Without a Drill Press

About: I've been making Instructables since I was 13. Now, I mostly make videos of my projects, however I'm still active here, so don't hesitate to reach out! Sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!

Want to learn how to drill straight holes without a drill press?

Don't have a drill press, or can't take it with you to a place where a drill press can't be used

Don't want to invest in a $30 drill bit guide, aka a chunk of steel that has a few holes?

Want to tap a few holes for a small project, and don't want to buy a $100 hand tapping machine?

In this Instructable, I will show you how to make a simple drill bit guide, which can be used forbe used for anything fro, woodworking projects (my intended use), drilling into walls, tapping, like I mentioned above, or any other household repair.

(Watch the YouTube video: LINK FOR MOBILE VIEWERS!)

Tired of skipping through boring DIY videos? In case you don't already know, I now make short, tightly edited Youtube videos about homemade tools, tool hacks, woodworking, electronics, metalworking projects and much more - Subscribe to so you don't miss out! :)

Step 1: ​What You'll Need:

I made it for free since I already had everything that was needed on hand. By everything, well, I mean one thing :)


Hardware & Materials:

Steel square tubing (more on that in the next step)


Tools (+Attachments):


Clamps or a homemade vise!

Speed/try square

Drill & drill bits

Subjects: Woodworking, Metalworking, Making your own tools, & ᴸᶦᶠᵉ⁻ᴴᵃᶜᵏˢ

Approximate Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Super Simple!


Step 2: Find Some Metal

After a quick look in my metal collection (all salvaged, of course!), I found some square steel tubing that was salvaged from a Stepping/steps machine, whatever those things are called. It had a factory edge, which is what I was looking for (the factory edge still has paint on it).

Unless the piece of metal had some obvious use, I don't think there should be a reason for the factory edge not to be 90 degrees, but I made sure that statement was true with a try-square.

Step 3: Cut!

I clamped it down, and then cut the square steel tubing to a length of almost 4cm (~1.5") with a hacksaw. You can debur the burrs with a file if needed.

I like using a ketchup bottle for dripping water in the cut which lubricates and cools down the blade. I've done this before , but when I tried it now, it made the chips clog/ get stuck between the teeth of the blade. Anyone know why, or have a better method for doing this?

Step 4: Drill! (& Some More Tips)

See it in action, on YouTube!

Some more thoughts and tips:

  • PAINT SIDE DOWN! Remember, I wasn't able to saw the square tubing at 90 degrees. If you put the painted side (factory edge) up, you will not end up drilling at 90 degrees!
  • Small drill bits (<3.5mm) are usually shorter. Perhaps you should make an additional, shorter guide for them?
  • Even though this is made of steel, if you use it A LOT it will wear out eventually. Luckily, you still have 3 more corners that you can use!
  • If you have a chop-saw or metal cutting bandsaw, you can use it to cut the top to a 45 degree angle. Now you can drill both 90 and 45 degree holes, and use it as a speed square!
  • A handle. Perhaps you might want to add one?
  • Clamp it down if needed. In the video, I clamped down because I needed to hole the camera, but maybe that can help in other situations too.
  • And a bonus too!: It also collects the dust - no more dust everywhere!

Leave your tips below, and I might add them here!

Made it? Share a finished of your completed project thanks to simple 90 degree holes!


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