I am really excited to be sharing this method of drilling. I know I started this subject a while back on drilling by hand with a bit and brace but I never followed up on the rest of the process. The reason is, frankly, I have struggled a bit with doing this part with absolute confidence every time I approached it. Now though I have been using a new approach that has changed all that. Heres how it goes. Warning- This is a bit of a long post but it is worth it.
First off, out with the bit brace and in with the cordless drill. I know, I know but once you see the results, and I guarantee they are worth it, then you can try this with a bit brace if you want. I love my bit brace but until I find some bits that are long enough, thin enough and don’t break then I am going to stick with my new method.
In fact what prompted this new method is that one of the tiny Japanese auger bits I used to drill the mortises broke. I order these from a German supplier and shipping, etc. is a real pain in the wallet. I wanted something simpler.
So then, you will need some long thin drill bits. More on where to source these at the end of the post. Lets get to the process.
The key to making this who process so simple and elegant is a drilling jig. Trust me this isn’t cheesy. Whats cool is that you likely already have this jig if you make moulding planes. It is the saw guide jig. This guides your saw as you cut the bed and breast angles. Below is the jig on the plane billet. (Billet has been sawn and waste from escapement chopped away already)
|Moulding plane saw guide in place|
So this is how it began… I came down to the shop on one weekend before getting ready to do a big order and as I had just broken a tiny auger bit recently I was pondering a new way to get the job done. I was even considering doing the efficient approach Matt Bickford uses with the drill press. Nothing wrong with this method at all. In fact, I had already ordered some long thin drill bits just for giving this method a try. However, If you know me though, I hate to set up any kind of machine or jig. I use them only when it is the most efficient method and only when any other way is just frustrating. As I have said before, I am just too lazy to set up a jig if I don’t really really have too. I promise this is not a purist notion it really is just me being lazy.