Templates for Pin Hole Boring

A shop-made router template saves time in 32-mm frameless construction. May 13, 2005

Where can I find 4mm bits with shanks that will fit in a 1/4" or 1/2" router collet? I am using a plunge router to drill for 4mm shelf pins.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor K:
Back in the mid-eighties, I made up a bunch of templates for doing this for upper and lower cabinets to make it easy for small shops to get over into the 32 MM system. The trouble was that I may have been a little ahead of my time for Arkansas. I can drill 90 holes per minute with a plunge router and one of these templates. I have a friend with a machine shop that can make 1/2" to 10mm bushings that can be bonded together with the red Loktite if you want a lot of them. I use a 5mm bit because the system screws for all the hardware that I use is this size.

From contributor M:
If we are talking about 5mm bits, www.eagle-america.com has them, but I've found the pins to be a little too loose in the holes that I've bored with them. I now use a 3/16" spiral bit and find the holes to be perfect; the pins are snug and the system hardware screws work.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the reply. The template I use is a series of half holes on the edge of a straight edge the collar of the router bushing seats in. I had an architect spec 4 mm pins and really liked them. Makes bigger ones look sort of clunky. I have been buying 5/32" bits and filing them down. I have not been able to combine a 4 mm bit with a shank that fits a 1/4" or 1/2" router collet. What kind of template did you come up with?

From contributor K:
I made these back in the mid-eighties. I used 1/2" apple ply. The upper template is about 12 X48" and has 3 lines of holes 32 mm apart and the outside rows are 37 mm from each edge for the standard upper cabinets. 37-mm back-set, as you probably know, is the standard for mounting the hinge plates.

The third row was for bookshelves, which I normally made 9" deep. The base template was the same size that I normally made the ends of my base cabinets, with all of the holes for a top drawer, and hinge mounting plates and for 3 and 4 drawer banks. The holes in the template are 18 mm because all of the plunge routers back then came with that standard size guide bushing. I made a special router bit that even chamfered the edge of the holes to help funnel the collet in. I later made some 16-mm because the 18 became hard to get.

It was a darn good idea, just too far ahead of its time for my area. I couldn't get these guys around here to give up their stile and rails. There is something nice about being able to drill all of the necessary holes in a cabinet in a minute or two, then screw all of the hardware on while it is laying on the workbench without even having to take out a tape-measure before I even assembled the box.

From contributor G:
We (Courmatt) have a 4mm drill. Reducing the shank to .250 is no problem. 3 day lead time.