We just installed new cabinets. I need to put on knobs and drawer pulls. I
need to make a template that will have a right angle corner to fit onto the
face of each drawer to drill the holes for the hardware.
The knobs are easy, one inch in and one inch up from the corner. One hole.
The drawers are odd size, and have to be centered with two holes 3" OC.
I have some 1 x 10 select pine, very straight pieces.
I intend to cut a piece 16" long, the length of the longest width, then brad
on a right angle fence as an edge guide, and drill the pilot holes according
to each of the three drawer face configurations. I have a drill press,
therefore should be able to make some accurate pilot holes.
Is putting on the fence guides first the best approach, then as accurately
as possible marking the hole centers, then drilling on the press the best
These all need (preferably) to match on the horizontal and vertical. The
vertical may be plus or minus 1/16, as they are 5 7/8' to 5 3/4" differences
between faces. The 16" widths, and 10" heights are very close for six of
An accurate idea of how to make a template would be appreciated.
I really think I can do this, as I am good at math, but wanted some input
before drilling holes that will definitely be hard to correct.
Get it square, measure twice, and go slow. Am I right?
A. Once the drawers are in the case a slight variation won't be noticed.
B. One can also make one or both holes a bit over size to allow some wiggle
room when putting on the pulls. When tightened, the pulls will stay where
they should be. After attaching loosely, you could put a straight edge
along all knobs for the final tightening.
Measure your drawerfronts and mark for center, both vert and horz.
Then use one of these: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?pageX77
Mark, use mineral spirits to erase the pencil marks, and drill.
You would be very hard-pressed to make a better jig yourself.
No, no, no. It's MEASURE ONCE, CURSE TWICE.
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country
against his government." --Edward Abbey
In my experience, it's perfectly OK to lightly mark wood with a
pencil, as long as you don't press hard to make a dent/scratch. Also,
rubbing/wood/denatured/isopropyl/moonshine alcohol or shellac thinner
works even better than mineral spirits in removing pencil marks.
I second the denatured alcochol idea. You know what else works as long
as you have a good film finish? Spit, and rub it with your finger.
Works every time! The key here is light pencil marks. If you gouge the
finish it's over before you start.
Perhaps, but I'd be done with the project by the time the thing was
But he probably already has one.... called a combination square. If he
doesn't, he can go down to the corner and buy one for about half the
price of that jig. Then he has a multi-tasking tool and he's not stuck
with some specialized jig that sits in a drawer for the next 20 yrs. :-)
With a combination square you only have to mark the vertical center of
the drawer front.
He said the fronts were 16" wide, so you slide the rule out 9-1/2",
which is the center of the drawer plus have the width of the pull. You
mark/drill at 0 and 3".
While you're at it, buy another, small combination square (both for less
than that jig) and set it at 5". Use it from the top to set the long
square to vertical center. You might even get lucky and be able to use
the short side of the combo square to line up with the top or bottom of
the drawer front for center.
In any case, to the original poster... by the time you make your
homemade jig and remove your fronts, you could have the pulls installed,
by leaving the fronts attached to the drawers and using a combination
square to mark the locations.
Like dadiOH suggested, drill the holes a bit oversize and you don't have
to worry about drilling perfectly straight. Those pull screws are 8-32
IIRC, so a 3/16" bit should give you plenty of play.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
Jig is best, whether you buy it or make it. Period. I do it for a
living. Measuring every drawer introduces errors. "Nuff said. I make a
plywood jig with a split in the top for center so I can see the mark.
Mark your drawer center on top of the drawer lightly with pencil. Use
tape if you want to. Blast holes 3" or 4" on center. Whatever.
I never said to measure. I said to use a combination square which is set
to a measurement, just like a jig would be. You're going to measure to
make the jig, might as well just set the square to the measurement and
I've done both. If I were doing it for living, like you, I'd have a jig
in the toolbox.... wait, I do have one in the tool box. :-)
But this guy has what... a dozen drawers? He could be done installing
three or four in the time it takes to make the jig. I'm assuming he
doesn't make jigs all the time like most and from the description of
what he planned on doing, he was going to turn a simple jig into a
weekend project. :-)
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
This is pretty much how we do it to except that we measure from each
edge of the jig to the edge of the drawer front to find center. No
need to mark the drawer.
We just make our jigs from 1/4" with a piece of 3/4 stock tacked flush
along one edge. The piece of stock acts as a fence and lays against
the top edge of the drawer front
You can make your jig as tall as you need for your tallest drawer and
center the lay-out the lines (on the jig) for the width of the
hardware. Drill all of the same sized fronts then mark out the holes
to remind you not to use them again and put holes for the next tallest
drawer on your lay-out lines and repeat until all the drawer sizes are
The corner knob jig is made the same way (you need a left and right)
but you will have the fence piece on two edges 90 degrees from each
I helped a couple of guys with the factory made jigs but in both cases
the jig they bought didn't have holes in the correct place for their
specific hardware. I just drilled new holes in the factory jig. In
another instance the jig ( Rockler) was not long enough to do the two
tallest sizes of drawer fronts.
Some here have suggested that you make the hole a little larger but be
careful of this because some of the hardware has pretty small shanks
where the screws go. They don't leave much room to cheat. Just be
sure to check the hardware.
Be careful with cheap combination squares. I got one way backalong that
I used regularly until one day I figured out that it wasn't square.
Even worse, it wasn't always out of square by the same amount. Tossed
it and spent the 200 bucks for a 24 inch Starrett.
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