How to Make & Use a Pinning Block

How to Make and Use a Pinning Block

A display collection will look better if the insects and labels on the pins are at a uniform height. A pinning block is used as a gauge to position insects and labels at uniform heights on the insect pins.

How to Make:

  1. Make the block from strips of wood 1-inch wide by 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Cut a 3-inch, a 2 inch and a 1-inch long piece from your wood strip, and glue them together in step fashion as shown below.
  3. Next, drill three small holes as shown all the way through the block. You can use a small sized finishing nail for the drill bit.
  4. Then glue another 3 inch strip to the bottom of the block to cover the bottom of the drilled holes.

How to Use:

To use the pinning block, put the head of the pin bearing a freshly pinned insect into the shallowest hole of the pinning block. Push on the pin until its head is at the bottom of the hole. This will force the insect into a position 1/4-inch down on the pin. If the back of the insect is not resting on the block, that means the insect is too low. (Remember, the insect pin is upside down in the hole.) Push the insect downward on the pin until the insect's back is in contact with the block.

To position labels on the pin, put the label on the pin. Then put the point of the pin in either of the other two holes. Use the same hole for all the insects in your display collection. You can later change your mind about positioning labels, but not about positioning insects after they have dried on the pin.