Cabinet Knob Drilling Guides

      Cabinetmakers discuss store-bought and shop-rigged drill guide jigs. January 24, 2006

I am looking for a cabinet hardware (pulls and knobs) drilling guide. I won't be using it everyday, but I donít like bad tools. I'd rather much rather buy good ones. I've used Align-Rite and itís ok but a little fussy to set up. Are there others I should consider? What does everyone use?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
I'm not one for purchasing new tools that will lie around 90 percent of the time so I make my own out of scrap. It takes about 10 minutes. For drawers, cut a piece of 1/2" ply to a desired width and length and then nail a strip to the top that overhangs the front and back 1/2". This way it is reversible. Drill your holes where you need them. For the doors make the same jig except do the top and one side with a strip.

From contributor F:
I usually do something along the lines of what Contributor K does. Sometimes I just use a small adjustable square in one hand and a tape measure and awl in the other to mark the centers. I think everyone uses a scrap of wood to prevent splintering on the back side as you drill. An aluminum jig with adjustable drill bushings would be a handy tool though. I have a dedicated one to bore pilot holes for Blum faceframe plates and I like it.

From contributor B:
I use a Blum hinge machine to drill the doors for pulls before they go out the door. Also drill the drawer fronts before mounting on the cabinet. The Blum machine has a fence for set back and side stops for distance, what more could you want?

From contributor F:
It sounds efficient Bruce. I canít remember any client ever having their pulls selected or purchased before I installed.

From contributor T:
To the original questioner: I think they have a pretty good drilling guide at the True 32 website. It has some hardened bushings to keep the bit from drifting and some self centering gizmos that will give you a lot of confidence in alignment.

From contributor J:
I would suggest checking out Sommerfeld Tools for woodworking. They have an excellent jig. I keep two of them and I'm sure you could make your own, but this one is quality and worth the money.

From contributor B:
To contributor F: I just don't finish the doors until they have decided. I drill before the last coat of finish. If I am not installing then I don't worry about, and I don't drill the holes. The Blum machine is very efficient; we drill for hinges then turn around and drill for pulls while we have the door in hand.

From the original questioner:
Contributor K - I'm curious as to what you found deficient in the guide you purchased and then sidelined. The True32 unit looks like the Bentley of guides, and priced similarly. I get $5 per pull to drill and install, which backs probably around 60% of clients out, but I guarantee the work. If I screw up placement itís my nickel to fix. So a typical charge is $125-200 per kitchen. If I were doing a little more, I could justify the $325. Five or six jobs would pay for it, and then (assuming it works as stated) it should be cake.

Recently I drilled and installed a kitchen with 28 doors and 9 drawers. I used a marking jig on the DF and freehand drilled. It took around an hour of total time. If that Bentley jig works, I can imagine the time cut in half, so in essence I doubled my wage. It's a small piece to a big puzzle, but amortized over time, it really could pay for itself, and that's a good thing.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Custom Cabinet Construction

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article