Installing Wide Drawer Pulls-Is a Template the Best Way to Ensure Accurate Drilling

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Forum topic by gerrym526 posted 07-21-2010 11:42 PM 3731 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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274 posts in 3830 days

07-21-2010 11:42 PM

I’m putting the finishing touches on a low flat panel TV cabinet (from FWW 2008), and have to install drawer pulls that are 5 1/4” across requiring screw holes that distance apart. The are steel U-shaped pulls, so there’s no room for error in drilling the mounting holes on the drawer fronts. The drawer fronts as well are solid cherry, do don’t want any goof-ups when I drill.
My thought is to create a self centering drilling template that will rest on the top and one side of the drawer with the holes centered as required.
This the best way to accomplish the task? Any of you have a better idea?

-- Gerry

4 replies so far

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3689 days

#1 posted 07-21-2010 11:57 PM

I use a jig that is 1/4” and references off the top of the drawer. This way it is universal for any drawer should you use the 5 1/4” center pulls again. Use a combo square to set the distance from one side. If your drawers are different heights, you can drill and mark them as well on the front. I always check that the pull fits onto the jig first though.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10521 posts in 3450 days

#2 posted 07-22-2010 02:29 AM

If I understand rhett correctly, my jig is very similar. 1/4 ply with a strip of 5/8 material glued across the top. I marked the center of the 5/8 and cut a small v notch so the point of the v is dead center. Then I mark the center of the top of the drawer front and line it up with the v notch. These jigs are throw aways as I don’t seem to ever make a set of drawers the same depth as the last set.

BTW, I use the same idea for door pulls. Even if they are single screw knobs.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3502 days

#3 posted 07-22-2010 05:35 AM

I always use a template for drawer and door pulls. Even a template made out of tagboard or a piece of cardboard works good.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4147 days

#4 posted 07-22-2010 07:03 PM

I’ve built a couple of cabinets that have shelves with 1½” strips on the front of ‘em for strength. I almost always overestimate the number of shelves we’re actually going to use, and I’m constantly finding uses for pieces of plywood with a 1½” strip glued to ‘em. This is one of them: Yes, get on the drill press, make yourself a template, make sure that the handles fit on that template before you start drilling.

I like Rhett’s idea of using a combo square for the centering, so you’re not just building this for one specific drawer width.

The good thing about using ¾” ply for your template is that you can use a hand drill and still get a pretty perpendicular hole.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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