Wednesday , August 23 2017
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Shop Tip: A Fixture for Drilling Holes in Round Stock

Here’s a handy weekend metalworking project for you!

This is a device to drill cross holes in round stock. It is not to be used when great accuracy is needed. This is a simple way to drill cross holes in axles and other round stock easily. I started this project as a trial to see if it would work with the idea of eventually remaking it neater. However, it works so good that I just use it as it is. Someday, I hope to remake it to higher standards.



I made this from some 1/2” aluminum flat. The drill guides are made from .750” hex steel. They are about 1.250” long with 1/2-13 threads. The guides are not hardened, so when they wear a little, either drill out to next larger drill size, or they are easy to re-make. The V-groove in the bottom section is 60 degrees.


Here is a piece of 5/16” brass rod clamped ready to drill. I have removed two side pieces to bring the fixture into range for smaller stock. The extra side pieces are shown at the left. The side pieces are slotted so they are easy to remove and replace without removing  the tightening screw wing-nuts. Simply turn down the drill guide to hold the stock and commence drilling.


Here the 2 sides pieces have been re-inserted to make the fixture larger so that a hole can be drilled in a 1” piece of brass round stock. I have made three drill guides of different hole sizes. You can also drill a smaller hole and then enlarge it easily. I have used this fixture in my drill press and it also works with a regular drill. It is portable so it can be used wherever the work is to be done.

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Directions for use: Use the number of side pieces so that stock to be drilled fits in fixture. On my prototype, the center of the hole is .750” from the front edge and the back edge. Mark the position of the hole to be drilled then add .750”. Then tighten down the drill guide with a wrench. Drill hole.


Construction Details: The size of the top and bottom is 1.5” x 3”. The stud screws are 3/8”-16. The holes for the stud screws in the bottom are through holes but are tapped so that the threads don’t finish. That way the studs are tightened against imperfect threads and don’t unscrew when you move wing nuts. The center hole is tapped 1/2”-13. Top and bottom are marked front so that they may be replaced in proper position.


Submitted by:

James R. Instone


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About joutrock

Retired. Hobby machining.

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