Easy drilling of shelf-pin holes, but a bit of a hassel

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Review by mnorusis posted 02-01-2010 09:09 PM 4898 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Easy drilling of shelf-pin holes, but a bit of a hassel No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I needed to drill shelf pin holes for my closet remodel project. To save time I decided to purchase the woodhaven shelf pin jig and a self-centering shelf pin bit. At the local woodcraft, the only 1/4” option was this Snappy bit.

It got the job done, but was a bit of a pain. The first side I drilled went rather smoothly, and I ran down the two lines in decent time. However, when I got to the second side of the shelf unit, the shavings kept getting clogged in the retracting self-centering part of the bit. So after every hole I drilled, I had to turn the drill press off and push the retractable part up and down to unclogged the shavings (this was all with Walnut). This probably caused me to spend 5 times the necessary amount of time on this part of the project. Additionally, the holes weren’t exactly smooth, the edges were pretty rough in spots.

So while this bit certainly got the job done, I would probably not purchase this brand again, instead opting to try a different brand to see if maybe others didn’t clog as much.

Perhaps I was doing something incorrectly, but I hope not since there really aren’t many ways to operate this bit differently. If anyone has had this problem and solved it, I’d love to hear about it.

Update 2/2/10: I ended up submitting a custom support form from the manufacturer and received this response. I’ll give it a try and report back.

“When the nose bushing gets stuck the first time you should unscrew the knurled barrel from the hex shank and clean out the inside of the barrel and nose bushing and then re-assemble. If it gets stuck every time then you do have a defective unit and I will replace it. Please let me know.”

View mnorusis's profile


157 posts in 4474 days

5 comments so far

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 4993 days

#1 posted 02-02-2010 12:10 AM

Me too. I bought a similar one (5mm bit) from Lee Valley, and drilling birch ply it clogs up after ~ 3 holes. Somehow the sawdust just get packed in the bit’s flutes. I would like to hear how other guys get around that also.

-- Ed

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 4735 days

#2 posted 02-02-2010 06:22 PM

Forcing some wax into the retracting part sometimes helps.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View Dusty56's profile


11868 posts in 5019 days

#3 posted 02-03-2010 12:41 AM

Had the same issue before …..waxed the bit and body : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View a1Jim's profile


118308 posts in 4908 days

#4 posted 02-03-2010 07:34 AM

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 4439 days

#5 posted 02-03-2010 07:37 AM

interesting, didn’t know they made these, I have a bunch of projects i want to do that will need shelf holes, might be worth getting and trying out

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

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