You are here

Plunge router transforms into mini drill press

Router with jig and board clamped to bench
Use your plunge router for "drilling" holes.

I recently needed to drill 3/4"-diameter holes into the end grain of some 82"-long bed rails: too long for my drill press, too big for my doweling jig, and I didn't trust a hand drill to give me the perfectly perpendicular holes I needed. Instead, I drilled the holes with my plunge router and the shop-made self-centering jig you see here.

Start by making the jig from 1/4" hardboard and two scrapwood fences spaced to match the thickness of the workpiece you want to drill. Install the jig in place of your router's factory-supplied subbase, with the bit centered between the two fences.

Now install a 3/4" plunging straight bit, clamp the workpiece between the fences, and plunge slowly, withdrawing occasionally to clear chips.

With this jig, I've found I can plunge about 1 1/2" deep with my existing bits. If I need to go deeper, this plunged hole provides an effective guide for a Forstner bit in my handheld drill.

--Andy Newhouse, Syracuse, N.Y.

Router with jig and board clamped to bench
Read more about

Tip of the Day

Try this trim-to-fit transport trick to dodge defects

100672981

Hauling lumber without a truck can be a challenge. Rather than ask an employee at the home center... read more

Talk in Tools and Tool Buying