I am building my 10-year-old, horse-crazy daughter a portable “dolls house” style stable. As part of this project, I am making a fence using 16mm dowel (pine I think) for the post and 9mm dowel (pine too) for two fence rails. However (I bet you can guess where this is heading…) whenever I drill the 16mm dowel with a 9mm drill it ends up exploding out the back like a 9mm exit wound (bad pun, sorry). Even when it does happen to go through properly I am out of luck when it comes to lining it up again. Any ideas on a jig? I must admit that I don’t have a huge variety of tools, and a drill press is on my wish list, but I don’t own one yet.
Michael Dresdner: We could go through a long nosebleed on how to do this, because it can be done, but it makes more sense to first ask “Why round stock?” You could easily make a fence using flat or square stock attached to flat or square rails, more typical of real fences, and avoid the whole issue.
For the record, to cut several parallel holes in round stock, you start with a pencil line along the length for alignment, clamp the dowel into a snugly fitted concave cradle to prevent breakout, and line up the bit with levels or squares in two dimensions (x and y) before drilling with a brad-point bit.