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Thread: Pre-drilled strips for shelf support pins?

  1. #1

    Pre-drilled strips for shelf support pins?

    Hi All,
    I have some beautiful raised panel maple doors from a kitchen and I am planning to make a large (and long) TV stand with storage cabinets (with my very limited tools) for my daughter. She wants adjustable shelves throughout. I don't have a drill press or access to one so I can't drill the sides. I don't have a router or dado blades for recessing shelf standards, etc. I need an alternative.

    So, happy woodworkers, do you know of any company that sells pre-drilled wood strips with holes at 1" increments that accept shelf pins and attach to the inside of base cabinets?

    I can't find anything like this online, but I may not be using the right search criteria. Please help . Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I don't know of a product exactly like you describe, but there are these things: . They screw on to the cabinet sides, which seems to what you need. The pic shows them recessed into the sides, but you can surface-mount them. You can buy them in chrome, white, and other colors.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    Although I prefer to use a router to drill shelf pin holes before assembling cabinets I have also used a drill, sharp bit, stop collar, and template when retrofitting adjustable shelves. People often use pegboard as an easy and cheap template. Rockler, Woodcraft and others sell nice acrylic templates if you want something a little nicer and ready to go. IMHO shelf pins or recessed standards look much better in most applications as compared to surface mounted hardware.

  4. #4
    Thanks, Jamie. If I can't find what I want, I am considering the shelf standards that are also available at Lowes.

    To clarify, I'm really looking for simple wood strips approximately 3/4" wide, 1/2" thick and 18" - 24" long with holes drilled at one-inch intervals. It seems simple to make with the right equipment, but alas, I don't have that.

  5. #5
    Oh, and by the way, these will all be behind closed doors. I have also considered just screwing 1/2" x 1/2" x cabinet depth" strips x # of shelves to hold the shelving. I just thought screwing in pre-drilled strips (only 4 per cabinet) would be simpler.

  6. #6
    The easier soln might be to purchase a Rockler shelf drilling jig - or the like. They will allow you to accurately drill holes with a corded drill. IMHO, this will look cleaner than standards that project from the sides.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    How about using a scrap of 1/4" pegboard and a 5mm bit to drill the holes by hand? Might take you a while, but I've never used a drill press to do shelf pin holes. The Rockler jig is what I use, and while it's initially somewhat expensive, its' expense is offset by the fact that you only have to buy the shelf pins, and not other metal standards or brackets that add up fast in cost. Even better - use a 1/4" bit, you could make shelf pins out of 1/4" dowel pins, and you only have the expense of the jig and bit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    New Jersey
    Blog Entries
    I have the Rockler jig, used it yesterday drill a bunch of holes, worked great. It's on sale at Rockler now for $25, at that price you can't go wrong.

  9. #9
    Have you considered other methods for supporting a shelf that would be adjustable? Here's an old design I saw on an antique. This type of design could be easily added to any existing cabinet and could be made with hand tools. No router or drill press needed. The cross pieces (one shown) slip into the sawtooth notches under each shelf and need be only 1/4" or so thick. Height would depend upon the weight they would be called upon to support. You can see what they might look like here. Sawtooth Shelf Support
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 01-14-2011 at 12:57 PM.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

  10. #10
    Lee beat me to the more classy "bolt-on" shelf standards that I like. There is a video on making them on Fine Woodworking Online. @ minutes and 40 seconds in on video #6 here: Wish I would have seen it sooner ;-)
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-14-2011 at 1:59 PM.

  11. #11
    That's really cool. I now remember seeing those in old furniture. I found something similar at www.montereyshelf. I emailed them but they didn't answer my main question--HOW MUCH!! Still thinking. I really don't want to sink a lot of $$ into equipment/materials since I am only doing this one large-ish project.

    TO ALL. Thanks for your ideas. They're really terrific and got my old brain kicking into new directions!!

  12. #12
    If the plastic versions are OK they're cheap and come in colors :

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Nemeth View Post
    I have also used a drill, sharp bit, stop collar, and template when retrofitting adjustable shelves. People often use pegboard as an easy and cheap template.
    I have a drill press, but this is how I have always done it, including the pegboard. I have never had a problem.

  14. #14
    Here is another alternative answer that works well for me. I went to HD or Lowe's and bought a piece of flat metal with pre-punched holes already in it. The hole spaces are about 1" apart over it's entire ( about 4ft. ) length. They usually have it in their metal section near the hardware aisle or in the overhead garage door section of the store...around $5.00 .
    I would then clearly mark top/ bottom on each end of this strip, clamp it securely to the sides of the cabinet and drill the holes for the shelf pins using a 1/4" vex bit (hinge drilling bit) in an electric drill and you should be ready to go to the next step in your project.

  15. #15
    I have the jig Rockler sells with the special drill bit, works well. Only have to make sure the bit doesn't clog with drilldust and damage your jig. It has a brad type drill bit so it makes clean edges on the holes you drill.

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