I had the same need a while back and after experimenting with
drilling (I adapted a foredom handpiece to an old Dremel drill
press) I found that it was easier and quicker to punch the holes. I
am lucky to have a home machine shop, so I made a punch and die that
fit my Heinrich lever punch (they are about $350). The punch is a
piece of 3/8" steel, tapped for most of it’s length, with a short
section left to take a HSS drill blank of the diameter needed for my
hole (I think it’s about a #56, I can check later). A screw adjusts
the length of drill blank protruding, and a screw from the side
locks it in place.
The die is just a piece of tool steel drilled to the same size as
the punch. I didn’t bother hardening the die. I built a hold down
into the die that you slip the piece under, so that after punching
the punch doesn’t lift the piece up with it.
I should take some pics of this. Now this is not a simple project…
What I found worked when drilling was high speed (foredom speeds)
and a good sharp drill (I used carbide). when the drill hits the
work, the work wants to rotate in the same direction. So you need to
constrain it against moving in the direction. It can be as simple as
a piece of shim stock glued to the table of the drill press. You
also want to hold the piece down so that when you retract the drill
bit (or when the piece tries to screw itself up the flutes of the
drill) it doesn’t lift up with the bit. In this case another piece
of (relatively heavy) brass stock, fastened from behind with a notch
in it, and doglegged slightly to fit over your piece, will help.
Reading a book on jig&fixture work will show the principles and
mechanics of drill jigs. Again, not really a direct answer that is
quick to implement.
But punching is a lot less violent, and yields a better hole (and
tiny little discs of material that can be used for granulation!)
@Felice_Luftschein_an is Nicholas Carter and Felice Luftschein. See our
homepage at www.cartertools.com/nfhome.html