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Drilling For Inlaid Marker Dots


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I've just read the tutorial on drilling for inlay marker dots made from guitar picks. There was one weakness in the instructions, and I'd like to make a suggestion to remedy that.

The author (Brian Johnson?) suggests using a 1/4 inch drill bit to make the hole for the dot, and then says to be careful not to drill too deep!

Here's a way to control the depth of the hole you drill. Get a piece of 1/4 inch ID hose, such as vacuum hose from an auto supply store, and slip it over the drill bit. Leave only as much bit exposed as the depth you want to drill. In fact, leave a little less exposed, because the hose tends to compress a little.

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When doing dots it's always wise to drill right through the board with a very small bit first, it not only helps with accuracy (giving the larger bit something to line up on) but allows you to add a little super glue from the back of the board to hold the dot in place - nice and neat

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Or just wrap a piece of tape to mark how deep you want to go, and watch, and drill until the tape hits the wood....


Well, the problem with the tape is that it moves, too, and in addition tends to get messed up after drilling a hole, and can't be re-used. The hose needs to be cut the entire length of the bit, fromt he chuck to the point on the bit where you want to stop drilling. Maybe I didn't make that clear.

The other tips are good, too.

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+1 for tape

+1 for forstner/brad (I used forstner)

As long as your dots are of at least a passable thickness, err the drilled hole on the side of "too shallow" and then just sand flush. You should have plenty of control to just eyeball in conjunction with the piece of tape, though. My drill's depth stop is a dodgy piece of crap and the tape is far more reliable for me. People with better gear will have better luck.


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I use tape and also use my hand powered drill.

I grab the wheel and slowly move it back and forth.

That is the best control you will have.

It will not wonder and will not get away from you.

Not had a problem yet.

It just like the first drill in the link.


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