Sunday, 18 April 2010

Things Are Sliding, But Hopefully Not Downhill...

I’ll admit to a strange habit. When a project is stalled because I’m not sure how to handle something, I often take a walk around Home Depot and take in the “stuff”. Often, I’ll see something that triggers an idea, and off I go.

I did this yesterday, walking up and down the aisles aimlessly, trying to figure out how to drill that 20” hole in the hinge in a way that would minimize screwing it up. It came to me in the plumbing section, believe it or not, when I spotted the different sized hose clamps.

This is the result of that brainwave.

I guess you would call this a “Sled”, as I think the term “Feed Table” is reserved for a motorized version of this type of thing.

Seeing the hose clamps gave me the concept of how to fix the drill. It wasn’t a stretch of the imagination to come up with the bed, it is just a 1x8 hunk of pine with a couple of 1x2’s used as skates and two more used as guides. A thick coat of LeeValley’s “Waxilit” made the whole thing slide back and forth with minimal force.

I still have to fine-tune the position and height of the drill and make a couple of more clamps to hold and position the hinge. Once I get that done I can take it for a test drive.

The comments from Bill and Steve in response to my last post where I asked for some ideas regarding how to handle this were good, and I appreciated the thought they put into their suggestions. The problem I had was that they both involved cutting up the hinge. Both ideas would work, but both would also take the challenge out of it and frankly, guys, where’s the fun in that?

I’ll let you know how things work out.




I produced this jig to minimize screwing up my mahogany hinge while drilling a 1/4" diameter hole through its entire 20" length.

I screwed it up.



  1. Looks like a slick solution. i hope it runes true and works out. Looking forward to seeing the results.

  2. Assuming you can get it lined up perfectly with no movement under power, your only worries are that the bit will wander either do to an off-center sharpening job, run out, or grain. You might think about starting the hole with a shorter bit that has less flexibility and where run out is minimized to help ensure a good start.

  3. Second the start with a shorter bit.
    Also, use a bit with a central point like a brad point.
    Clean out the hole often, chips can make the bit wander.
    If possible, I would drill undersize and then redrill to size or best ream the hole to final size.
    I have done lots of deep holes in metal, only a couple in wood, but the principles are the same.
    Good Luck! (and take your time)

  4. Would it be possible to add a block with a bearing maybe bronze bushing that the drill bit could pass thru before entering the hinge, that would support the end of the bit away from the drill kind of like a steady rest in turning. Fit it between your rails leave a bit of room between the hinge and block for chip clearance.

    block w/guide
    | |
    drill------ | | ==hinge

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  6. I've got the wander around habit, too, even when I'm not stumped with a project. Knowing what is available helps to figure out alternative uses/creative solutions.