Jig Aligns Biscuits Across Shelf

This plywood jig helps to align biscuits accurately across the bookshelves. The plywood cleat keeps the end of the fence square to the side. Mark centerlines for the slots on the end of the fence. After cutting each set of shelf slots, cut the fence to a shorter length. Toss the jig when done.

Clamp and cut. Clamp the jig to the case. Cut one set of slots, then use the jig to cut the same slots on the other side. Crosscut the fence to the next shelf position, and repeat until all slots are cut.

Adjustable shelves add versatility

Adjustable shelves make it easy to change the spacing as needs change. But there is a structural cost: These shelves do nothing to hold the cabinet sides together. So, on taller bookcases, it's a good idea to have one fixed shelf to help anchor the case sides.

Furniture Threaded Shelf Pins

Shelf-pin holes in a jiffy. Thanks to this shop-made jig, Miller quickly drills shelf-pin holes that are the same depth and perfectly spaced.


Strength: Good (very good with sleeves) Appearance: Good Shelf pins come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and finishes. My favorites are the machined solid brass ones from Lee Valley. I also like the very small round pins by Hafele for smaller cases. Shelf pins also come with special clips for securing the shelves or for holding glass shelves. Sleeves are a great way to recover from poorly drilled holes. Stamped sleeves (short tubes with a flared and rounded-over end) tend to look like shoelace eyelets when installed in a cabinet. Solid brass machined sleeves look better, even though they accentuate the row of holes in the case sides somewhat. Some sleeves are threaded for specially threaded shelf pins.

[1 Sleeve adds refinement and strength. You can improve both the appearance and strength of a shelf pin simply by slipping a brass sleeve into the pin hole.

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