When building so many diy projects, one often needs to drill repetitive holes into the end of boards (so, a drill jig is very useful). For example, if you have a knife joint, you will need holes at the end of one of the boards, if you install an eccentric removable screw, you will need holes (and these holes must be precise). The examples can indefinitely continue. The holes in the ends of the boards are almost never missing from a woodworking project.
Unfortunately, using the drill press you can not drill such holes. If, for smaller pieces you can build a stand, the longer pieces (for example the sleepers of a bed) will never fit.
It would be better to have a horizontal drilling tool, but as such a tool is rather expensive, it is not worth buying it for a small workshop.
You can try to drill the holes with a corded drill, using a drill stand, if possible. If you have no experience, the holes will be wrongly positioned or not perpendicular, which will make the final assembly very difficult.
If you want the drilled holes to be very accurate, you can build from wood scraps a special drill jig, for your project.
The drill guide in this article is specially made for my project in progress: I needed to drill on both ends, one centered hole, in 10 pine wood pieces, 2.5 cm by 2.5 cm in section.
I started by screwing two boards so that they would be perpendicular to each other (here I cheated a little, the assembly was already made for a very thick log cutting jig). I chose a piece of hardwood (I found a 4 cm thick piece of beech wood) and I checked that the piece had at least 2 sides perpendicular to each other. I calculated the position of the pilot hole, taking care to collect the thickness of the wall of the square on which I will fix the piece of beech wood.
I have set the position of the hole (if there are several on the same edge, it is good to drill all of them at first to avoid having to move the drill jig) and I drilled the beech piece using the drill press. I used an 8 mm drill bit, the required hole diameter, (the holes will be used to fit 8 mm wood dowels). Because the drill will often slightly damage the guide hole, it is advisable that the thickness of the guide plank to be at least 3 cm. Thus, the drill bit will be straight and the guide will be harder to be damaged.
I screwed the board on the square. I took care that the part from which I started the pilot hole to be towards the inside of the guide (so I avoided any hole positioning errors, if the drill press did not make the hole perfectly perpendicular). Then I did a first test with a scrap (one scrap left from cutting the pieces that I had to drill, because it was the same size).
After I checked that the guide was accurate, I started to drill the wooden pieces for the project in progress. I’ve drilled all the 10 pieces on both ends in just 3 minutes, without having to measure each one and without the risk of making any mistake.
Because I needed to drill the end of a wooden board for the same project, I chose not to build another guide, but to use the same one. To get the centered holes (the board was thinner), I used small veneer pieces of 2.5 mm and 1.6 mm to level the plank on the guide.
You can also learn how to drill perfect holes with two drill jigs for dowel joints, at a certain angle, using as example an laminated oak wood room divider.