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How to Make a Jig for Aligning Holes for Cabinet Pulls

Knobs and pulls, like the choice of the cabinetry and furniture, helps define the overall look of your room. Carefully selected hardware adds elegance and character to the space it adorns. They come in many shapes, sizes, materials and finishes from simple to ornate and from just a few dollars to hundreds of dollars for more elaborate and jeweled pulls and knobs.

Installing cabinet hardware can be intimidating, but for the DIYer, but it is a skill that needs to be learned. In this How To, we will explain how to make a jig or template to quickly and easily duplicate the holes for your cabinet pulls on each door. There is no need to measure each door separately. Read each step before starting and be sure you have full understanding of proper measurement before drilling any holes.

Needed Items: scrap wood pieces, power drill, compass or tape measure, combination square and level, pencil.

How to Make a Jig for Aligning Holes for Cabinet Holes

Placement of Pulls

1. Placement of Pulls

After selecting the pull, determine where you want to place the pull on the cabinet. On a cabinet door, the pulls should be 1-inch from the side edge of the door. The distance from the top is a personal choice. For higher cabinets, make sure the pull is low enough to comfortably reach.

2. Making the Jig

Cut a scrap piece of 1/4-inch plywood or MDF approximately 8-inches square. Glue and screw a 3/4-inch cleat or guide alongside two adjacent sides to serve as a stop for aligning the jig. Use your level and square to make sure it is square.

Making the Jig

Transfer Measurements to Jig

3. Transfer Measurements to Jig

Place the guide on a work table guide side up and transfer the boring measurements onto your jig using a compass or tape measure.

4. Drill the Holes

Use a nail or awl to make a pilot hole and then drill holes into the jig. The drill bit should be the same size or slightly larger than the diameter of the hole in your pull. This is your guide or template for drilling holes in the cabinets.

Drill the Holes

Place Jig on Cabinet

5. Place Jig on Cabinet

Now that you have your jig (template) completed, place it snugly against the corner of the cabinet and drill the holes into the cabinet. Drill all the way through the back of the door front. Complete this procedure on each cabinet door.

6. Screw Pulls onto Cabinet

Place you pull over the holes you just drilled. Insert the screws in from the back of the door front and screw the pull on tightly. Make sure you are using the right length screw for the thickness of your cabinet door.

Screw Pulls onto Cabinet



  1. Boring size. After selecting the drawer hardware, determine the boring size of your pull (distance between holes). It will probably be marked on the package, but if it isn't, measure from the center of one screw hole to the center of the other. Common boring sizes for pulls are 2-1/2”, 2-3/4”, 3”, 3-1/4”, 3-1/2”, 96mm, 4”, and 128mm.
  2. Location. Determine where you want the pull to be located on the cabinet or drawer. A pull is usually mounted in the center of a standard size drawer. Larger drawers may require two smaller pulls or one longer appliance pull. Make sure you center them equidistant from the left and right edges and use a level to make sure the holes are level with each other.
  3. Use a jig for consistent holes. An easy way to make sure all holes are the same, is to make a jig or purchase a jig with standard pre-drilled holes for standard sizes. You can make a jig following the same steps above used on cabinet doors.
  4. Center point. To determine the center point of the drawer, measure the horizontal distance of the drawer face and lightly mark the center point with a pencil.
  5. Vertical center. Do the same thing to determine the vertical center point and mark lightly with a pencil. Move your original mark up or down to this mark to find your final center point.
  6. Check for squareness. Use a level to see if the marks are in the right place. If you are satisfied with location, use a sharp nail to make a small pilot hole.
  7. Ready to drill. Drill your holes with a bit the same size or only slightly larger than the diameter of the hole in your pull. Drill all the way through to the back of the drawer face.
  8. Attach pulls. Place your pull over the holes. Insert the screws in from the back of the drawer face and screw the pull on tightly. Make sure you are using the right length screw for the thickness of your drawer.