Shelf Pins

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Forum topic by zlatanv posted 02-28-2010 06:32 PM 2532 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3233 days

02-28-2010 06:32 PM

I have done shelf pins in past projects just want to get some input from others. I bought two shelf pin drill guides a 1/4 and 5mm, made a template out of 1/4 plexi using a 3/8 fosner bit and an index pin on my drill press to make sure all the holes were evenly spaced and lined up, template came out good.

Heres my issue, tried some practice holes on scrap, guides fit well in template but the pin holes are loose. Thought I was moving the drill, or not going straight down, tried and tried but could never drill a hole where the pins fit tight without it having some play. I have done shelfs before and had the shelf not sit on all four pins and have it wobble, and it makes me crazy.

In the past I have used a plunge router with a guide bushing and template with much better results then this. Thought these would be easier. Anyone have this issue?

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

6 replies so far

View lew's profile


12060 posts in 3754 days

#1 posted 02-28-2010 06:42 PM

Did you mic the shelf pins themselves to be sure they were not undersized compared to you drill bit?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3067 days

#2 posted 02-28-2010 06:52 PM

Make sure that the pin size and hole diameters are the same. 5mm pins won’t work in 1/4” holes and vice versa.

Wobble in your drill press can also cause your holes to be slightly oversized.

I use the Rockler temlate with the 1/4” drill like in your picture in my cordless drill and get great results.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3233 days

#3 posted 02-28-2010 06:53 PM

Used brass pins, measured with a caliper. Drilled a 1/4 whole in the same scrap with fosner bit on the drill press and the pin fit tight. Measured the drill bit and they are the size they are supposed to be. I think there is human error in play and not being able to go straight down like the drill press, maybe? I think I will take the bits back to woodcraft and have them look at them. When I chuck them in the drill and look down the bit and turn it on the whole thing has some wobble, tried three drills with the same result, on both bits. The bits were $4.99 each, to good to be true.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4313 days

#4 posted 02-28-2010 07:29 PM

I’ve used the guides with no problem, even at a slight angle. It doesn’t seem like the human error is the operator…might be the manufacturer.

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3233 days

#5 posted 02-28-2010 10:02 PM

Just took the guides back, exchanged for a new forstner bit, took my drill in to show them at Woodcraft, both bits had wobble in them. They don’t sell that guide anymore, had a vix bit but it was almost $30 for one, I guess i got what I paid for, and it wasn’t even Harbor Freight.

And yes the damn gremlins are always taking my pencils, and tape measures! Bastards!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3004 days

#6 posted 03-05-2010 08:38 PM

Vix bit and 1/4” thick pegboard cut to fit the cabinet depth (and height) , countersink the line(s) of holes you want to use and drill them with the bottom of the pegboard piece resting on the bottom of the cabinet. (unless the cabinet is too narrow to get into with drill after assembly, then just clamp the parts to the bench and drill.)

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

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