|Review by mart||posted 01-22-2009 07:28 AM||6142 views||1 time favorited||3 comments|
I ordered Rockler’s Jig It shelf pin drilling jig when I got an order for 26 feet of built in bookcases. I had never had to run this many holes (2652) before and had always used a piece of pegboard and a small vertical drill jig in the past.
The Rockler jig is a clear plastic plate with a metal square tubing guide bar that registers the jig either against the inside of a cabinet or on the edge of an board for the side of a yet to be assembled cabinet. There are two rows of holes and depending on which side of the jig one places the guide bar allows up to 4 different settings (distance from edge) for the pin holes.
The drill bit is housed in a spring loaded sleeve that fits in the jig holes. The sleeve has a stepped shoulder that contacts the jig plate and centers the bit in the hole. The sleeve has a preset stop the determines the depth of the hole. The depth is somewhat adjustable via a set screw on the upper portion of the sleeve. Be very careful when loosening this screw, the sleeve is under tension due to the spring and will shoot across the room if backed off to far. Ask me how I know. I chased that bugger all over the shop. Just slightly back off the screw and set the drill bit to the depth you desire. The Jig It does not come with much for instructions so had to figure out most of this myself.
Using the Jig It is fairly straight forward and simple. Select the line of holes you want and set the drill sleeve in the hole and drill. I found to get the best results with the least tear out at the mouth of the hole I had to bring the drill bit down to make contact with the wood surface, let the bit spin a few times to score the surface and then push to the stop. The bit is essentially a brad point bit and will give some tear out if you just drive the bit in without letting it score the surface first. I was using pre-finished maple ply. I tested it on some scraps of unfinished plywood with the same results.
Being that the plate is plastic I imagine that eventually the metal bit sleeve will wallow out the holes and at that point not give accurate pin holes. It held up well to 2652 holes. I don’t know how long it will hold up but judging by the wear so far I would expect at least ten times that number before seeing significant wear. The drill I used was the quarter inch bit they offer. It drills good tight clean holes and with the stepped shoulder on the sleeve it provides a good alignment for the drill.
The plate is easy to index to the next line of holes. I just used a shelf pin through a hole provided for that purpose and clamped it on the other end, making advancing down the board simple and fast.
Overall I am pleased with the Jig It. It delivers just what I needed for this job and was easy to set up and use. I sure got tired of drilling holes though. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a light duty shelf pin jig.