Drill jigs

I don’t have a picture, and one’s not really necessary to get the idea, but I was working this weekend on making some parts for my wife’s weaving loom. I needed to drill some holes in some aluminum bar stock with a certain spacing and layout. And, I needed to make multiple identical copies of each part.

I used the glowforge to make a draftboard replica of the aluminum piece, with pilot holes for the drilled hole locations. Then I could clamp the jig to the aluminum while lining up the edges, and drill through with my pilot drill and get accurate and repeatable hole locations on the finished parts. A quick and disposable method to solve a simple problem!


What kind of material did you use? How thick?

Did the jigs get damaged during the process?

Sounds like it was a success, what accuracy were you shooting for? How accurate did you get?

I used medium draftboard. And a 1/16" pilot hole to transfer the hole layout to the aluminum. The draftboard probably got a little chewed up in the process, but I was not looking for anything better than 1/32" accuracy and I was only making six parts, two with one jig and four with another. The bigger loss in accuracy was probably when I used the 5/16" drill to finish out the hole.

To get better accuracy, I’ve used drill guides from McMaster that press in to a hole. For example… https://www.mcmaster.com/31435a011 would have done the trick.


Okay, I feel kind of stupid right now. I’ve always used brass tubing for permanent drill jigs, now I find out McMaster has hardened steel ones for sale


Oh those McMaster drill bushings are great, thanks for the tip.