Author Topic: 1/4" shelf pin holes  (Read 11470 times)

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Offline festooltim

  • Posts: 332
1/4" shelf pin holes
« on: May 18, 2013, 08:32 PM »
Was making some quick shelfs for a laundry room last week on a job and I wanted to use 1/4" shelf pins because of the weight that would be put on them. Used my LR32 system with the 1010 but didn't have proper bit so I bought a spiral up bit but I don't think that was a good bit for the purpose but I was in a hurry a didn't have time to go find something better. Anybody have a good recommendation so I have the right bit next time.
When I'm I do shelf pins I usually don't bother to clamp the rail down. I go in the direction away from the end guide and leave the edge guides in place and if I watch what I am doing it goes well. Was wondering if any one else did it that way or if you always clamp it down. Always looking for ways to speed things up.
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 10:00 PM »
I think an up and down cut spiral bit might be best if you really want 1/4" pins.  However, I don't there is any appreciable difference in the strength between 1/4" and 5mm shelf pins.  The design of some pins are inherently weaker than others but I wouldn't worry about the difference between 1/4" and 5mm spoons or other stronger pin designs. 

I always clamp.  I feel like the extra time it takes to clamp is cheap insurance.   
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Offline mastercabman

  • Posts: 1854
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Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 10:18 PM »
I think an up and down cut spiral bit might be best if you really want 1/4" pins.  However, I don't there is any appreciable difference in the strength between 1/4" and 5mm shelf pins.  The design of some pins are inherently weaker than others but I wouldn't worry about the difference between 1/4" and 5mm spoons or other stronger pin designs. 

I always clamp.  I feel like the extra time it takes to clamp is cheap insurance.   
+1 ;)
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 03:10 AM »
In my opinion, way too much gets made out of drilling shelf pin holes. I simply use a self-centering drill bit and a 1/2" plywood template with the hole spacing I need. By the time you've made your setup to begin work, I've finished with the entire cabinet and moved on to the next. An entire cabinet can be completed in less than 60 seconds, depending on the number of holes of course.

I use 1/2" thick by 2" wide templates with the holes slightly off-center so I can offset the holes on opposite sides of a partition without the holes intersecting each other. I prefer to drill the holes after the cabinet has been assembled, but it is just as easy to do with un-assembled components too. Part of the reason I prefer to drill the holes after the cabinet is assembled is to ensure that all 4 corners are registered off the same surface. That's not a problem if your cabinets are separate boxes for each opening, but if you build cabinets with multiple openings and dadoed partitions, then it becomes more critical.

I also don't just blindly drill the holes top-to-bottom. No one would ever install a shelf 3" off the bottom of a cabinet, for example. So the first hole is 6 to 8 inches from the bottom, and the top hole is proportionally spaced from the top, depending on the style of the cabinet.

Once you have one template that is carefully made, replicating it in any length is just a matter of using one template to make the next. So I have a whole series of templates specific to various cabinet styles. For example, for an entertainment cabinet, I use a shorter hole spacing to account for keeping the shelves tighter to the contents. I also keep specific templates for all common cabinet heights. That way I don't have to remember when to start or stop drilling holes. I just drill them all for that particular template. (I don't like seeing holes go all the way top-to-bottom. To me, that looks cheap.)

The drill bit below is exactly what I use. It has a 1/4" bit, and a 3/8" collar. Therefore, my templates have 3/8" holes, and their 1/2" thickness is just right to let the drill bit bottom out on the plywood surface to drill the proper depth of hole.

Edit: By the way, I'm sure someone is sitting there scratching their head wondering how a plywood template can be accurate enough to not have the shelves rock. That's the whole point. It doesn't need to be perfect, as long as it is registered off the same surface. The same template hole is used to drill all 4 shelf pin holes for a particular shelf location, so the shelf will never rock. What is more important however, is that all of the holes line up vertically so they don't look sloppy. So when you make your master template, you should use a drill press and fence to ensure that all holes are lined up perfectly with the edge of the template. You can be sloppy on hole spacing without a problem, but if the holes are not perfectly in a line, it will be noticeable.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 03:55 AM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2500
Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 08:35 AM »
The only thing I dislike about drill bits is the tear out I get, especially on plywood.  I think routers work better, although a little slower in setup and making the holes.  Maybe a higher quality drill bit eliminates the tear out issue?

Scot

Offline mastercabman

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Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 09:07 AM »
The only thing I dislike about drill bits is the tear out I get, especially on plywood.  I think routers work better, although a little slower in setup and making the holes.  Maybe a higher quality drill bit eliminates the tear out issue?

Scot
Same here,
but also it is hard to keep your drill straight and 90* to the side of the cabinet.
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Michael Garrett

  • Posts: 410
Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 09:08 AM »
Kreg Shelf Pin Jig.  Comes with good bit.
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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3663
Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 09:28 AM »
I don't there is any appreciable difference in the strength between 1/4" and 5mm shelf pins.  The design of some pins are inherently weaker than others but I wouldn't worry about the difference between 1/4" and 5mm spoons or other stronger pin designs. 

I concur with Brice.  If the weight of items on a shelf is an issue, you're not going to be dealing with pins anyway.  You're more likely going to need to dado in the shelves or use cleats to support them.  Pins can be acquired made from plastic or steel, or a combination of the two.  Select the pin based on what you're going to put on the shelf.  5mm or 1/4" is immaterial so long as you use the same standard for the entire project.  Most decent woodworking suppliers sell both. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline erock

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Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 10:01 AM »
Ditto what Brice said.


Clamping  the rail down only takes a couple seconds.  Well worth the piece of mind knowing the rail is not going to move on me.

The last thing I want to do is mess up some good prefinished ply at $70+ a sheet because I didn't take 10 seconds to clamp the rail down.

Before I got the LR32 I've used the Rockler shelf pin jig and drill method.  It worked for the most part.  It lacked dust collection and the ability

to adjust and drill holes anywhere on a work piece.  So with the amount of time it takes to set up the LR32 (which isn't long once you get used to it)

versus the clean up time with the old drill method for me worth the time to set up the LR32, which includes clamping time  [tongue]


The 5mm shelf pins are just as strong as the 1/4".   Since you have the LR32 and the 5mm bit why make it harder on you by needing another router

bit?


Eric

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1920
Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 10:26 AM »
I gave up on shelf pins, too many loosened holes over time. I went to dadoing in the metal tracks with the shelf supports that lock in. I'm going to try the shelf pin holes with the metal sleeves, that should be a big improvement also
+1

Offline mastercabman

  • Posts: 1854
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Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 11:25 AM »
I gave up on shelf pins, too many loosened holes over time. I went to dadoing in the metal tracks with the shelf supports that lock in. I'm going to try the shelf pin holes with the metal sleeves, that should be a big improvement also
Those metal tracks looks too "commercial" for me.
Sticks out like a sore thumb! ;)
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1920
Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 11:38 AM »
I gave up on shelf pins, too many loosened holes over time. I went to dadoing in the metal tracks with the shelf supports that lock in. I'm going to try the shelf pin holes with the metal sleeves, that should be a big improvement also
Those metal tracks looks too "commercial" for me.
Sticks out like a sore thumb! ;)

Yea, I know, but they have yet to fail me. But when I paint them to match the cabinet they are not very noticeable. I understand it isn't for everyone.
+1

Offline Wonderwino

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Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 08:37 AM »
I used to use a jig and Vix bits like Rick does and it is about the only way to drill accurate holes after the case is assembled, but with proper planning and the use of Festools, I quit waiting to drill my shelf holes.

I use the LR32 with my OF1010, clamp the rail with the Rapid Clamp (480790) and always use dominos to secure my interior partitions, if used at all.  The easy way to have an accurate set of holes is to just insert a scrap of the bottom panel material in between the clamp and the bottom of the interior panel to reference the thickness of the bottom panel relative to the interior panel.  Dead-on every time.  All Festool.  Easier. Faster. Smarter!   [cool]
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Offline Jalvis

  • Posts: 348
Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2013, 11:28 AM »
There is no additional holding strength from 1/4" shelf pins.  The shelf pins themselves would be stronger but one will never brake a 5mm pin.

I have never seen 5mm shelf pin holes loosen even with heavy kitchen applications in melamine.......and thats in kitchens over 25 years old.  I use to be against shelf pins thinking it was cheap.  I thought the same thing about MDF and Particle board, but now that I've moved into building professionally I see great long term benefits.

When I was just starting out I would struggle with perfect shelf pin alignment.  If you struggle with the same issue consider the following for a quick fix:

http://www.spiralsupports.com/spiral/

Also the correct bit for shelf pin drilling is a "brad point boring bit."

http://www.freudtools.com/p-299-industrial-carbide-tipped-brad-point-boring-bits.aspx
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 11:36 AM by Jalvis »

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3663
Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 02:24 PM »
Also the correct bit for shelf pin drilling is a "brad point boring bit."

http://www.freudtools.com/p-299-industrial-carbide-tipped-brad-point-boring-bits.aspx


Careful!!!  These bits have a 10mm shank.  You'll need a reducing sleeve to be able to use these in a 1/2" collet. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2013, 04:08 PM »
Also the correct bit for shelf pin drilling is a "brad point boring bit."

http://www.freudtools.com/p-299-industrial-carbide-tipped-brad-point-boring-bits.aspx


Careful!!!  These bits have a 10mm shank.  You'll need a reducing sleeve to be able to use these in a 1/2" collet. 

I clicked the link before I read your post Willy, I was about to say the same thing. 
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Offline Jalvis

  • Posts: 348
Re: 1/4" shelf pin holes
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 04:26 PM »
CMT also makes Brad Point Boring Bits with 8mm shanks.