I'm trying to drill a centered, straight hole in a piece without a big drill press and a bunch of clamps and brackets, which seems to be the usual way to do it. I can manage straight, but centered is eluding me.
I'm very new to working wood and I'm working on an umbrella swift for my partner to wind yarn on. Part of this involves an axle (in this case, simple dowel) and a couple of square-sided blocks that rotate around it. A bit of friction is actively desirable, so this isn't even going to get a sheave bearing, let alone anything fancier.
I'm having a lot of trouble drilling a straight, centered hole down the square stock, and tend to get a hole that's off center and/or not straight.
With a basic drill guide (collar style) I can get it pretty straight, but setting the work piece perfectly perpendicular is tricky since the edges from where it's cut off the bar stock aren't quite square after hand-sawing. (Maybe I should be using a mitre box?). I'm dealing with this by mounting it in a vise and measuring it carefully before tightening.
Getting the hole centered is just not working though. I drill a small pilot hole with a 2-bit, but it still tends to wander half a mil off center once it bites and starts drilling. I suspect it might be because of the soft pine I'm working with and the fact that I'm drilling down the line of the grain, not across it, but I don't have much choice about that. Widening the hole tends to make the situation worse, as the bit again tends to wander before biting properly.
If I go straight to the 12mm spade bit for the full width cut it tends to wander more, rather than less.
I'm also getting a hole that's usually not quite round - slightly distorted on three sides. Is this because I'm drilling with the grain?
Please forgive my ignorance. I've been hunting around for info, but mostly finding things focused on drilling down the center of round stock like dowel, where you can spin the stock in a drill and use a fixed bit. That's not an option here.
(I suspect this is like those programming questions I get on SO, where someone wants to know "how to build a dynamic website with PostgreSQL", where the answer is "let me write a book" or "where do I start"... but I'm hoping there are just a few simple tricks I'm missing here.)