Shelf standards vs pins

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Forum topic by enurdat1 posted 491 days ago 1483 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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100 posts in 873 days

491 days ago

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


1305 posts in 1435 days

#1 posted 491 days ago

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


2795 posts in 1911 days

#2 posted 491 days ago


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


1008 posts in 912 days

#3 posted 491 days ago

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


2709 posts in 1203 days

#4 posted 491 days ago

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


21 posts in 798 days

#5 posted 491 days ago

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


3320 posts in 1439 days

#6 posted 491 days ago

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


140 posts in 997 days

#7 posted 491 days ago

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 873 days

#8 posted 491 days ago

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

-- It is what it is...

View Jerry's profile


2179 posts in 2173 days

#9 posted 491 days ago

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.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio,

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2106 days

#10 posted 491 days ago

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

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