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How to drill vertical holes?


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Any magic trick or tool to help drilling vertical holes (or as vertical as possible)?

I find this very difficult. I've had problems, mostly with tall objects such as lamp posts.

 

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Edited by Madsing
Clarification
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Madsing,

 

yes that’s tough with small drill sizes as usual technique of using a drill guide around the bit to keep it perpendicular for the surface won’t work as bits are not long enough. Plus on streets you have stuff there that gets in the way. Really you want vertical as well as street posts are usually vertical not perpendicular to the surface.

 

one thing is using a pin vise like that can be tough as they tend to move around as you spin them with the constant grabbing and releasing of them, even with one like you have there (that’s my personal favorite pin vise!) with the big rotating cap on the end. I would recommend using a micro usb pencil screwdriver/drill. These are long and skinny and some a perfect tube so you can much better judge if everything looks vertical as you drill. Since you are just holding the drill and don’t have to focus on doing the pin vise twirl it’s easier to keep an eye on it looking vertical (and longer vertical to judge that easier).

 

only issue is getting a variable chuck for these little guys. Micromark still sells the chuck for a pen driver they no longer sell (they have fancier ones now) and I remember seeing a chuck somewhere that looked like it would work with the 4mm socket on all the little usb pen screwdrivers. I love the little usb electric screwdrivers, super handy and you can get a little set of 4mm attachments that work with all of these if you need a wider variety of tips (some don’t come with many tips). Nowdays can be had for $10-20 for a decent one. I’ll look around to see if I can find the chuck. It’s getting the right chuck size for the drivers shaft.


https://www.micromark.com/Drilling-Chuck-for-89996

 

i think this is the same as the micromark

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XZLTQO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

usually I just drill the hole a tiny bit big and then adjust vertical as the glue sets as I’ve found it pretty hard to be perfectly vertical with a row of drill holes like this.

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

 

  • Like 2
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I think Jeff's idea of oversize and adjust with glue is the best. But even getting the oversized drillhole as vertical as possible is easier said than done. This is a problem I face at work all the time. It's hard to judge verticality in two views when you can only see from one direction at a time. While you make adjustments in one plane, you often lose verticality in the other plane. The hand drill adds some further variability but even with a power drill it's difficult.

 

Two possible solutions:

1. Borrow a second pair of eyes. Have someone watch verticality in one plane, while you watch it in the other.

 

2. Use some kind of improvised drill guide. Something that comes to mind is a small die punch set that I bought from micromark. That may give enough stability to keep your drill-bit vertical. Another option is to make two small 45 degree right angle triangles, and glue them to a base at 90 degrees to each other. They would come close to meeting, but wouldn't quite meet, thereby giving room for your drill bit. It wouldn't restrict motion of your drill bit, buy would allow you to monitor verticality in both planes at once. They'd have to me short/low enough so as not to restrict motion of your short drill bit. But even if it did, once your hole is half-way drilled, it's easy enough to continue one through the established hole without causing any deviation. The hole itself becomes your drill guide. 

 

 

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Yeah that’s always the issue! that’s why a long tubular driver helps as it’s easier to see vertical and let’s me swing my head side to side to try to get a 90 degree arc to judge vertical but it ain’t easy. 
 

A bullseye bubble level on the rear of the drill/driver can help but small drills/drivers usually don’t have then, but they do usually have a flat spot on the end perpendicular to the bit. Only problem is this is where the usb charging port is usually located. The longer the driver the more accurate the level will be.

 

guides are great but just hard to always have the flat room around a spot usually for them to sit.

 

jeff

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Both dremel and proxxon make plunge router attachments like this. Problem is getting the space to set them down. Was knoodling earlier how you could maybe make a plunge attachment like this on a small drill that had just 4 small legs, but issue is the closer in the legs are (to get around other things on the layout already in the way) the less accurate the vertical will be.

 

there are these simple little dremel collars that would work. Again just need like 1.5” clearance around the hole.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/223823532128?epid=23046871127&hash=item341cec1060:g:s94AAOSwoCFeCb70

 

What we need is a gyroscope built into a drill that you spin up in a vertical stand then you have a few minutes of it keeping itself vertical! 
 

jeff

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Yep those were the bullet bubble levels I was talking about. You could even try just gluing one to the spinning cap on your pin vise. Still have the issue of the pin vise wiggling around as you try to turn it and hard to see the level if your finger is on it, but at least it can get you started closer to vertical. Again the longer your driver the more accurate the level will be.

 

jeff

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So you got me looking at all the vertical light, signal, telephone, etc posts while driving around. Around here it’s amazing the variety of off vertical you do see! So it’s probably prototypical to not be all perfectly vertical. I would assume maybe similar in japan, squid would need to do some looking around. Google street view and photos not always so great to judge by with lens parallax and other distracting things. I also wonder if it’s we are generally looking very far back at scale on a model so can see things a tad out of vertical from a great distance, but our minds eye memory is mostly based on more in close to tall posts where it’s hard to judge if a little off vertical until you get way back. While I was driving I tried lining up posts off in the distance with each other and found few lined up perfectly. I think it’s one of those things our visual memory up close is all the same because we just can’t see the differences up close and then we just expect that when looking at the model from the usual 200-300’ or more scale feet away. Then makes you have to fudge the model off prototype for the minds eye to accept it’s not wrong.
 

jeff

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