George Vondriska

Drilling a Level Hole

George Vondriska
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Duration:   2  mins

Even if you own a drill press you sometimes run into situations where you need to use a cordless drill to drill a hole. When the hole you’re drilling is horizontal, and the thing you’re drilling into is plumb, you can use this cool trick.

Grab a screw eye

The “instrument” we’ll use for checking for level is dirt simple. It’s a screw eye. It ends up riding on the drill bit and we can tell from its position whether or not the hole is level.

You’ll also need…

If you simply put the screw eye on the drill bit it’ll ride up and down the flutes, and won’t give you an accurate read on this. To avoid this, cover the flutes of the drill bit with masking tape.

How it works

Gravity is your friend in this process. If, as you’re drilling, you tip the drill bit up and down, you’ll see the screw eye moving up and down the length of the drill bit. When you’re holding the drill and the bit perfectly level the screw eye will stay in one position on the bit.

Reality check

There are lots of great portable drill guides in the marketplace that will give you more accurate results than this process. But if you need a down and dirty low tech approach, this’ll do it.