Keeping Shelf Pin Holes Clear

Article - June 17, 2008

This week’s question comes from Avraham. He writes:
In the past when I’ve built bookshelves and entertainment centers I drill all of the holes for the shelf pins before I assemble the whole piece. However, after finishing the piece with polyurethane the holes get filled with finish and I end up re-drilling them all. This takes a whole lot of time and I’m assuming there’s a better way. What do you do to avoid having the shelf pin holes clog with finish?

And here was my response:

Well there are two things you can do. You can drill the holes after finishing, or you can plug the holes with something. But both of those have some issues. Here’s what I would do. After applying the poly, I would get a few Q-tips and I would very carefully clean out the poly. Well, to be more accurate you aren’t really cleaning it out. You are more or less spreading the poly inside the hole and essentially sealing it up. At the most, the shelf pins will be a little tight, which is never a bad thing. Hope that helps.

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