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Bore Dowel End Without Breakage

I've seen a lot of tricks for drilling centered holes into dowel ends, but I've never seen one that would allow me to bore a 18 " hole into a 316 "-diameter dowel without blowing out the side. Here is the method I came up with that gives me that ability.

Make a centering guide by clamping a 2x3" scrap of 34 " hardwood to your drill-press table and boring a hole the diameter of your dowel halfway into it. Without moving the workpiece, chuck a bit the size of the hole you want, and drill the rest of the way through. (For small holes, advance the bit slowly to keep it from flexing.)

Place this centering guide over the end of your dowel and clamp the dowel into a holding device, such as the V-groove jig shown above. Lower the drill-press chuck, inserting the bit into the centering guide, and clamp the holding jig into place. Now, drill the hole in the dowel, again going easy with the small bit.

—Wayne Holder, Brooksville, Fla.

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