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Thread: Drilling PVC in a straight line

  1. #1
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    Default Drilling PVC in a straight line

    I really did not think I had to ask for help for this one, but I have this project where I want to drill 12mm holes in PVC for windows etc (for 12mm nodes) and looked at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9D...ature=youtu.be - I made a 3d JIG to do what I needed with a drill press, but everytime I try to drill the holes always start slanting down to one end. I have no idea why this is happening. How do you guys get completely straight lines - I need to ask because im wasting PVC bigtime when trying to lean by doing.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    Make sure your dowel for spacing is the exact same size as your bit. what size bit are you using?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    Is the drill press aligned correctly? What type of big are you using? With that type of jig I can't imagine why it would be slipping on you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    I use a stepping bit showed on the image.

    Also showing on the images is how the PVC ends up. Im sure somehow its getting twisted, but not sure what could make that large twist.

    The jig im using is also showing, about the same principal as the youtube video I linked to and it has no give (the tube fits exactly to it).
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    I had this issue when I drilled some pipe. I rolled the pipe towards me for one or two holes, then I'd roll it away from me for one or two and so on. There was very little play, but enough to mess my line up.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    Quote Originally Posted by chadowamsley View Post
    I had this issue when I drilled some pipe. I rolled the pipe towards me for one or two holes, then I'd roll it away from me for one or two and so on. There was very little play, but enough to mess my line up.
    Im not sure if I understood how you solved your issue?

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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    I had this same issue since I was using a wood dowel. After a 1000+ holes the dowel started to wear. Since there was rotational play, like chadowamsley, I would rotate the PVC piece forward against the dowel, drill a few holes, and rotate the piece backwards against the dowel drill a few holes. Although this didn't work perfectly, it got me by. I thought about using a long 1/2" bolt, cutting off the threads utilizing only the smooth part of the bolt, but then I saw someone else video. They just mounted a block of wood to the end of the PVC. The square/rectangle bottom of the piece of wood rides along the ground keeping the piece of PVC from rotating. When you get to the end of the PVC you only have a few hole to drill so simply removing the block of wood and drilling them without the piece is fine.

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    I built a jig to mark a straight line on the pvc. After placing hole on indexing pin, I tweak/rolled the pvc to drill the line.
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  11. #9
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    on this "same" thread last week someone suggested drawing a line down the pvc. Rubber band two pieces together and draw a lib be where they meet. Then you have a better visual of straight. Also try putting a chop stick (long bolt, garden stake, rod) in the first hole you drill once it clears the jig. make sure it points at the ground as you drill the rest.

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Drilling PVC in a straight line

    The way that PVC pipe is made, there are usually some "striations" running the length of the pipe (it is from the extruder). I take a pencil and mark that line. Haven't had one go sideways without me knowing about it since.

    Also, your pin in the jig should be as close to the size of the hole as possible. A trick learned while doing a whole bunch of holes is to push the pipe up against one side of the pin. Even with slop between the pin and the hole, the pin will be against the hole's outermost area. The one most likely to be straight. Do it the same direction each hole.

    See the example attached.

    ping slop example.png
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