keep drill level

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Old 06-07-19, 11:48 AM
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keep drill level

I need to drill seven more LEVEL holes down the side through this 6x6 post, 3-inch spacing in between each hole. The picture shows my first hole, drilled without any kind of assistance, just eyeballed and tried to keep the bit level while I was drilling but of course it got slanted anyway. I know there are drill guides/attachments and all that available but I don't have one and don't particularly wanna have to buy one just to drill seven more holes as I described, which is all I need for this project. So looking for suggestions otherwise or any comments appreciated in that regard.

 
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Old 06-07-19, 11:52 AM
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What are you bolting to the post? the odds are being a little out of level won't be a big deal.
I used to have a cordless drill that had a level built in but I never paid much attention to it.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 12:17 PM
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What are you bolting to the post? the odds are being a little out of level won't be a big deal.
I'm sticking the rigid end(s) of the 7 1/2" long 1/8" diameter cable rail assembly(s) through the drilled holes. This particular first post is the only one that's a 6x6, the rest are 4x4 and 2x2.

 
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Old 06-07-19, 12:58 PM
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I'm thinking that you want them level and you want them centered left to right, so rather than a level you might try holding a speed square or machinist's square in your left hand, assuming you're holding the drill in your right hand. That way you could check the top and the side of the bit to make sure that you're square with the post vertically and left to right. Or you could clamp a board to the side of the post, extending out far enough to eyeball against. You might also mark the back side of the post and just drill a little deeper than halfway from each side. You should end up close enough to see daylight through the two holes and angle your bit enough to open up the middle as needed.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 01:30 PM
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yeah thanks aka pedro, I might give one or the other of those two methods a shot.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 01:32 PM
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When boring holes for running stainless steel cable railings I chuck a long steel or aluminum rod in the drill. Then I clamp that rod or weigh it down on a level table. Then I securely tape a small level to the drill. Make sure the level is reading level. Then it's easy to keep an eye on the level when drilling and know that the drill bit is also level.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 02:06 PM
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When boring holes for running stainless steel cable railings I chuck a long steel or aluminum rod in the drill. Then I clamp that rod or weigh it down on a level table. Then I securely tape a small level to the drill. Make sure the level is reading level. Then it's easy to keep an eye on the level when drilling and know that the drill bit is also level
I'm probably not following right, but that sounds to me like a method to do if I was drilling downward, vertically, rather than horizontally like I am doing.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 04:23 PM
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No, PD's on the same track as you. Not to be presumptuous, but, being in AK, I imagine that you might be familiar with bore sighting? Well, that's essentially extending the line of sight, and that's what he's referring to. You chuck a longer rod in your drill, just like you would a bore sight into a barrel, then you clamp that rod or bore sight to a level surface, and tape a level, not to the rod, but to the drill, and you now have a level on your drill that is true with the chuck, and consequentially true with your bit. Of course "level" assumes that your posts are perfectly plumb, but they're probably close enough that it's a fair assumption.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 04:50 PM
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ok aka pedro thanks for the clarification, I get the idea. yeah and thanks PD
 
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Old 06-07-19, 05:05 PM
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If you have a drill press, you can make a drill jig to clamp to the posts. Using the drill press, drill a hole (same diameter as hole in post) through a piece of 4x4 (or 4 inch side of a 2x4. Clamp the jig to the post where you want the hole and the hole in the jig will guide the bit into the post level(assumes post is level). You can remove the jig after you have drilled beyond half way through the post. Retract the bit often to remove the wood chips.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 05:19 PM
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Hold a framing square against the post with one hand and let your battery st on top of and slide along the top edge of the framing square as you drill.
 
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Old 06-08-19, 04:37 AM
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On the same method as Xsleeper suggested: You could make a right angle jig out of 2x material that you can clamp to the post. Then set the drill on top of the jig and just slide the drill on the jig. This, of course, would only work if the bottom of the battery and drill bit were parallel.
 
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Old 06-08-19, 06:33 AM
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Or you could spend 1$ for a small, self adhesive, bubble level or circular bubble level and not have to mess with anything!
 
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Old 06-09-19, 03:16 AM
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A level or square only gives you one axis.
if you have a drill press making a jig by drilling a hole in a piece of wodd and clamping it to your post would be the most accurate.
 
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Old 06-09-19, 03:41 AM
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True enough that a level will only provide a reference in one direction, but a square or any straightedge clamped to the post will provide a reference in both directions.
 
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Old 06-09-19, 07:43 AM
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Eh? Use a drill block to pre-drill level and true pilot holes. Then switch to the larger bit and a drill block to drill a level and true hole.

A drill block is a piece of wood, generally a ~six-inch long section of 2x4, run through a planer, with perpendicular holes of several sizes pre-drilled through the block using a drill press, it lets you make level, true and perpendicular pilot holes.

You hold a drill block against the workpiece and put the drill bit into the pre-drilled straight and true hole of that size. After you have drilled the straight and trued pilot hole, you remove the block, insert the drill into the level and trued hole, and finish drilling.

If you want to get fancy, the small to medium holes are drilled through the 2" dimension of the 2x4, while the medium to largest holes are drilled through the 4" dimension on the other side of the block.


OP drills a guide hole using the 4" dimension of the drill block to make a pilot hole.
Remove the drill and flip the drill block 90-degrees to use the guide hole in the 2" dimension of the drill block while you deepen the pilot hole.
Remove the drill block and finish the pilot hole freehand.
Repeat to make pilot holes in each post.

Go back and drill the actual holes using the 4" dimension of the drill block.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 06-09-19 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 06-09-19, 08:28 AM
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Don't have a drill press. Didn't bother making a jig. Only have the one post like that that is a 6x6 and needed the eight holes drilled in it. Eyeballed it and held it as level as I could and it turned out good enough after all. Thanks though for the replies/responses. Learned plenty for the "next time."
 
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