Curved Rectangle Drawer Hole Jig? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question Curved Rectangle Drawer Hole Jig?

Hello!

I'm working on a desk for my son and I want to include drawer pull openings like the ones shown in the attached photo. And I'm curious as to 1) do these holes in drawers have an actual name? and 2) is there a jig that I can buy or make?

Yes, I could drill two Forstner holes and then the jigsaw cut the drawers. But, I'm looking for something that I could use my router to make the holes more smooth and uniform.

Thanks for any wisdoms!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 04:14 PM
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A router would give a better finish - especially if you make a jig, use a bearing bit and start off the edge through a hole to avoid errors in the cut. Then chamfer the edges (on both sides) to the degree of roundness or comfort desired. Haven't done it yet but that's how I'd go about it.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 05:12 PM
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I do this all the time. Don't know if they have an official name but I call them hand holes. Your thought to use a template is spot on. Though you could just cut one by hand and then use that as a template to minimize your effort. The advantage of making an actual template is if you screw it up, you only waste the template material.

My most recent use of them was in my plyometric box project. Look here and scroll about half-way down for the relevant part. You can use a straight bit with router guide bushings, a pattern bit or a trim bit. If you use a bushing, you'll need to make the template larger by the offset amount. I used a 1/4" round over to finish off the holes and that gave them a very nice feel. For a drawer, I'd probably use a 1/8" round over or even just an aggressive sanding to knock the edges off.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 05:15 PM
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Drill the holes at the ends in a piece of MDF that's large enough to clamp to the ends of the drawer front. This makes a jig you can clamp in place, that's large enough to support your router. Drill holes in the ends and jig saw out the opening just a little inside the marked lines between the holes. Use a sander to smooth out the edges all the way to the cut line you want. This gives you a template and you can use a trim router to make a perfect opening.

Start on the drawer fronts by drilling holes. Make a cardboard sheet and mark the centers of each hole you'll drill. Make this first so you use it on the jig. Use a jig saw to rough cut the drawer fronts, then the trim router in the oval jig. Then a roundover to soften the opening.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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PhilBa, my man!!! YES! Thank you so much for sharing! And your boxes look great, too! I'll definitely be reading your project page more closely on the hand holes!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwian View Post
Hello!

I'm working on a desk for my son and I want to include drawer pull openings like the ones shown in the attached photo. And I'm curious as to 1) do these holes in drawers have an actual name? and 2) is there a jig that I can buy or make?

Yes, I could drill two Forstner holes and then the jigsaw cut the drawers. But, I'm looking for something that I could use my router to make the holes more smooth and uniform.

Thanks for any wisdoms!
Hi Ian

Yes, use a router and a template as suggested. I did this on the cat tower I built for all the routed slots. Mine are a bit narrower than you'd want, but the same applied.
It works well, and is repeatable. And I bet once you've sized your template accordingly, you'll find more uses for it, so it's never wasted!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 10:32 AM
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I made a template from 1/4" Baltic Birch and used my DeWalt 611 with a router bushing and up spiral bit to make the hand holes in the tote bins in the attached photo. I made 12 of these bins, 24 total hand holes. The template was made by cutting the hole using my scroll saw, but two Forstner bit holes and cutting out between them works too. It was cut 1/4" larger all the way around (1/2" total width) than the holes to be cut in the tote bin ends. This accounted for the router bushing to bit difference in size. I added square pieces of 3/8 Baltic Birch to the bottom of each to act as feet and also to make them stackable and interlocking.

This template is now in my jig storage area, because I know I'll be using it again. I wrote the bit and bushing sizes on it, as I do with all of my jigs, so I can remember how I did it for the next time. My jig and template storage area is hooks in the 8' high ceiling beams of my shop. Larger jigs get hooked above benches, so my taller friends don't hit their heads. I'm 5'8" and have no problem moving and working under the shorter jigs, but I have one friend that needs most of the jigs moved from over the aisles when he comes to visit.

Charley
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 10:37 AM
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Duplicate post......Deleted.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 12:52 PM
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I would go the pattern bit or straight bit and guide as suggested but I would probably cut out most of the waste first. You eliminate about 2/3 of the wear on the router and bit when you do that. It takes longer but I'm usually in no hurry.

As for a name I would say it's a type of finger pull since you stick your fingers in the hole and pull. All of my drawers and cupboard doors use finger pulls instead of hardware.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
I would go the pattern bit or straight bit and guide as suggested but I would probably cut out most of the waste first. You eliminate about 2/3 of the wear on the router and bit when you do that. It takes longer but I'm usually in no hurry.

As for a name I would say it's a type of finger pull since you stick your fingers in the hole and pull. All of my drawers and cupboard doors use finger pulls instead of hardware.
Yes, definitely remove most of the waste. Not only is it easier on your bit and is quicker but, if you can limit the cut to about 1/8"/3mm, you get a much cleaner cut. Especially when up cutting against the grain at about a 45 degree angle. I'll often make multiple passes when there is more than 1/8" to remove. Makes the sanding job at the end a lot easier.


I think of finger pulls as a little smaller - usually for one finger. But then what do I know, I'm just making it up as I go along, kind of like the rest of my life. Maybe we should have thread on what to call it.
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