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I use shelf pins a lot in my built-ins. They’re an easy way for clients to customize shelving to accommodate a variety of different-size items. In my shop, I typically use a designated line-boring machine that drills 13 holes at a time. But when I’m on site, I have to use a shopmade template for the job, like most of you probably do.
The new shelf-pin jig from Bench Dog Tools is a great alternative to shopmade templates, which typically wear out after just a couple of uses. There are three pieces to the compact kit: the rigid plastic template, an indexing pin, and the 1⁄4-in. drill bit. Both the pin and bit conveniently store in the back of the template.
Slots help you align the jig with your layout lines, and the spring-loaded brad-point drill bit self-centers in the holes in the template. You can accurately drill five holes at a time, and the indexing pin makes it easy to extend a row of holes as far as you want. I occasionally had to use a shop vacuum to clear holes for the indexing pin, but it was a minor inconvenience. The holes are offset 1-7⁄16 in. from the fence edge and are spaced 1-1⁄4 in. apart.
The jig is easy and convenient. It can be used on face-frame or frameless cabinets with equal ease, and on cabinet sides or assembled cabinets.
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