Boring Machine Cycle Time

They're quick. November 15, 2011

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?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
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.

From contributor J:
I have a single line 23 spindle machine. The machine will cycle down, drill the 23 holes, then cycle back up in about 5 seconds. I have the parts on a cart right behind me. I grab a part, drill the front row, spin the part, drill the back row, then turn and set the part on the cart and grab the next one. I would say I am 20 to 30 seconds total per part, or 2 to 3 panels per minute. Parts that require more holes than the 23 from the line require an additional press of the pedal and I would estimate that the time doubles to about 40 to 60 seconds per part. A typical kitchen with ~20 cabinets (40 panels to be drilled) usually takes under 30 minutes.

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.

From contributor L:
I think contributor J's times are about right. We used to bore on a Morbidelli T machine at about that same pace.

From contributor H:
We have a double line 44 spindle Detel which cost me 3500.00 used. With 3 flip stops on each side, an 8' long pantry takes about 20 seconds to bore. The back set of holes can be moved with a crank and digital readout, so I can set back holes for any of my drawer slides or a constant 37mm backset for closet components that makes them reversible. All my hardware fits the system, so we never have to check if a slide is square or a hinge plate is too far back or forward. The only way to go, in my opinion.

From contributor Y:
It takes longer to pick up and set down the panel than to drill it.