I'm considering buying a line boring machine to do shelf holes. Nothing specific in mind yet. What can I expect for a cycle time per part?
From contributor M:
Assuming no setup and the bits are already in the correct holes, also assuming the in-table and out-table are close by the machine, 45 seconds.
In my shop we use a single head boring machine for all hardware holes (not dowels). The setups can be somewhat complicated (drawer slides, hinges, shelf pin holes on the same panel). A complicated base cabinet takes us about 10 minutes to drill both sides including the setup, but we have a pretty good system for doing it. It would take a lot longer if we did not snap all hardware to the 32mm system in the design.
Our most difficult cabinets are tall freestanding closets. These usually have 2 or 3 rollouts, pair doors with 4 hinges each, 2 fixed (doweled in place) shelves, and a closet rod. The panels are usually 2100mm tall. It takes us 20 minutes to bore these panels.
But if all you are doing is shelf pin holes it is only a few seconds. If you buy a good machine you should consider drilling all your hardware holes on the boring machines. It takes some planning to come up with a fast process but it allows for a more accurate and repeatable process than manually drilling using jigs.
If you engineer your cabinets to follow one of the systems such as True 32, pearls, or any of the other systems of 32mm cabinetmaking, you will realize even more time savings further down the line when it comes to attaching hardware to the side panels. In my opinion, this is where the real time saving comes in and is the most important benefit of being able to bore in 32mm increments.