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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to use my ZenBot 2424 to drill precisely straight holes up the center of 3/4" dowels. In order to do this I would build a fixture and would drill a single row of holes through my table surface to accommodate the length of the dowels. I would be careful to miss the belt and the bars underneath. That part I have figured out. The collet is positioned squarely over the traveling bar underneath the table. So here's the question: in order to get the collet to be centered about an inch in front of the traveling bar so that it could drill into the row of dowels, I would have to add a 1" spacer plate to my router mount. I can make such a spacer, I think, but would I be hurting my machine if I did this? Are you aware of others who have tried to do this (for instance to cut dovetails into the ends of drawer sides)?
 

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Dennis, please forgive me if my response is "way out in left field", but in years past, I often had need to drill longitudinal holes in wooden dowels and basically make thin wooden pipe. This is extremely easy with a metal lathe with the workpiece being what is spun and a proper drill bit being fed into the spinning workpiece (wood dowel). CAUTION, not all species of wood are candidates for concentric holes! We were using maple and walnut. Good luck, Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I have been doing this job on a wood lathe for a couple of years. Time required is too long and I get a "sort of" accurate result. I've never explored the idea of a metal lathe. Why would it be better? I make hundreds of these. I drill a 13/64 hole straight up the center of a 3/4 walnut or maple dowel to a dept of 2 1/8". The dowels are only 7" long.
All suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi Dennis, I see that you have 3 drill presses. Can you rotate one of the tables 90° and use the drill press. a small jig to hold the dowel in place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, James. We used this method for a while. Dowels, as it turned out, do not have consistent diameters. They vary by as much as a 32nd from extreme to extreme so smaller ones were wobbly and off center while largest ones would not go through the jig. Currently we are using a long-jaw vice on the drill press and re-centering when necessary. It's not as fast as we'd like, nor quite as accurate as we need--about a 5% waste factor after drilling.
 
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