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shelf pin tearout

CTDurham's picture

I have recently bought a shelf pin jig from JIG-IT and have used it on an oak plywood cabinet.  The problem is that the drill bit is causing some tear-out at the hole entrance is there any trick to eliminate this tearout.  I have tried to install tape and drill through it but I still got the same amount of tearout.


Thanks for your replies

Solution Found:

I posted several months ago about a brand new shelf pin centering bit that was causing tearout in oak plywood and you were the only person who told me to replace the bit. Well anyway I tried several other ideas but only got good results when I replaced the bit, thanks for the suggestion. The problem was that the bit was recessed too deep in the steel centering jig and when I started drilling, the bit would ever so slightly catch the edge of the jig and in no time flat the bit was dull and tearout starting occuring after a few holes.

Edited 11/10/2005 11:36 pm ET by CTDurham

MarkRD's picture

(post #75825, reply #1 of 9)

WHat type of drill bit are you using? Is it a brad point?


Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with an ax.

Measure it with a Micrometer,
Mark it with Chalk,
Cut it with an Ax.

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hammer1's picture

(post #75825, reply #2 of 9)

This is a common problem. Finding a good bit in the right size can help. Some prefer to use a plunge router. Another option is to use grommets. Clamping another board tightly on top can work too. I've been using a drill press with a forstner and entering slow.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

CTDurham's picture

(post #75825, reply #4 of 9)

I am using a brad point and the general concensus is to slow down.  I will admit as soon as it started to cut I went ahead and drove it home.  I will give it a try thanks.


cowtown_eric's picture

(post #75825, reply #3 of 9)

I'm unfamiliar with the jig, but it's likely that it's a brad point bit, at least as far as I can surmise on the web-stie. If it ain't well, consider using one.

As yer boring, with yer brad point drill, just pause a tad while it spins and cuts the facing of the plywood, and then resist the urge to push it home- the chips might not clear the hole fast enuf, snag the surface and chip it out. In other words, slowing down might help a tad.

As for sharp, I didn't see any mention of carbide tipped drill bits. So use a HSS bit on melamine for a set of cabinets, and yer drill may become dullified. Euro drill bits are carbide tipped, but even then there's sometimes some tear out. If it's real bad or objectionable, melamine can be "touched up" with white seamfil

in Calgary.

CTDurham's picture

(post #75825, reply #5 of 9)


Thanks for the input.  I am using a brand new sharp brad point that came with the jig.  This bit fits inside the centering device which installs in the hole locator.

I guess I need to SLOW DOWN and smell the wood chips.  I was looking at the number of holes and the number of built-ins I was producing and I'll admit the tasmanian devil in me came out.



Planesaw's picture

(post #75825, reply #6 of 9)

Been there.  Faced with the daunting task of drill about 1,200 shelf pin holes in several book shelf units for my son-in-law, I made my own jig and used a plunge router.  Fast and smooth cuts.  No problems.  1,200 holes are a lot of holes to cut no matter what your system, but short of owning a gang drill or having someone else do the work, I don't think you can find a faster system than a jig and plunge router.

Alan - planesaw

ameend's picture

(post #75825, reply #7 of 9)

CT, I usually make a plywood jig to drill the shelf pin holes, I clamp it on to the side to be drilled and use a regular drill bit to drill the hole with a hand held drill motor. I drill thru a short piece of 1" dowell to use as a depth stop. buck 

nikkiwood's picture

(post #75825, reply #8 of 9)

I would say the culprit is the bit.

Do you have a slip stone or diamond paddle that you could use to hone the cutting edge of the bit? Even a new bit often has to be honed slightly to insure that it cuts cleanly around the perimeter of your hole.

*** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden ,1910-2010

silver6666's picture

(post #75825, reply #9 of 9)

I recently went around with this one too...I tried everything including a brand new 5mm carbide bit...same tearout.

Taking care entering at full speed may help. A strip of 1/8" material taped tight to your material before your jig goes on is probably the best bet.

However,I tried a dedicated  European muti spindle borer at the college where I teach and it bored all holes as clean as a option if you want really clean holes would be to take your gables to a cabinet shop that has a boring tearout at all...

hope I'm not boring you,