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

Drill Evenly Spaced Holes with Speed and Accuracy

Drill Evenly Spaced

Sometimes you need to drill evenly spaced holes. If you have a ruler at least half as long as your... read more