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Brick drilling jig

One of the previous owners of my apartment was an idiot, who apparently thought that the way to install a curtain rod is to put screw hooks into the wall and thread the curtain rod through them. This resulted in curtains that were too close to the wall, and would rub against the wall making them hard to open and close. It also meant that the curtain rod could slide back and forth in the hooks, occasionally sliding all the way out and falling down.

I'm on an ongoing quest to fix this, and many other mistakes made by that person.

Today I put up new curtains in the study, and installed proper brackets for the curtain rod. This required drilling into the brick walls. Last time I did this, brick dust ended up going everywhere. Also the drill bit tended to drift slightly, resulting in off-centre holes and wonky brackets.

So I built this jig:

A block of wood which guides a drill bit, with a dust-catching bag attached The jig held against the wall

It does three things:

  • Keep the drill bit at a right angle to the wall
  • Prevent the bit from slipping to the wrong position
  • Catch brick dust

It actually didn't do a great job of keeping the drill bit in place. The block must have slipped a little along the wall. I tried to hold it firmly in place while I drilled, but it wasn't enough. It needs something sticky on the front face to keep it held in position.

The dust catching worked pretty well though. There's a bit of PVC pipe which goes up through the bottom of the block to where the drill bit is, and the dust falls down through it. A plastic bag is taped on to collect it.

Some dust still falls down between the jig and the wall, so I added this paper dust catcher below:

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