Ever wonder how woodworkers drill those odd-angled, perfectly placed leg holes on the underside of chairs and stools and some tables? The answer is a custom drilling template that can be used over and over for dozens of identical furniture pieces. It doesn’t take long to make a drilling pattern. And once it’s finished, you just clamp it on the seat-to-be, drill through the holes, trace the pattern onto the stock, cut it out and glue in the legs.
To make a pattern, screw and glue together two pieces of 3/4-in. MDF with 1-1/4-in. screws. Set a drill press to the desired leg angle, and drill guide holes so they come out at the proper hole locations on the seat top. Cut the shape you want and clamp it to the seat stock and drill the holes (use a piece of plywood underneath to avoid tear-out). Then trace around the pattern and saw out the seat.
Use a 1-in.-diameter Forstner bit to drill holes in the pattern on the drill press, then switch to a 1-in. Irwin Speedbor bit to drill the seat holes; the guide hole will keep it perfectly angled while you’re drilling. These Irwin auger-style bits are very aggressive, so set the drill at a slow speed and practice on a scrap board so you don’t wreck your artwork.