Sunday, August 1, 2010

Drilling tip

I finally broke down and made myself a make shift drill press table. There was a couple of reasons behind this. The first was the book my wife gave me says that I need to drill accurate holes and some of the parts are quite large so I needed a bigger table than the one that came with the drill press.

A little note on a drill press: If you get into making toys the main thing you will be drilling are axle holders. I can drill a hole 2 1/2" deep. most toys are about 3-4" wide. This takes a couple of setups to drill all the way through the board. When looking for a drill press look for one that can drill a deep hole.

The other reason I wanted to make the table was to make dominoes. The original plan for the dominoes was to take and draw out where all the holes were supposed to go and then drill each one. My philosophy is that if I am making one it takes just as long to make a second. For all the math geeks that is 56 tiles and a hole lot of holes. On the other side of the dominoes were going to be shape dominoes. After about marking holes on 20 of the tiles I hoped there was a better way and there was. It is called the spacer block method. Basically blocks are used to determine the distance between holes. In the dominoes I needed to have holes 3/4" apart and 3/8" from the edge. I set up my stops which are the speed squares and then made 3/4" blocks from oak to be my spacers. The setup took about 30 minutes after all the materials were assembled. This setup is a good example of why you can always use more clamps.

This is the setup for the domino drilling.

The spacer blocks did a wonderful job locating all the holes so that the dominoes did not look like they were hand drawn out and hand drilled. They all most look like they were done on a production line. I am very pleased how they turned out.

The second part was to put the shapes on the back. I got the idea from Making Toys the Teach. They cut pieces of veneer into shapes, painted the pieces and then glued them to the board. Of coarse, me being an over-achiever, that was too easy. Actually the real reason is that I have never been very good with veneers and I wanted these dominoes to last. I could see pieces of the veneer flaking off, chipping, or causing splinters. I wanted to route in the shapes. I made templates to follow. The routers have a bushing accessory that allowed me to plunge into the wood and follow the template. I think this was the first time in 25 years this bench vise was used. Good thing my father bought it to make my 4th grade science experiment.

A couple of notes on pattern routing: I noticed the bushings for the router are set up to be mounted on a table. I was using them with a plunge router. Every so often I would have to make sure the bit was centered (or close) or the bit would hit the bushing. I also purchased the Bosch set, RA1125 (it fits my router). The bushings are saudered together. good for limited use. I was doing 112 shapes. The sauder melted and the bushing came off. Not too happy with that design. I had to use my father's brass set and reset up everything. All said and done, I need to put in the dowel plugs, paint and sand and this project is done.


  1. Wow, those are very cool dominoes!! Nice and big for little hands.

  2. Kyle has already started playing with them and they are not even done yet. I am very excited to see them finished.