I delivered my headboard job yesterday morning and I begin my
entertainment center job for the next customer. It is made up of 4 more
of my front and back face frame style cabinets. IIRC this will make 33
cabinets built this way in the last 32 months. As we all know cabinets
typically have lots and lots of shelves and that many times over for the
shelf pin holes. One job alone had in excess of 650 shelf pin holes.
So I am sick and tired of the monotony of drilling those damn holes.
Many years ago I bought a jig for drilling these holes long before
Rockler called itself Rockler,,,,, from Rockler. This jig was a clear
plastic plate with spaced indexing holes for a Vix style drill bit.
This thing worked great for many many years. With age the plastic began
to crack and I was fearful that it would disintegrate in the middle of a
job. Additionally with it's spring loaded bit each plunge to drill a
hole required a bit more effort than simply drilling the hole. I wanted
to go to a jig that simply used a standard non spring loaded bit.
My next jig was the Kreg shelf pin hole jig. I have drilled countless
holes with this tool too but it really is not built for production. The
jig allows you to drill about 6 holes and then you have re-index and
drill 5 more, repeat, repeat, repeat..... I spent as much time
repositioning the jig as drilling the holes. I did however like the
standard non spring loaded drill bit. FWIW you can gang the Kreg jigs
together for a longer run of holes however that arrangement is not ready
for prime time. The attachment pieces that join the jigs cause the jigs
to not sit flat on the panel so you absolutely have to clamp the jig
flat to the surface for proper spacing perpendicular to the surface,
adding more time.
A couple of days ago I contacted Precision Casewerk to get some
particulars on their True Position Drill Guide. I might add here that
the line boring feature for the shelf pins was not why I was looking at
this jig. With cabinets come a ton of drawers and doors. I let my
customer pick their pulls and these things come in a wide variety of
sizes. There are simple jigs for drilling these attachment holes but
again I am tired of making them and making them work. My last kitchen
cabinet job with, customer supplied, pulls almost turned into a disaster.
I quickly measured the pulls as 4" and they were actually 96mm. I used
the 4" holes on my cheapo jig and the holes were wrong....;~)
Fortunately the handles had large enough bases to allow me to enlarge
the holes enough to work. I decided at that moment I was going to get a
The True Position Drill guide is pretty much infinitely adjustable for
most any sized two screw pull. The jig allows you to repeatedly index
these holes with great accuracy. You can actually attach the pulls to
the jig and then lock the drill guides to the location you want, remove
the pull and begin drilling. Any way this jig uses standard 5mm drill
bits. And yes the shelf pin holes will be the increasingly common 5mm
variety too. Talking directly with the manufacturer I was assured 5mm
shelf pins would be plenty strong unless you were to set an anvil on the
pin. They are basically 3/64" smaller than 1/4". The bonus feature to
the jig is that you can attach two line boring plates and drill 24 holes
32mm apart with out having to move the jig, that is about 30".
Any way in true Leon fashion the jig is priced similar to Festool.
The main jig generally sells for $169 and up. Adding the line boring
plates normally adds about $110 to that figure so I was looking at $270
plus shipping. A big chunk of change, but hopefully it will be worth
it's cost in time savings and certainly in lowering the frustration level.
Fortunately I thought to check my local cabinet hardware store,
Cornerstone Hardware in Houston. Their price for the above mentioned
jig and add on line boring plates was $239. I ended up with the TP-1935
I'll post a review as I proceed with this job.