Editor's Review: Combo Shelf Pin Template
review date: April 5, 2012
When drilling shelf-pin holes, you need an accurate jig to ensure precision. If the holes are off, you’ll end up with wobbly shelves.
I compared two new commercial jigs: the Woodpeckers Combo Shelf Pin Template and the Rockler Pro Shelf Drilling Jig. Both help make precise holes, but they do it in very different ways.
Two for one. The Rockler jig can drill both columns of holes with one setup, speeding the job significantly.
The Woodpeckers Combo Shelf Pin Template is a one-piece phenolic jig. You need to buy the self-centering bits separately ($25), in sizes 5mm or 1⁄4 in. dia. However, the jig can also be used with a plunge router fitted with a 3⁄8-in.-dia. guide bushing and a 1⁄4-in. or 5mm upcutting bit. The router method makes marginally cleaner holes, but it takes longer.
The Woodpeckers jig is very accurate and allows you to inset the holes 1-1⁄2 in., 2 in., or 2-1⁄2 in. from the edge of the workpiece. It’s a simple design that relies on locating pins for alignment, but the system works fine. Unfortunately, the jig is time-consuming to use because you can only drill one column of pin holes at a time.
The Rockler jig has the advantage of drilling both columns of holes with one setup, a big time-saver. The clamping mechanism on the extension tracks tightens and loosens easily, and when used with the locator pins, locks the jig securely in place on the workpiece. The jig can be adjusted to handle cabinet sides from 8-1⁄4 in. to 25-1⁄4 in. wide.
The clear acrylic templates make it easy to align the jig with marks on the workpiece below. For drilling, the jig uses spring-loaded, self-centering bits—also sold separately ($22), in 5mm, 1⁄4-in., 7⁄32-in., and 9⁄32-in.-dia. sizes. The spacing between rows is 1-1⁄4 in., and they are located 1-7⁄16 in. on center from the edge of the workpiece.
Comparing the two systems, it’s hard to beat the Rockler jig for its speed and convenience.
Editor Test Results: