A Pocket Sized Drill Guide

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About: I love reading about other people's projects more than making my own; they inspire me to sally forth make a few of my ideas real! I love experimenting though, playing around with new materials and techniques...

Good evening!
Today I'd like to show you how to make a drill guide that's tiny on size, but not on utility. Coming in at around 2 x 2 x 1/4 ( 50.8 x 50.8 x 6.38 mm)inches, this guide boasts 13 guide holes! Additionally, it's made from waterproof, weather resistant, and easy to work polymer clay.
Anyway, on to the Instructable!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools:
- Drill bits (duh).
- Square metal cookie cutter.
- Speed square (or any tool to make sure the bits are perpendicular).

Materials:
- Polymer clay (I use the Premo brand)

Step 2: Forming the Clay

While I'm sure most people know this, polymer clay must be kneaded and worked in your hands before it's ready for shaping. A good rule of thumb is that it's ready when you can roll it into a 'snake' shape, bend it in half, and bend it back straight without it starting to tear.
Press the clay firmly down into the cookie cutter, carefully trying to squeeze out any air pockets that may be hiding.

Step 3: Inserting and Squaring the Drill Bits

Now that our clay is nice and firmly pressed into the cookie cutter, we can begin inserting the drill bits. Insert them base down firmly into the clay, being careful to try and press the flat part against your work surface. Remember to space them out properly, otherwise you'll either waste space by spreading them out, or weaken the guide by making the 'walls' between the holes too thin.
Once your bits have all been placed, it's time to bust out the speed square, and make sure those bits are perpendicular to the work surface. This is common sense, but remember that the clay is a little rubbery; you'll need to push the bits a little further than you want them to go, to account for the clay slightly springing back to its original shape.
Once you've pain stakingly adjust all of those bits till they're square, it's time to get baked.

Step 4: Getting Baked

Different clay's may vary slightly in temperature, but the brand I use says 270 degrees Fahrenheit (132.222 Celsius). The clay is baked 15 minutes for every 1/8 inch (3.175 mm) of thinkness. My guide came out to around the neighborhood of 1/4 inch, so I baked it for 30 minutes. Place the whole thing, bits and all, into the oven.
Once removed from the oven, allow the clay to cool on the baking pan before handling. Once cooled, it's ready to assist in making things holy- err, holey!
...Well, almost: you'll notice that the bits are quite firmly stuck in place. If you have good finger strength, just wiggle the bits until they start to rotate, then push upward on the bit while turning it. Alternatively, you can use pliers to loosen them, then remove with your hands. Due to this tight fit you may want to drill through the guide a couple times before doing serious work, so that the bits slide through the guide more easily.

Step 5: Conclusion and Final Thoughts

If you didn't press down firmly enough on the bits when inserting them, you'll discover that bottom holes are covered by a thin layer of clay. You should be able to poke these out easily, and if worst comes to worst you can just drill through it. I'm feeling smug about this idea, I thought it was quite clever. However, there is always room for improvement! I intend to cut a magnet in half with my Dremel and attach it to the sides to make drilling on metal convenient. I also want to cut some feet for it out of rubber for better slip resistance.
Had I planned it out better, I may have been able to a work in a pocket jig hole. The possibilities are truly limitless!
Thanks a lot of reading, I hope you enjoyed it; this is my third instructable, and while I feel i'm improving I really need your feedback to get better! So unleash hell (or heaven? Tír na nÓg?) on me in the comments so I can get better!

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    Royell

    21 days ago

    Updated to correct some errors.