Drill gauge stops bits and clears the chips
Shop made drill-depth gauges made from a block of hardwood aren't anything new—you guys have shown them in WOOD® magazine for years. But I made a simple modification that keeps me from having to pull the drill out of the hole repeatedly to clear out the chips. The change is the addition of an arch in the block bottom.
To make such a gauge, chuck a twist drill the size of the needed hole in your drill. Measure from the chuck nose to the twist-drill point (27⁄8 ", for example). From that dimension, subtract the depth of the hole (say, 1⁄2 "). The result (23⁄8 ", in this example) is the height of the jig, as shown in the illustration. Drill the hole in the gauge blank, then bandsaw or scrollsaw the arch. Besides improving chip clearance, I also can see where to place the drill on the hole center.
—Nathan Dixon, Fort Fairfield, Maine