Plunge router transforms into mini drill press
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.