Whenever I need to drill a hole through a dowel, the bit wants to skate around and choose its own starting point. How do I get clean holes positioned where I want them?

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Make this simple jig to drill holes in dowels. Youu2019ll get accurate results, even in small-diameter stock.rn

Q:

Whenever I need to drill a hole through a dowel, the bit wants to skate around and choose its own starting point. How do I get clean holes positioned where I want them?
—Chris Harrison, Inglewood, Ont.

A:

A V-block is the traditional way to hold round stock for drilling, Chris, but it sometimes yields less than perfect results, particularly if you use a twist bit. We suggest the jig shown below because it's easy to make and yields dependable results. The hole in the side of the block should match the diameter of your dowel, and the hole centered in the top helps to accurately steer your bit.