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Top-shelf template for boring multiple holes
Not long ago, I built some cabinets for my office with adjustable shelving. Faced with marking and drilling hundreds of holes, I created the boring template shown at right. With it, I use my plunge router with a guide bushing to consistently create cleaner holes than I could ever make with a drill bit. And a few carefully placed shelf supports quickly align and locate the template over the workpiece.
I made mine from a piece of white 1/4″ perforated hardboard about 15×60″. Using a drill press, I enlarged the center row of holes to fit my plunge router’s 3/8″ guide bushing. I then numbered the holes so I know where to stop boring.
To use the template, I first laid out the approximate line for the shelf-pin holes on my first case side. Next, I indexed the jig to the workpiece by placing the row of enlarged holes directly over that layout line. Then, I installed a pair of 1/4″ shelf supports underneath the template in the two adjacent rows nearest the workpiece edge, as shown in the drawing. These supports locate the shelf-pin holes up to 1/2″ off that first line, but that’s okay, because the jig duplicates the location on every workpiece. After snugging the supports against the edge and end of the workpiece, I clamped the template and workpiece in place.
Finally, I inserted the guide bushing into the first desired hole, plunged a 1/4″ straight bit to depth to bore the shelf-pin hole, and repeated for each hole in the row. After boring the entire row, I simply moved the shelf support from one edge to the other (but not moving the top support) and repeated the hole-boring process. The results are amazingly accurate because the template always registers off the top edge of the workpiece.
—Robert Brosbe, Lancaster, Pa.
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