Using Drill Bushings in Your Projects

Duration: 3:44

I love building jigs and fixtures for my shop. When I’m building jigs that work in conjunction with a drilling operation, I find it’s best to add drill guide bushings to the jig so the jig holds up and stays accurate. If I’m investing my time, after all, I want the jig to last.

What’s a drill guide bushing?

A drill guide bushing is a chunk of hardened steel with a very specific inside diameter. Match the inside diameter of the bushing to the outside diameter of drill bit you’ll be using. See Sources.. The outside of the bushing is threaded so you can screw it into your jig.

What’s the benefit?

If you simply make your drilling jigs from plywood or hardwood and then run the drill through the locating hole over and over, you’re going to elongate the hole and the jig will quickly lose it’s accuracy. By using a guide bushing instead, the drill bit will be running inside the hardened guide bushing, and you’ll never lose accuracy.

Installing the guide bushing

Most guide bushings have ½”-20 threads, so a ½”-20 tap will give you the threads you need in order to screw the bushing into your jig. Drill the hole for the tap slightly undersized

The best bit

There are lots of types of drill bits available. Understanding different drill bits will help you choose the best one for the job.

Lots to learn

There are so many tips and tricks like this in woodworking. Have a look at our great woodworking tips to see what else we have available to make your woodworking easier to do.

Sources: Drill Guide Bushings

Discussion
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5 Responses to “Using Drill Bushings in Your Projects”
  1. Norman Robinson
    Norman Robinson

    Hi George,
    If you put the tap in the chuck of the drill press and turn it by hand to start the tap it will guarantee the thread is exactly true to the face of the jig.
    Cheers Norman.

    Reply
  2. Lawrence J Briggi
    Lawrence J Briggi

    You have some great ideas and techniques. Add that to a magical delivery, and I am always entertained and educated. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Christine,

      It is not likely to unscrew it because the bushing is smooth walled, and there shouldn’t be enough friction/engagement between the bit and the bushing to unscrew it. If it does unscrew it, you could just put a dab of CA glue on the bushing’s threads and re-install it.

      -Paul
      Woodworkers Guild of America

      Reply