Re: Pogo Pin Receptacles
I've also been struggling with some test jig building issues myself. My "best" (cross-product of cost, time-to-done, tools required, etc.) was to take a headerless Metro board and just solder-in pogo pins instead of the headers. In my case getting the pogos soldered-in wasn't trivial because the holes in the Metro are 1mm and there's a huge amount of slop between the inside of the annular ring and the outside diameter of the pogos. Getting them all to stand up straight (enough) and be roughly the same height dragged me through a number of failed approaches after which I settled on what turned-out to be a doh!-but-working solution.
I'm thinking your concern about damage is similar to one of mine. Seems like a solution would might be to use another PCB of the same type that the pins are soldered into and use it to hold the pins 1/4" up above the lower board just for the purposes of ensuring that the pogos don't get sheared. Unfortunately, plated 0.9mm holes seem to be too snug to use, and plated 1.0mm holes too loose to hold the pins in place (1.0mm holes and epoxy or more solder might be an option). Alternatively, the guide board/plane could be made from a range of materials (not necessarily FR4) with 0.9mm bare holes to hold all the pins in place and drilled-out by hand. Not sure if 3D-printing such a plane would have sufficient tolerance or not.