Desireable Features in a Line Boring Machine

A cabinetmaker gets advice on shopping for a line-boring machine that wil productively meet his needs. June 16, 2014

I'm looking to get into the custom closet business and would like some help finding a machine to do manual line boring. I remember many moons ago when I worked for a closet company they had a line boring machine with several drill bits that came down at the same time and drilled holes 32 mm apart. Does anyone have any recommendations? Iím nowhere near able to fund a CNC. Also, I'm looking for a machine to drill for double cams (cams with an outrigger). I may be open to used machinery if it's a worthwhile investment, unless new is the only way to go for something like this. I really don't want to make a jig on my drill press and drill two separate holes and two different sizes.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor F:
If all you want is line boring you can find them pretty easily, even on the used market for short money. I'd guess $2-3k will get you a decent used model. Of course if you want to use dowels or confirmats youíre going to need a little more. Then youíre going to want to look at construction boring machines (which are a little more expensive) and a line boring machine. I'll leave specific recommendations to the other guys who've used them.

How are you set for cutting panels and edge banding? Doing custom closets, (I'm assuming Euro style), requires good precision cuts and being able to apply PVC banding. That's not even getting into being able to keep up with the bigger companies that are doing rounded corners now. Iím not sure what equipment you have but if I were starting up a custom closet business I'd want at a minimum a good 8' plus slider or vertical panel saw, a good edgebander and a good construction boring machine. Alternately a decent CNC would eliminate two of those machines. Having said that there's good money to be made in those closet systems.

From Contributor U:
I would find a line boring machine that is set up to half or through bore at the flick of a switch. Consider one that drills up so the sawdust falls down. Find one you can easily move the heads so you can accommodate different widths. A machine that has two 23-25 spindle heads will allow you to easily custom drill various panel configurations. Gannomat and Ritter are the two most common line boring machines in the closet industry. Used you can get dependable machines for $2-4K. New ones go for over $20K.

The reason cam connectors are available with two holes is to more accurately install the cams manually. Two-hole cams have no additional value. A decent cam insertion machine will accurately drill and install one-hole cams. If you use one-hole cams you can more easily trim a fixed shelf in the field and reinstall the cam. You can get a decent used manual machine for $700 and a pneumatic one for $1000. Blum Minipress is commonly used for cams. Also OMAL and Thompson Industries make machines for inserting cams. Gannomat has a high volume model too.

From contributor Z:

I use a steel 44 spindle machine with through bore capabilities. Drills two parallel rows of 22 holes and has flip stops to repeat holes in 32mm sequence for up to 96". There are many similar machines on the market. The double line machines give you the ability to bore different widths with ease and can also be used for frameless cabinetry to install hinge mates and slides with complete accuracy. I have a grass manual hinge machine that us set up for the cam holes and it will drill two holes for the knock in steel cams which are great looking and very strong. You can also use just the one but for single cams as well. A Blum or Omal machine can accomplish the same thing. Just set the stops to 37mm left and right and bore your lines the same 37 from front and back edge.