Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Shelf pin Jig from Kreg Tool

Today I will be reviewing the Shelf Pin Jig from the folks at Kreg Tool Company. The Jig retails for $34.99 at Woodcraft. I also picked up the optional 5mm drill bit it is retailing  for $7.99.
So whats in the box? The kit includes; the jig of course, a locating pin, the jig extender, a 1/4" drill bit and depth collar, an allen wrench for the depth collar, the instruction manual, and mine had a bag with 3-1/4" shelf pins in it. There is really not any assembly required for the jig. The fence simply slides on the jig.(Unless you are using the jig to put some shelf pins in a cabinet with the face frame already installed.) Setting the drill bit depth is pretty straight forward, like in the other jigs made by Kreg. You simply place the bit and depth collar in the storage area in the back of the jig and tighten down the depth collar with the supplied allen wrench.
The jig has two positions in which it can be used with the fence attached. 1" from the referencing edge of the project or 2" from the referencing edge of the project. To maintain consistent spacing off of the bottom or top of the project Kreg recommends that you make a story stick to hold the jig off of the top or bottom. I would have to say that that would be the fastest way to keep  consistent spacing. After you decide how far away you want the holes from the edge and how wide your story stick is, you just simply clamp the jig down. Kreg recommends their Face Clamp but a QuickGrip or a similar clamp would do just fine.

The bit does a pretty good job of making a clean hole with minimal tear out, but some sanding will be required.
After you drill the first set of 6 holes you will insert the locating pen in the last hole of the jig and insert the pin with the jig attached in to the last hole you drilled.

Then you will drill the next 5 holes, just repeating the placing of the jig and pin until you have drilled all of the shelf pin holes you want or need for your project. For me to test the jig out I drilled a row with the 1" spacing then drilled a row with the 2" setting.
Changing the fence from side to side was quick and easy. However I did notice some free play in the fence, it slides about 1/16" vertically on the jig. It doesn't mess with the accuracy of the jig, but it does concern me a bit. 

The ability to remove the fence completely is great for when you need to add some holes in cabinets and bookcases with face frames already attached.

I though only having the ability to drill 5 or 6 holes at a time would be problem for me, but with the locating pen and a  Kreg Face Clamp the process of moving the jig was fast and easy. Both the 1/4" and 5mm pins fit snugly in their holes.

The built in storage for the bits and locating pen in the back of the jig is a great and handy addition. I would have liked to have seen a space for the allen wrench, but that's not a huge deal.

I must admit coming into this review I was a bit sceptical of this jig. However this little jig has impressed me with both its design and function. With Kreg Tool's reputation and their lifetime drill guide warranty, I'm sure this jig has found a place in my shop and will last for years to come.

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