Cutting Handles for a Box or Crate

How to Cut Handles in Wood Using a Drill Press and a Paddle Bit

Building a crate or box and need handles cut in the side but don’t know how? Well… I have created a step by step tutorial on how to cut handles in wood! The handles are cut using a 1-1/2″ paddle (or spade) bit and a drill press or regular drill. It is so easy you’ll be cutting handles like a pro in no time!

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Start by cutting the pieces to build your crate or box. Great plans for boxes or crates can be found here, here, and here! Mark the position for the handle cutouts as indicated in the plan.

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I used the paddle bit in my drill press but the same concept applies when using a regular drill. Insert the paddle bit in the chuck, and center the point of the bit on the mark.

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Start drilling the hole but only go about halfway through…

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Flip the piece over – there should be a hole created by the point of the bit which makes it easier to locate the hole. Continue drilling out the hole from the back side. This creates a clean hole with no tear-out! Repeat for the second hole.

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I had several holes to drill for several handles so because I am ultimately lazy really into saving time, I positioned the piece with the holes already cut over one of the uncut pieces, and used the paddle bit to mark the location for the holes in the remaining pieces. I cut the holes in the same manner.

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Use a carpenter’s square to draw lines connecting the holes…

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Cut along these lines with a jigsaw to create the handles.

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That’s it! My step-by-step tutorial on how to cut handles in wood is easy, right? If you have any questions about it, please let me know at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!


This post contains links to a site of which I am an affiliate. What that means is if the link is clicked and a purchase is made, I will get a commission of that sale. Rest assured I would only direct my readers to sites I shop at myself!

Originally posted 2014-03-06 08:00:25.

  • I’m beginning to think this is fun Cher. What are you doing to me!!!!

    • CherTexter

      It is all part of my master plan, Elle! Lol! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Linda Baker

    My husband and I were just talking about this but couldn’t figure out how to get started. Thank you!

    • Rob Grant

      if you need more than 2, get a router! make 1 as template and fire away with the router!

  • Awesome! I have always wondered how to do this!

    • CherTexter

      Thanks, Jessica! I’m glad you stopped by!

    • Rob Grant

      check my other comment, there’s a faster way to get them done if you need more than just 2…

  • Rob Grant

    best way is to do ONE on a piece of “scrap” wood, sand it down as needed to make it nice and straight to the holes… then use that one as a template for your other ones using a router or palm router.

    the thought of having to cut 2 holes and jig out each piece for each handle is painful.. a router will save you LOTS of time!!!

    • CherTexter

      Thanks for the tip and for taking the time to comment – it is much appreciated!

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