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SBW#34 – Rockler JigIt Shelving Jig

If you’re building cabinets or anything that involves drilling shelf pin holes, especially hundreds of them, you’re going to want the Rockler JIG IT Shelving Jig. If not this jig, then one like it.

Why do I say that? Nearly 25 years ago when I built cabinets we used a piece of oak with holes drilled in it and a 1/4 inch drill bit with a piece of tape wrapped around it marking how deep to drill. Often the tape would start to wear and you’d need to tape it to make sure you were not going to drill through the material. The okay strip would start to wear out and eventually need to be made again. If if you had a piece of 1/4 inch steel bar with holes drilled in it you still needed to be careful to keep things spaced correctly so the shelves didn’t tip. You can also use a 5mm bit to drill holes as well but I used a 1/4 inch bit setup.

So, what does this jig do for you? Well, for one it’s fast enough to throw into a cabinet, adjust the stop collar on the guided bit to get the right depth, and plow through hundreds of holes in hardly any time at all.

Using Jig on small sample cabinet side

I know that sounds like a sales pitch and to some degree it is. When I made my cabinets, which are standard base cabinets but 42-inch upper cabinets it required drill hundreds of holes of shelving. This jig allowed me to drill these things fast.

To use the jig you can either but the edge up against a face frame or flip it over so it hangs over the edge of the carcass sides. Drill the hole using the provided spring-loaded guide bit and repeat until you get all the holes drilled you need. If your material is longer than jig simply uses a 1/4 inch rod in the alignment hole with a hole you drilled and continue down the line. It makes fast work out of the job. For drilling, I was using my DeWalt DC825 Impact Driver which is great but I switched to my Kobalt 24-Volt Max Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 1/2-in Cordless Brushless Drill which did not ratchet. This allowed for a much smoother drill without damaging the template as much (not pictured in this article or video).

The one downside I noticed is I was drilling so fast the bit got quite hot. This cased the brass washer to start to shave thinner and caused the guide sleeve to wear on the acrylic template. Overall though it didn’t affect the accuracy of the job but did force me to slow down a little.

As you can see from all the drill shavings I created quite a few holes so it was no wonder it heated up. My recommendation would be to drill these shelf pin holes prior to assembling your cabinet carcass though because it is easier to work outside the cabinet than inside if you know what I mean. If this is not an option then squeeze in.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used. Although this is a Rockler Jig, I am not sponsored in any way by them.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


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SBW#33 – Kitchen Cabinet Build Part 9 – Dados, rabbits, chip out on Cabinet tops, bottoms, and Sides

So in the previous article we did all the setup for the dado blade dialing in the width and height. This one we actually put that setup to use.

If you go to fast when cutting dado or rabbit cuts you’re bound to get chip out. What is chip out? Chip out occurs when the blade tears part of the material out. In my case since I’m cutting veneered plywood it tears the veneer and leaves a rough edge.

So how did I solve that? I tried painters tape but as it turns out it just made it worse. I believe this is the fact due to the veneer is not strongly glue to the sub-straight. So I tried a slow push through the material with only a hold down paddle and no painters tape. This seemed to work perfectly for me as you can see by watching the video below. However, the mileage may differ for you so I would recommend trying different techniques on scrap prior to cutting on your workpiece.

After cutting the bottom dado cuts I put my sacrificial fence on and did the rabbits in the back inside of the sides. This was not the most optimal way of doing this and I actually got lucky in that when I cut the top dado cuts I did not get any tear out which the rabbit would clean up. So I would also recommend cutting both the top and bottom dado cuts prior to cutting the rabbit on the back.

Once I was done cutting the dado and rabbit cuts I used a sanding sponge to clean up any rough edges but just going over the cuts a couple of times. This took care of any chip / tear out and potential splinters.

After all the cutting was done I slipped the bottom into the sides and clamped the bottom and face frame together. This allowed me to see the progress I was making and make any final tweaks before glue up.

Doing so I realized that when I cut the rabbit cuts for the back it reduced the depth in which the bottom and top pieces needed to be by about 1/4 of an inch. Since I had cut my tops and bottoms from the same material settings as my sides all I needed to do was re-rip these pieces to reduce them by 1/4 inch. While you could take this into account when doing your initial material cuts I decided it was quicker just to rip it afterwards. This also allowed me to have a few standard sizes that I could just trim down or leave them as is and no need to keep the two different sizes separated until the end.

Once this final cut had been made I simply dry fitted the cabinet together again. The only thing left to do was to drill the shelf pin holes which is easier for me to do prior to final assembly. I cover that in that in different later video.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used. Although Craftsman does not make an adjustable dado blade anymore I’ve included on to a Porter-Cable Oldham Blade as well as two other stack dado sets if you want to check it out. Some of the tools I’ve used are older models and I’ve linked newer or different brand’s equivalent.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


Looking for a Gift Idea? Visit the Amazon Gift Hub
Or Check out our Deal of the Day page in the Top Right of the Menu