How to drill straight holes in wood

Drilling holes in wood is quite easy when you are working with suitable tools and techniques. But this can be tricky if you want to drill a perfectly straight hole.

A slight mistake can cause the drill bit to exit from the wrong location. The hole may not be straight due to a little tilt. In this article, I will tell you some methods to drill straight and perpendicular holes in wood. 

How to drill straight holes in wood? Use a drill press to make straight holes in wood. If you do not have a drill press, then drill a hole through the center of an old CD. Another way is to use a drill block for making straight holes or use a dowelling jig for this purpose. If you want to drill without any of these tools then use an L-shaped wood chunk to support the bit while drilling. This will make a perfect and neat hole in wood. 

Drilling a straight hole in wood is not just about placing the drill perpendicular to the wood and starting drilling. Despite using the right tools, you may not obtain a 90°  hole because drilling straight holes in wood require some technique and tips. The hole will not be straight if the drill bit is shaking. Similarly, a little mistake in the orientation of the drill bit can ruin the shape of the hole.

Methods to drill straight holes in wood

There are many methods to drill straight and perpendicular holes in wood. 

Drill straight holes with a CD

CD can act as a guide to drill straight holes in wood. Mark a spot where you want to drill a hole with a marker. 

Using CD to drill straight holes in wood

Place the CD in such a way that the marked hole centers the middle of the disk. Now, position the drill bit on spot and start drilling a straight hole.

The reflection on the CD helps to drill straight. If the drill bit and the reflection line up straight instead of angled, the drill will make a perfectly straight hole in the wood.

Use an L shaped wood scrap

Take some pieces of wood and join  1 × 2 scrap pieces with nails and glue to form an L-shaped piece. It is important to obtain a 90 ° angle in the corner. This L-shaped scrap acts as a jig for drilling straight holes.

Place the L-shaped jig on the wood you want to drill. Position the drill bit tight in the corner and start drilling a straight hole.

Using L shape wood to drill straight holes in wood

The L-shaped jig provides support to the bit for drilling straight in wood. It will prevent shaking a bit, ensuring a straight hole in the wood.

Use a drill block

A drill block is a tool that provides quick and accurate drilling of straight holes in wood.

A drill block can be used for any bit measurement. A measurement guide from ⅛” – ½” is also available. 

Using Drill Block to drill straight holes in wood

Drilling holes with drill blocks is very easy. Place the drill block on wood where you want to drill the hole. Now, set the drill bit in the block and start drilling a perfect hole. 

An advantage of using a drill bit is that it has a v groove on the bottom which helps to drill holes in corners and edges with great ease. 

Drill holes with a drill press

A drill press is one of the fast drilling tools. It offers the facility of variable speed and different bits. 

There is a table under the drill press on which the sheet of wood that you want to drill is held. It helps to tighten the sheet ensuring perfect straight holes.

Using Drill Press to drill straight holes in wood

Place the wood under the drill press. Adjust the speed and bit depending upon your need. Now start drilling a straight hole in the wood. 

If it is not convenient to place the workpiece under the drill press, then take a thick piece of wood and drill a straight hole in it using a drill press. Now, Place this wood on the workpiece where you want to drill a straight hole. This will act as a guide for the drill bit to ensure a straight and neat hole in wood. 

Use a dowelling jig

Use a dowelling jig for drilling straight holes. These jigs have metal bushings of different sizes for different drill bits. The sizes of bushes are mentioned on the jig.

The metal bushings keep the bit tight and prevent shaking of the drill bit which helps in drilling a straight hole. 

Using Dowelling Jig to drill straight holes in wood

Mark the hole location on wood. Lay down the jig on wood and center the metal bushing on the hole location. 

Put the drill bit in the bushing and drill down to the depth where the hole is needed.

How to fix holes drilled at an angle to make it straight?

To fix holes drilled at an angle, use a dowel to fill the hole. Grab a dowel and coat it in the glue. Insert the dowel in the hole and let the glue dry. Cut out the flush with a chisel. 

You can also fill the hole with toothpicks. Take some toothpicks and coat them with glue. Put the toothpicks into the hole. Cut the toothpicks flush to make the hole even to the surface. Let the glue dry completely. 

After filling the hole, drill a perfectly straight hole with a drill block or a dowel jig.

How to drill an angled hole?

Drilling holes at an angle requires some techniques. There are several methods to drill angled holes in wood.

Make a small hole by drilling straight down in the wood. The depth of the pilot hole should be ½”. Once the pilot hole is made, start drilling again by keeping the drill bit straight. Now slowly tilt the drill to the angle where you need to make the hole.

Use a speed square to drill at a specific angle. A speed square is a triangle-shaped tool that has angles marked along the long side. 

Set the speed square along the hole. Place the drill in such a way that the top of the drill lies along the flat side of the speed square. Now, line up the angle marking with the centerline along the top of the drill. Drill the wood at that angle.

Related Questions

How to drill straight holes in concrete?

Take a thick piece of wood and make a straight hole in it with a drill press. Place the wood where you want to drill. Use a masonry bit to drill a hole through it. Start drilling the hole at a slow speed and with light pressure. Keep the depth of the guide hole to ⅛” – ¼”. Stop the drilling and remove the concrete dust. 

How to drill for floating shelves?

To drill for floating shelves, you need to mark a hole first. For this purpose, place the bracket on the wall and mark the top hole with a pencil. 
The next step is to choose the right bit. Use a 6mm masonry bit for drilling if you are fixing the shelf on a masonry wall. But for plaster board, use 2.5 – 3 mm bit for making pilot holes. 

Place the drill bit on the mark and start drilling slowly. Increase the speed of the drill when the bit starts moving into the wall. Drill to the required depth and pull out the drill once done.