You can not hold these jigs in place with your hands, you have to clamp them to the work piece or all bets are off. You can clamp the material vertically or horizontally as shown here:
There are other clamping methods used with some of the other kreg jigs so what ever one came with your jig is the one that will most likely be the one to use.
You can often batch drilled a bunch of parts before assembly, some of these might require different settings resulting in different length screws. If this is the case they it is a good idea to use some way of marking the different lengths needed as sometime just pocket hole placement is not enough of a cue.
Next up we will talk about clamping of the materials when assembling the parts. Lots of options here and once again a good joint depends on good clamping. This will likely be tomorrow.
The front surface is located at the bottom and should be held flat by the clamp.
The clamp can be just between the parts or clamped to a flat surface. This type of clamp is called a "face clamp". They come in several lengths of engagement and most of the clamping systems provide at least one.
The problem is that if you are not careful the two parts can separate and move and before you know it the joint is not were it was. This is where clamping tables come into their own. By holding the parts not only flat to one another they can keep the parts from moving in any direction. I have a simple sheet of plywood that I attached some oak pieces to at a right angle that helps with getting the two parts right on for those sorts of joints. I also have the Rocker clamping table with many clamping options. If you are hoping to get good joints you will more then likely need to build a helper jig or buy one.
We have been discussion these flat joints and there are several other jigs they make for doing this. One of them is referred to as a bench clamp. This clamp is handy for much more then the clamping needed for these joints. Here is the clamp and the mount. The mount works in 20mm holes like on this drill press table and also 3/4" holes.
Here it is in action:
You can also get a plate to install in a work bench top, I have one on the kreg clamp board I made BTW.
Some of these clamps are worth while even if you don't go into pocket holes.
We haven't gotten into some of the other joints but to give you an idea of some of the clamps I have take a look at this collection:
We will look at a few more of them later on.
Next I'd like to look at edge joint, and that will be either later tonight or tomorrow.
While the joint is pretty clearly different it is also very different to clamp. While you might get by just clamping the one part I can tell you that it unlikely you will be happy with the results. Both pieces need to be held where you want them so when the screw goes in there is no movement of either piece.
Back in 2017 I needed to build another squirrel house. I used pocket screw and you can see one of the set of clamps I used to hold the parts in place. They are called 90 degree corner clamps:
Here they are in use:
The one of the other clamps I pictured works a bit differently and I have not found a picture of mine showing them in use so I will send you to amazon to see how they work:
https://www.amazon.com/KHCRA-Automaxx-R ... 548&sr=8-2
There are no doubt other clamping solutions from many competitors so if this has peaked your interest you might want to see what else is out there.
Next we will discuss when you are using different thickness of material and what is recommended and what is not.
Looking first at face joint, you can combine any of the 1/2" to 1-1/2" A parts to any of the 1/2" to 1-1/2" B parts. You will need to shim parts so that you can clamp them flat for assembly but that is about it. In general again, the B part is expected to be at least 1-1/2" wide and anything wider is fine.
When you start mix and matching the edge joints you will have restrictions as to how you can do these. If the B part gets too thin then the screw will likely go though it. As an example if the A part is 1-1/2" then The B part can not be 1/2" - 3/4", you need a minimum of 7/8". This information is in tables and on the screw selector wheel.
Here is an example where things get a bit confusing for a table to explain so that thing called common sense comes into play. In this next example lets think of this being an apron being attached to a upright. In the first image the pocket holes are on the side labeled. There is no chance of the screw come though the B part so one could even use a longer screw, you do see that right?
Now if for some reason, say appearance the pockets will not work as shown. Then possibly we would want to put the pockets on the other side. In this case it is still possible to do but if you go to far with the screw it coming out the side of B on the far side.
It is also possible that you want the A part some where in the middle of the B piece so in that case you are safe on having the pockets on either side or even both if it a utilitarian piece. And yes one could use longer screws.
This is it for tonight. Just a few more things to cover tomorrow and perhaps the next day depending on how things go. Again if this is confusing or you have questions please ask about things.
- Ed in Tampa
- Platinum Member
- Posts: 5648
- Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:45 am
- Location: North Tampa Bay area Florida
Ordering a set!
To add my little bit to the discussion.
My tool budget is smaller than some, so this is my Kreg jig, an R3 plus a face clamp
And a cautionary tale re screw placement.
This is a quick and dirty section of fence that I made with pocket screws some years ago to fence in part of the yard for a dog run.
It is all still holding up well where the screws go sideways or up ...
but the bottom of the center brace, where the screws go down, has rotted through at the screw holes.
In hind sight, I should have bucked the rules and drilled that one from the bottom up into the end grain, so the water couldn't pool in the pocket holes.
10ER #23430, 10ER #84609, 10ER #94987,two SS A-34 jigsaws for 10ER.
1959 Mark 5 #356595 Greenie, SS Magna Jointer, SS planer, SS bandsaw, SS scroll saw (gray), DC3300,
So the only version of this screw I have seen is a #14 x 2-1/2". It has a coating, a sort of brown color and works with treated wood. The drill bit provides a 1/2" step hole so the drilling jig also has only 2 holes, about 1-3/8 apart.
This is pretty much what you get in the kit except I forgot to bring up the allen wrench for the stop collar. The stop block slides into the drill guide for location of the holes from the edge. In the case where you might be doing say a repair you take off the stop and the end of the drill guide butts the adjacent part for location.
A small warning, these are not approved for structural work everywhere so check local code if doing jobs that will be inspected.
Next post we will look at the micro jig.
I have not introduced the nomenclature kreg uses for these but just for being able to say you have heard of it we will take a short detour here. I don't expect you to remember it, I know I certainly don't.....
Say I have box of screws I can pretty much look at them and determine what I have. But if you happen to have to order some or send someone out to buy a box then I guess it is handy to have a label.
As an example if I have a box labeled SPS-F1-100 then the SPS is the head type, or in this case we know it is a pan head. Had it been SML we would have know it was the maxi-loc. The F tells us that it is fine threaded, had it been a C it would tell us that it was a course thread. The 1 is the length followed by the 100 that says how many were in the box.
You can look all this stuff up if and when you need it now that you know that is a thing.
Back to the micro jig, how they get the reduction of the pocket hole is to have a smaller bit which of course needs a smaller guide. The HD version used a 1/2" bit, the standard version is a 3/8" bit and the micro is a 5/16" bit. The pocket hole spacing is the same as the standard version with the same 3 holes jig. With the reduced pocket hole size you can work on stock down to just 1" wide. It is also use for mitered corners.
The jig and bit look pretty much like the other version:
The black color I guess is to help you know just which jig you have???
I got this as an add on to my system so we will next look a bit more at the K4 part called the Portable Base in the next post.
The first system I got wasn't much of a system. It was the mini jig, a single hole jig with no locations built in. You looked at the wood you had and were given three choices of thickness, 1/2", 3/4" and 1-1/2". You placed the jig so it was flush with the end of the wood for 3/4" so that was pretty simple to remember. If you wanted to use 1/2" material you pretty much had to go back to the instructions for information. That is what I just had to do, and found that the jig extended past the edge by 1/4". Same checking the manual gave me the 1-1/4" inch line in from the end for the 1-1/2" material.
You also had no way to know if you were placing the jig square to the end or not, more of a visual issue then anything I guess but some of us are like that.
They still sell this and it still come is handy from time to time.
Life and jigs evolve and next us was the R1/R2 Rocket jig. Once again the thought was the three basic wood thickness. This time they provide two holes a major plus and the way they located the jig provide a positive stop and a way to insure the jig was square.
As shown the jig is set up for 3/4" stock. The part the pencil is point at is the base plate, to set up for 1/2" stock it gets turned around so the leg is pointed the other way. To set up for 1-1/2" stock the blue part to the right is installed it is called a riser block. The base plate is then added to get the location right. The change over is done via these two screws:
At some point they came out with the newer style jig like I have now. Having the easier clamping and settings were a big influence and the deal was done.
What the other jigs provided was a pretty clear cut way to work on any size stock be it inches or feet long. There are just going to be times when the L shaped jig is just not going to cut it.
This is where the Portable base comes into play. It is not much to look at:
Like the L jigs you set the material thickness then you can clamp the jig to the work piece and drill away.
The L jig and this portable jig will take the standard, HD and the micro drill guides.
Next I want to cover repair applications which should be pretty short then on to a project. Thinking that will be tomorrow.
Had a similar situation but had 40 plus posts to secure to a lower brace, so at least 120 holes. I did consider the wooden plugs but they were way too pricey for the total cost of the fence and no place locally carried enough to do the whole job. Ended up taking a caulking gun and shooting enough silicone caulk to fill up the drilled hole and then sort of smeared the extra up to make it semi flush with the vertical post surface (caulk was too runny to make it perfectly smooth and completely fill the drilled out area). It's lasted over 15 years with no water getting in to cause rot.
Just a thought.