The Perfect Template
Ever wonder how woodworkers drill those odd-angled, perfectly placed leg holes on the underside of chairs and stools and some tables? The answer is a custom drilling template that can be used over and over for dozens of identical furniture pieces. It doesn’t take long to make a drilling pattern. And once it’s finished, you just clamp it on the seat-to-be, drill through the holes, trace the pattern onto the stock, cut it out and glue in the legs.
How to Make this Pattern
Step 1: Create the guide holes
Glue and screw together two pieces of 3/4-in. MDF with 1-1/4-in. screws. Set a drill press to the desired leg angle, and drill guide holes so they come out at the proper hole locations on the seat top with a Forstner bit sized to the corresponding holes in the seat.
Step 2: Cut the seat shape
Cut the shape you want and clamp it to the seat stock and drill the holes (use a piece of plywood underneath to avoid tear-out). Then trace around the pattern and saw out the seat.
Step 3: Drill holes into the seat
Use a Irwin Speedbor bit to drill the seat holes; the guide hole will keep it perfectly angled while you’re drilling. These Irwin auger-style bits are very aggressive, so set the drill at a slow speed and practice on a scrap board so you don’t wreck your artwork. Check out these must-have drill attachments too!