Drill Press Jig

A good jig saves time.

Previously I had skipped over the second step in my  “How to Make a Rubens Tube” series.  I needed to get a chuck key for my drill press, but that’s all sorted out now.

Step 2. Drill.  I set up my tube on a homemade jig.  Basically it is a wooden V that allows me to hold the tube directly underneath the drill bit.  I had over 350 holes to do, so anything you can do to make it easier will definitely pay off.  How do you drill 350 holes in a long steel tube?  One at a time.  I went slow, and only broke one drill bit.  All in all it probably took me 3 hours of drilling to finish, but I broke it up over two days.

Drilling holes

That's the halfway mark.

One mistake I made was only using one roller stand.  If I was wiser I would’ve used two.  This would’ve kept the weight of the tube off of my jig.  But ultimately it wasn’t a big deal.  I would drill, then slide the tube over 1/2″ and line the bit up with the next hole.   Phew!  Now that’s done.  Now it’s time to finish the endplates and weld them onto the tube.  The tube is really starting to come together.

Keep reading Part 3 or Part 4.

Drilling a tube.

It's just as interesting as it looks.