Author Topic: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?  (Read 16652 times)

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Offline LaserGecko

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Hey folks,

I'm about to start using confirmat screws. The holes will be hand drilled, but I'm not going to get the Hafele drill guide for obviou$ rea$on$.

Does anyone use one of those precision drill guides like General or Craftsman makes?

http://www.mcfeelys.com/product/DG-3637/General-Adjustable-Drill-Guide is one example.

I hate using TLAR (that looks about right) for something like this where a SCREWup could cost a lot of time and trouble.

Thanks!
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

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Offline Mirko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2007, 03:01 AM »
LaserGecko,

 I'm not sure what the Hafele drill looks like or costs, but if you have a Hettich rep. in your city, they sell a stepped drill bit.
It steps down from 8mm to 5mm and its made exclusively for drilling the confirmat screw.
 What you can do is put you cabinet together with a brad or two, then use the stepped bit, to drill the side and top/bottom at the same time! IMO its the only easy way to drill for confirmats without using very expensive vert/horz boring machines.

Mirko

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 03:48 AM »
I have used confirmat style screws a lot. I use the stepped drill that McFeeleys sells. They have two and they are sized for the two sizes of confirmat. They cost about $17. You do not need that drilling guide.
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 04:37 AM »
Sweet, thanks guys!

That was one tool I really wasn't looking forward to buying or using or storing.
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Ned

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2007, 11:01 AM »
You do not need that drilling guide.

I disagree.  Definitely get the step drill that Mirko & John recommend.  Then get the General jig you pictured in the first post (it's the No. 36, I think), a piece of 3/8" drill rod and a 3/8 collar.

This jig makes the edge placement a lot easier.  Brad the right-angle pieces together and go.  The shoulder on the underside of the jig aligns against the edge of the work piece.
2342-0

By not cannibalizing the General jig, merely swapping some parts, the General jig remains usable.  On your Confirmat projects, you'll need it for non-edge drilling.

The dust collection piece is a Bosch part for a 1613 router.  It encircles the cutting area.  The usual Festool D27 hose fits fine.

If I built this one again:
  • I'd use a knob rather than a handle.  You want to draw the jig against the work, not push it sideways.  Sometimes you'll be holding the jig with your right hand, sometimes your left.  A knob would be better.
  • I'd arrange the dust collector so that it was on the handle side of the jig.  You want any influence the hose has on the jig to be pulling it into position, not away.
  • Perhaps the underside stop could flip out of the way for non-edge drilling?

Just had a thought--if you've got a VS600, it might make a nifty production jig for Confirmat installation.  The workpieces accurately aligned, no brads.  Some adaptation, probably a custom template, would be needed.

Ned

Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2007, 12:34 PM »
Just to clarify, the step drill bit has always been in the picture. The Hafele drill guide to which I was referring is the Zentrix which is $270.

http://www.woodworkerswholesale.com/Zentrix_Drilling_System_p/hf001.22.510.htm

As it usually goes, I can find the drill bit, but not the screws in town. Grrrrrrr.
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Ned

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2007, 01:09 PM »
Jason,

Thanks for the link to the Haefele tool.  I couldn't find it at Haefele's US site.  Typical. 

Interesting design.  Makes Festool accessories seem like bargains.

McFeely's has Confirmats, also the step drills and the General guide.  One stop shopping.  And shipping.  :)

Ned





Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2007, 09:18 PM »
The order from McFeely's is already on the way. I can get the drill guide locally, so I'm going to give it a shot by hand and see how it goes. Besides, I didn't want to pay 2nd Day Air charges for something that big. The corded drill I will use has a bubble level in it and since the holes are already "poked through" from the dado in the other side, I already have a good starting hole.

The Zentrix is in their catalog, but it's kind of hard to find. I downloaded the entire Connectors section because I don't think it's in the same smaller section as in the Confirmats.  Heck, they even have a drill to go with it. Bet that puppy's cheap!

Of course, I might no longer need dados in the sides, but it seems like that would make assembly much easier. Hmmmmm, that would certainly save a bit of time when cutting the sides. Gee, I feel like I'm turning into Sauder furniture or something. :)

Is 1/2" of material (3/4" minus the 1/4" dado) enough for the head of the confirmat to "bite"?


On another note, does anyone know where to get PoziDrive #3 driver bits for less than $.85 each?
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Mirko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2007, 01:19 AM »
Jason,
IMO, using a comfimat makes the dado redundant. AWMAC standards for commercial millwork require confirmats or dowels, dados are a thing of the past.

Mirko

Offline Ned

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2007, 08:30 AM »
The Zentrix is in their catalog, but it's kind of hard to find. I downloaded the entire Connectors section because I don't think it's in the same smaller section as in the Confirmats.

I looked in the Tools section.  Silly me.

Ned

Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2007, 03:00 PM »
Well, I wish I'd discovered these things long ago. Still getting used to them, though. It's a lot easier to keep everything square when you have the shelf in a dado! (Yes, I have the WS3 clamps, but since the edges aren't flush, it's a bit of a PITA.)

Next time, I will put the rails on the floor and drill the holes with the front down instead of up. That way, the edges of the boards will all be flush.

FWIW, the General "Accu-Drill" guide (HD, $30) has a smaller head than what is pictured. It won't work with the $20 stepped drill bit because it won't plunge far enough. I will check with other sources to see if they have the larger head.
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2008, 09:02 PM »
Update: Gave up on finding a good guide. Buying a Zentrix guide and offering to let ya'll come along for the ride. Check the classifieds!
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Ned

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2008, 09:10 PM »
Jason--

Looking forward to your report (with pics).  You might sell me on one.

Ned

Offline Mike Chrest

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 08:01 PM »
Ned,
  Nice drill guide! I always did this free hand but looks like this might be quicker to use (has depth stop, don't have to sight down edge of box, don't have to mark 3/8" in from edge) and has dust collection!

Jason,
  What was the problem with the General guide again?

Mike

Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2008, 08:45 PM »
What was the problem with the General guide again?

The only ones I could find (around here, anyway) didn't let the head get close enough to the wood to drill the hole. I tried two different ones and they both had the same problem with the drill with the replacable pilot drill. It's possible they may work with a different bit.
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Mike Chrest

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  • N.W. New York State
Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2008, 09:06 PM »
Did you try making Ned's base? Or were you using the original base?


Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Hand Drilling for Confirmat Screws: Precision Guide Recommendation?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2008, 11:51 AM »
No, I never tried using Ned's design since the reassembled guide still wouldn't work for me for non-edge drilling. His guide must be a different model than the ones I could find around here.

Speaking of Hafele, I got their catalog yesterday. Holy junk, those Germans don't mess around, do they? 1200+ pages and hard bound! I haven't carried a book like that since College Biology!
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV