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How to Drill Wood at an Angle?

Hammering is not the solution to all wood-related works. Drilling is more convenient and has got greater functionality and aesthetics when working at wood angles. Drilling will provide you with countersinking, whereas hammering will dent the wood if you try to sink the screw head deep.

To Drill wood at an angle, after all, is not that easy in inexperienced hands. Therefore, when drilling at an angle, either create your own wooden jig or use a simple angled guide wood, a pocket hole, or a drill guide jig for the job.

The square speed method can also be used for informal work to guide your drill bit at an angle. Creating your own angled pocket holes can make the job pretty easy.

Making an abstract piece of furniture or a frame for your canvas all require drilling at angles. This is not an easy job for a beginner, and you may end up destroying your project. I have experimented with some stuff and will be discussing how to get out the best possible results.

Methods to Drill Wood at an Angle

Methods for drilling wood at an angle can be broadly classified into two groups 1) Manual 2) Assisted. If you are not a professional worker and need to drill once in a blue moon, you need not buy an assisted device. But if you have to drill regularly, then it’s preferred to carry an assisted gadget with you.

Manual Methods to Drill Wood at an Angle

The manual methods are not too precise for drilling wood at angles but stills they are worth mentioning because they can save you money and time, buying instruments. Although they do not require many instruments and tools, it still needs a few of them.

We can manually drill angled holes using three methods that are mentioned separately.

1. Square Speed Method

This method requires the use of a triangular scale that has angle markings. It is simple and effective when carried out patiently. You need the following items for the job:

  1. Square Speed
  2. Drill bit
  3. A cordless or wired drill

Method is simple

  • For best results, I insist on prior practice on a scrap piece of wood.
  • Mount the correct-sized drill bit onto the drill. The diameter should always be kept less than the screw.
  • Place the edge of square speed on the point that is being drilled. The hypotenuse should be facing the drill.
  • Select the desired angle by placing the bit in that direction and drill straight into the wood without any hesitation.

2. Wood Guide Method.

This is similar to the square speed method but has got the upper hand due to better stability. This method requires:

  1. Protractor ( D shaped Geometry tool)
  2. Drill bit
  3. Pencil
  4. A wood saw (1 inch thick)
  5. And a Drill
  6. Woodblock
  • Take a rectangular piece of wood and place the protractor on the lower side of it.
  • Mark the desired angle on the piece of wood with a pencil.
  • Cut the wood at the mark with the help of a saw.
  • Place and secure the guide on the top of the wood that is being drilled.
  • Now using the angled-guide-piece, drill into the wood.

3. Pilot Hole Method.

Although not too precise, this method requires the least set of tools. Before embarking on it, I insist on a thorough practice.

You will need two drill bits (one with low and the other with larger diameter), square speed, a pencil, and a cordless drill. The procedure is mentioned stepwise below.

  • Start with selecting two proper drill bits (one having the desired hole diameter and the other having diameter half of the hole).
  • With the help of square speed and pencil, mark two points (90 degrees and the desired angle).
  • Mount a bit to the drill having a diameter half of the desired hole diameter.
  • Drill a pilot hole at 90 degrees keeping the depth shallow to 1/8th the size of the bit.
  • Now move the drill bit to the desired angle.
  • Mount the larger bit to the drill and move deep inside.

Tips: Keep the drill speed low, always use sharp drill bits and, when needed use drill extenders.

Assisted Methods to Drill Wood at an Angle

If you are deep into woodworks, then these methods are for you, although any DIY enthusiast can take advantage of the precision they offer.

1. Pocket Hole Jig

Pocket hole jig comes in different sizes and with different features. I recommend Kreg 320 series for personal use because it is easy to use and is highly affordable. It has got an anti-slip base and comes with a clamp that helps him secure its position.

Always chose pocket hole jig based on the wood thickness. You only need a Kreg 320 pocket hole jig and a cordless drill for the operation. The direction is simple:

  • Measure the thickness of wood using a wood gauge (this is provided with the package)
  • Using the same gauge (it also serves as a big depth-adjustable key), adjust the desired length of the bit ( also provided with the package).
  • Mount the bit to the drill.
  • Clamp the pocket jig to the wood.
  • Insert the bit inside the jig and start to drill.

2. Making your Own Wooden Jig.

If you are not interested in buying a pocket jig, don’t worry, we got another decent option for you. We will guide you on creating your very own wooden jig that will do the job nicely. For this project you need:

  1. Radial Saw
  2. Piece of wood
  3. A Cordless or wired drill
  4. A Clamp

This method is pretty effective for drilling wood at an angle. Still, it has got one serious drawback of providing inaccurate repeated results because of the sustained damage while inserting the bit. Steps for making your own jig are:

  • Select the desired drill angle on the radial saw.
  • Using radial saw, cut down the piece of wood.
  • Now drill a hole inside the angled surface using a cordless drill ( the hole should be large enough to accommodate the bits’ different sizes). This is your Jig.
  • Place the angled jig on your working table over the wood that needs an angled hole and clamp it.

3. Using Drill Guide Jig

This is an excellent alternative to Kreg pocket hole tool. This tool has got some excellent pros that are:

  1. It is a pre-assembled tool, so you don’t have to worry about the hefty work of assembling it.
  2. This tool has got angle markings. Selecting your desired drilling angle is very convenient (5 degrees increment up-to 45 degrees).
  3. It has got a depth stop washer in it. This gives you excellent control over the depth.
  4. Due to its size, it can drill difficult to reach places that a drill press fails to work on.
  5. It has got screws to tighten it to the base of wood. It won’t wobble around.

It is easy to use. Place it over the wood that needs drilling at an angle. Screw it to the base of wood if needed. Select the desired angle and mount the bit to the drill. Start your operation.

4. Wolfcraft 4525404 Multi-Angle Drill Guide

If you are looking for a versatile tool that can fit a wide variety of workpieces up to 3 inches, this is for you. This tool can also accommodate drills ranging from 1/4th and 3/8th inches. You can also select your desired angle of 0 to 45 degrees.

This tool also has got springs for recoil that can help you with repetitive drilling. Follow these steps for drilling wood at an angle when using the Wolfcraft drill guide:

  • Assemble the drill guide
  • Select appropriate size and type of drill bit. Using a key, mount it to the Wolfcraft’s drill head, or you can fix the drill head directly into the guide.
  • Select the desired angle and fix the guide base to the workpiece.
  • Drill your desired hole.

Can a Drill Press Drill at an Angle?

Yes! Drill Press can drill at an angle, but it has many limitations that include its Poor portability and the high cost of the machine, limited adaptability to the size of wood, and low versatility.

How do you drill at a 90 degree angle?

For Drilling at a 90 degree angle, take a perfectly rectangular piece of wood that has got a nice flat 90-degree surface and cut out a grove into one of its sides with the help of a saw. Mark the surface that needs drilling at 90 degrees, and using the square piece of wood, align the bit with the grove’s borders. Drill straight into the wood, and you will get the perfect angle each time.

What is the weakest wood joint?

Butt Joint is the weakest joint in woodwork because it usually does not get reinforcement from a nail, a screw, or even a glue. This prone the butt joint to detachment and breakage pretty easily.