Drilling Headlight Holes In the Bad Bob Motors Car Bodies Using a Shopsmith In Horizontal Boring Mode

I'm building a batch of cars with headlights and taillights made from dowels glued into holes. The holes have to be evenly spaced and aligned. They don't need to be perfect close is good enough. If I had this to do over, I would have done it differently. If I had thoroughly thought this through, I would have tried to mount the patterns so that I could have drilled multiple holes without moving anything. If everything was uniform, I could setup once and drill all the suitable headlight holes. Turn the block over, reset the stop blocks, and drill all the left headlight holes. The way it worked out, I had to realign and reclamp for every hole. If you are only making one toy, this isn't an issue. If you are making a lot of them, it can add significantly to the time it takes to make the cars. Here are the cars I'm trying to make.

Handmade Wooden Toy Cars - Bad Bob Motors - Coupe
Handmade Wooden Toy Cars - Bad Bob Motors - Coupe

Handmade Wooden Toy Cars - Bad Bob Motors - Tudor
Handmade Wooden Toy Cars - Bad Bob Motors - Tudor


My Shopsmith has a horizontal boring mode that makes it possible for me to clamp the blanks to the table and drill away. Ok, it's not exactly that simple. But it's way better than building a jig or tall fence to hold the block of wood vertically on a drill press.


The first thing I needed to do was find the center of the headlight hole.


Shopsmith Horizontal Boring - Wooden Toy Car - Drilling Headlight Holes
Shopsmith Horizontal Boring - Wooden Toy Car - Drilling Headlight Holes
 Using the pattern and carefully aligning it with the bottom of the block of wood. I carefully marked the headlight locations. I drill the first headlight hole on all the blocks, then raise the table to the next location and drill all the holes for the other headlight. The procedure for the tail lights is much the same, except the bit is smaller. For this to work well, everything has to be square, and the wood must be securely clamped in place.

If I make these again, I will not use dowels for headlights. I'm not too fond of the look of them. However, I will still need to drill the holes.



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