Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls

How to get the handles in the same place every time

Illustration by Harry Bates

With this simple drilling guide, the holes for your drawer pulls will always be level and centered. And the work goes faster because there's no error-prone measuring. Besides your drill, the only tools you'll need to make the guide are a compass and a combination square.

1. Assemble the pieces. First, determine where you want the center of each handle to be. Then mark that centerline on the top edge of the drawer's inside face. Cut a scrap piece of 1/4-inch hardboard or plywood roughly twice the length of the pull and about an inch or so wider than the drawer's depth. Line up the bottom edge of the scrap with the bottom edge of the drawer and draw a line on the scrap using the top edge of the drawer as a guide. Glue and screw a 3/4-inch cleat alongside this line to serve as a stop for aligning the guide.

2. Find the centerlines. Place the guide on a worktable, cleat side up, and use a combination square to draw lines connecting the opposite corners. Then brace the square against the side of the guide, as shown, and draw a straight line through the point where the two diagonal lines intersect. This is the horizontal centerline of the guide and the drawer. Now place the square against the bottom edge of the guide, in line with the point where the three lines intersect, and butt the end of the rule against the cleat. Mark the cleat, then use the square to transfer that center mark to the cleat's face.

3. Locate the holes. Spread the compass legs to match the center-to-center distance between the two mounting holes on the pull. Without changing that spread, place the compass point on the spot where the diagonal lines intersect. Trace a circle. Now place the compass point on the spot where that circle intersects the centerline. Draw an arc that intersects the circle above and below the centerline. Do the same thing on the other point where the circle intersects the centerline. Use the square to connect the two points where each arc intersects the circle. Then drill a hole where each of these connecting lines crosses the centerline.

4. Drill the drawer. Place the guide against the drawer's face and the cleat on the top edge of the drawer. Line up the mark on the cleat with the mark on the inside of the drawer. Now just drill through the guide's holes while holding the bit horizontal.

1 ×

Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls tout

 

Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls tout

Illustration by Harry Bates

1. Assemble the pieces.

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Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls 02

 

Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls 02

Illustration by Harry Bates

2. Find the centerlines.

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Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls 03

 

Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls 03

Illustration by Harry Bates

3. Locate the holes.

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Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls 04

 

Drilling Guide for Drawer Pulls 04

Illustration by Harry Bates

4. Drill the drawer.

 
 

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