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Kitchen Cabinets #4: How I cut my shelf pins

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Blog entry by Dan Lyke posted 2114 days ago 3619 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Pantry shelves temporarily in place Part 4 of Kitchen Cabinets series Part 5: 352 holes »

For the cabinets, I wanted movable shelves. I was told that the Euro style round pins “looked tacky”, and I didn’t want to run tracks, but I’d run across a note by Charles Wilson suggesting the use of Dominos for shelf pins, and that seemed like a great idea.

I cut a strip of wood the width of the spacing I wanted, cut it in half, put a lip on each one so that I could place it on the edge of my carcase sides and it’d protrude over at 90 degrees. Then it was just a matter of clamping, using the Domino to drill the mortise/pin hole, leapfrogging the guide, re-clamping, and repeating:

My Wiki page on the topic.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke



7 comments so far

View Steve2's profile

Steve2

75 posts in 2175 days


#1 posted 2113 days ago

Oh, my goodness gracious – we feel the 1/4” holes with an insignificant 1/16” metal lip under the shelf look tacky (OK) but we solve this by placing a 1/4” x 1”-plus wooden domino “biscuits” as a solution, and at $750 for the tool? You have got to be kidding.

-- Regards, Steve2

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1469 posts in 2729 days


#2 posted 2113 days ago

Yeah, there’s a lot about my sweety’s different aesthetics I don’t necessarily understand, but…

The ¼” holes are most commonly seen in cheap particle board or MDF crap, so there’s a big association with that style of shelf support and the kind of stuff you’d knock together from Ikea or Target. Since aesthetics is all about the association between a style and other experiences in your life, I can totally see how ¼” holes can be associated with peeling melamine and sagging shelves.

And, there’s a difference between the metal pins and wood pins.

Finally, to the price of the tool, we buy reclaimed and surplus lumber and the tools still don’t cost more than the wood. You can scoff all you want at the “glorified biscuit joiner”, that is the most useful tool in my shop. Everything else there’s a substitute for: if I didn’t have a saw on a rail I’d have a table saw or a radial arm saw, and I wouldn’t slow down that much; If I didn’t have one router, I’d have another; if I didn’t have a biscuit joiner, I’d use a router and splines. If I didn’t have the Domino I’d have a big collection of jigs and a router and the router table or the saw and I wouldn’t be nearly as productive or use tenons in nearly as many places.

And, the Euro style shelf pin holes efficiently would probably set me back $350-400 in jigs that’d have no other purpose.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2544 days


#3 posted 2113 days ago

Since aesthetics is all about the association between a style and other experiences in your life, I can totally see how ¼” holes can be associated with peeling melamine and sagging shelves.

Dan, this statement put quite a bit into perspective for me. It’s one of those things you seem to know intuitively, but until it’s expressed clearly (like you did) you don’t know that you know it.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2479 days


#4 posted 2113 days ago

Dan – this is an interesting solution. I always tell my clients (that includes Marianne), “I can do it however you want.” I build custom, and the customer’s always right.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Domino is one of those tools that you aren’t sure you need it until you have it, and then you can’t imagine how you lived without it.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1469 posts in 2729 days


#5 posted 2113 days ago

Peter, yes, that’s my experience. I’m just a relatively novice amateur, and, comparing this tool to my hobbies or my friends hobbies I think of the cost of the Domino as a third of a bicycle, or half a camera, or a pair of ski boots, or a day or two with a car at a race track (and that’s definitely not counting the cost of the car…), but if I ran a commercial shop I think this thing would pay for itself in less than a week. Floating tenons are now my default joining and aligning technique, even on odd-angled surfaces or where the final holding mechanism is a pocket screw.

Russel, thanks, this whole house is going to be an interesting set of communications on what each of us likes and doesn’t like. The one I’m really looking forward to is doing built-ins for the office/guest room. We’ve agreed that it’s going to have a cherry “man room” sort of aesthetic, but neither of us likes the acres of paneling that’s common to that theme. I suspect we’ll end up with something that’s a mix between barrister office and Japanese shoji screens, but the drawings as we go that direction sure are fun…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1469 posts in 2729 days


#6 posted 2112 days ago

A correspondent points out in private email that there's a Rockler jig to do the shelf pins for $35, although I think I’d have tried to use this project to justify the the Festool hole drilling kit (although I already have many of those parts, I’d just need the guide plate and a few stops) and a new guide rail.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1469 posts in 2729 days


#7 posted 2112 days ago

A correspondent points out in private email that there's a Rockler jig to do the Euro style shelf pins for $35, although I think I’d have tried to use this project to justify the the Festool hole drilling kit (although I already have many of those parts, I’d just need the guide plate and a few stops) and a new guide rail.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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