If you build a project that requires angled legs, such as a bench, stool, or similar, you will have to come up with a method for drilling angled holes to receive the angled legs. While it might be tempting to just “eyeball it” I wouldn’t recommend that approach because it is difficult to establish accuracy and maintain consistency across multiple legs. And if your angle isn’t accurate, it can cause structural problems and look bad.
As with many woodworking operations, the best way to ensure accuracy and precision when drilling angled holes is to invest the time in building a jig. A jig for drilling angled holes is simple to make, requires only a small piece of wood (which you likely have in your scrap bin right now), and adds tons of accuracy over a freehand approach.
To build and use a jig for drilling angled holes:
Drill a straight hole. Find a suitable piece of scrap wood with the approximate dimensions as shown in the video. Using a drilling guide for your hand drill, or a drill press, drill a hole perpendicular to the surface through the approximate center of your work piece.
Rip to the appropriate angle. After the hole is drilled, set your table saw bevel to the appropriate angle for your project, and rip one surface of your jig to that angle.
Position where your legs will go and drill. After laying out the holes for your legs, carefully set the jig into position. Using a drill bit that is long enough to extend through your jig and able to drill a hole that is deep enough for your legs, drill angled holes for your legs.
Once you have mastered this technique of drilling angled holes, you’ll be able to utilize this skill in a variety of woodworking projects.