Shelf standards vs pins

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by enurdat1 posted 04-17-2013 09:15 PM 4506 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View enurdat1's profile


100 posts in 2213 days

04-17-2013 09:15 PM

I’m working on a pie safe and need to decide on the shelf support system. I could use fixed shelves, but would rather them be adjustable. My top two options right now are

pins or

standards, but I cannot find anything about the weight capacities. The recipient will be using this to store her canning. (filled Mason jars, etc). The case is made from solid walnut, and the shelves will be 3/4” birch plywood with walnut edge. THe shelves will be roughly 35” wide by 16” deep. Any thoughts?

-- It is what it is...

10 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1721 posts in 2776 days

#1 posted 04-17-2013 09:36 PM

35 is a pretty long shelf for caned goods but is doable. I got away from those kv 255 standards and went with shelf pins long ago. I use a pin that has a bit of shoulder support as the straight pins will sometimes wear on the drilled hole to a point of possible failure. You may get replies that tell you the plowed standards are stronger but I have no problems with shelf pins. Enjoy! JB

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3252 days

#2 posted 04-17-2013 09:38 PM


Pins should hold any weight without a problem as long as your shelf fits fairly snug and your holes are drilled the right size. (5mm). Your pins should fit tight in the hole with no play. I usually cut my shelves about 1/8” shorter then the inside dimension of the cabinet.

I’ve used pin for kitchen cabinets (heavy dishes), bookcases (volumes of books) and entertainment centers ( heavy stereo equipment) and have never had a problem carry weight.

-- John @

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2253 days

#3 posted 04-17-2013 09:43 PM

I have 3/4” birch plywood shelves spanning about 34 inches, but only 12 inches deep. They have a 3/4” x 3/4” face band. I did the face band the same thickness as the shelf so that they could be flipped over. We have some of them loaded with cabbed goods and I feel that at some point they’ll start to sag. Right now… about 9 months into it… no sag. But I’ll probably flip them about once a year or so anyways. I used pins.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2543 days

#4 posted 04-17-2013 10:02 PM

I prefer straight pins. They’re very cheap and strong. The shelves will give out before the pins.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View TheRoux90318's profile


30 posts in 2139 days

#5 posted 04-18-2013 12:49 AM

I just completed a wall unit and pondered the same so I made my own with some scraps of walnut and made notches out of some 3/4” planks

Edit to add pics


View pintodeluxe's profile


5622 posts in 2780 days

#6 posted 04-18-2013 12:52 AM

I think the limiting factor is the shelves, not the pins. I like to edgeband shelves with 1-1/2” hardwood for extra strength.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View dannelson's profile


193 posts in 2338 days

#7 posted 04-18-2013 12:57 AM

Just a suggestion why not do it in the traditional way ? Cut a sawtooth pattern in 4pieces of 1x attached into the corners. And than make a piece that matches the sawtooth pattern for the shelves to sit on.

-- nelson woodcrafters

View enurdat1's profile


100 posts in 2213 days

#8 posted 04-18-2013 01:42 AM

Thanks for all the feedback folks. I’ll ponder the sawtooth corners. Standards are out.

-- It is what it is...

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3514 days

#9 posted 04-18-2013 03:10 AM

We use pins also. Seems you have good advice. I do think the standards are stronger but if done properly, shelf pins are very adequate.

-- .

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3447 days

#10 posted 04-18-2013 01:03 PM

Another type of adjustable shelf system, and one I like on antique type furniture, is the sawtooth support like the one I have posted. You can build these or buy them, but they look neat in things like the pie safe you are building.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics