Woodsmith Tips

I make a lot of cribbage boards for gifts. But drilling the rows of evenly spaced holes can be a tedious operation. I made the jig you see here to solve the problem. It consists of a long plywood base with a modified pegboard fence. And a unique stop block allows me to drill holes as close as ¼” apart. It has worked so well, I use it for almost every application requiring evenly spaced holes.

The key to the jig is the fence. As you can see in the drawing, it’s made from two layers of ¼” pegboard. During glueup, instead of aligning the holes, I offset them by half the distance between the holes (½” in my case). Then I used each hole as a drill guide to drill through the second layer. You end up with a strip with holes spaced every ½”. Once that’s done, you can rip the top and bottom edges straight and fasten it to the plywood base.

The stop block is what does all the “math” when spacing holes. It has two dowels that fit into the holes in the fence and “lock” it into place. For ½” spacing, just move the block to the next set of holes as you drill. But there’s a trick you can use to drill holes spaced ¼” apart. You can see in the Top View that the holes aren’t evenly spaced from the block’s edge. That’s done to allow for ¼” spacing. Here’s how it works: After drilling a hole, flip the block over and insert the dowels into the same holes. After drilling the second hole, just flip the block over, move it over to the next set of holes, and repeat the process. Once you do it a few times, it becomes second nature.

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