Since there are certain types that you might want to get locally in case you run out most stores I shop in have pretty good collections on the 100 ct boxes. Some places have a lesser selection with the 500 ct boxes. They do have large boxes but they might be harder to locate, might have to be ordered. Where I store mine either the 100 or the 500 fit pretty well and it takes a while to use up 500 so that is as large as I get.
Another thing I didn't talk was plugs. I have used them and they do work but most of the projects I do are either utilitarian and or hidden so I just buy a quantity from the store. Kreg does sell a plug cutter you can see it here:
https://www.amazon.com/Kreg-Pocket-Hole ... 159&sr=8-7
If you are working in a particular species of wood and want matching plugs them this might be worth it but I have not sprung for this yet. It had been on a few budget lists but never got high enough up the list to actually have been purchased.
The do have a decent selection of types of wood and even some plastic ones. I have a few left over so here is a picture of them setting in the holes I just did today. They are not fully seated but I think you will get the idea.
BTW the single jig has a little notch that helps insert the plugs.
Fun lessons. I thought I might let those following this know that Kreg has a rebate of $15 going through the end of January on their K4 and K5 stand alone jigs and master systems. The rebate can be mail in or online.
Additionally if you are e a member of Amazon prime, the K5 stand alone jig is currently available on 6 months payment.
For example, a K5 jig is currently on sale on Amazon for $129 with 5 months payments is about $26 a month.
Just thought I'd pass that info along
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Goldie(Bought New SN 377425)/4" jointer/6" beltsander/12" planer/stripsander/bandsaw/powerstation /Scroll saw/Jig saw /Craftsman 10" ras/Craftsman 6" thicknessplaner/ Dayton10"tablesaw(restoredfromneighborstrashpile)/ Mark VII restoration in 'progress'/ 10E[/size](SN E3779) restoration in progress, a 510 on the back burner and a growing pile of items to be eventually returned to useful life. - aka Red Grange
I use this pocket hole jig- all aluminum body, vac port, large legible markings for the various settings. US made. Holes are the same regardless of the jig-can use Kreg screws.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q5BL1MX/re ... NrPXRydWU=\
I know I personally have had kreg jigs for a long while, so I wondered just when they first came out, how about 34 years ago! I've not had mine that long and I can't even tell you when it was that I got my last one. I will say I'm glad I have them and have gotten some good use out of them.
In recent years there have been a few more companies making pocket hole jigs, I don't own any of them and can not speak to how well they work but doubt any are really better. A recent review I read still found the Kreg the best.
I'm pretty happy with the collection that I have and the only reason I might go out and buy another one would be if there were a compelling reason to do so and so far I have found nothing to warrant it.
The only disadvantage of the one that I have is the lever being behind the work piece. On short parts or taller parts that aren't too long having the lever there is no issue. If however you try to do a part where you can no longer reach the lever from the front then it is an issue. In this photo it is still not a problem but if the piece were longer....
Now I mounted my jig on a plywood platform and added some mini track to both sides. Doing so allowed me to put these material support stops in place. I don't do much longer work so this size works well for me but if you were doing larger projects all the time then a longer base might be in order. These material supports make sure the holes are being drill vertical to the work piece. They also can be set up as stops to locate sets of holes the same over many work pieces. A nice addition.
I also wanted to mention a little extra that I have found useful. You don't have to just depend on the pocket hole for all of the joints strength. Like anything else there are many ways to do things. One that I have posted here before at some point is a joint like this:
The dado needs to be shallow so you still have room for the pocket screws but you gain the dado which supports more weight and keeps any twisting motion of the horizontal member to a minimum.
Another thing I picked up from Norm is the use of biscuits for alignment and then using pockets for more holding force. I have used that a number of times and it really does work. I think I've posted that as well but who knows where anymore.
No one is going to say I think I'll use pocket screws because they look like such attractive joints. There are far better looking ways of doing things. Like wise I don't think most people thing that these are by far the strongest joints I can use and then use them.
As a wood worker you have to make choices all the time. This is another choice. Depending on the project they make since or they don't. If you use them and they fail then it is as likely a bad choice of either the design or the choice of the pocket joints. I have not had any failures so maybe I'm lucky or maybe it skill. If you do a face frame for a cabinet and worry that these will not be strong enough then better look at your design as I'm pretty sure the pocket screws will do the job.
As for testing. Anyone can post to the internet. It doesn't mean they are right or wrong or tricking you or have an addenda or do they? You have the wood, you have the tools do your own testing if you are worried, that way if it works you can feel confident, if it does fail then it time to look at what you did and see if you made a mistake or like most people move on to another way.
Back when I started wood working there were all the old tried a true joints past on for perhaps 100's of years and yes they worked. Problem was for hobbyist we did not have time to perfect the woodworking and have the time to actually do the work, well most of us anyway. Likewise home shops don't always have the best tools for the job.
Things like the shopsmith were "invented" as were a lot of other tools we now take for granted. I worked in our home shop for some years before moving out to spend some time in the service and school and lived in apartments where a hand drill and jig saw were about it for power tools and the hand tools I had fit in a small tool box. When I got a job and had room to expand I was drawn to the tools of the day and the techniques of the day, yes a lot of hand tools.
I remember when I first got a doweling jig. Got the dowel drill bit and wow I could do decent dowel joints, sort of. Now the jigs at that time are nothing like the ones you can get now, a lot more primitive. Lots of time spent in layout, more time to make sure the jig was where it should be, the drill was set up to get the depth right, and above all the holes were vertical since the bushing had to be flat to the surface and not move when drilling. Then came testing the joints, you had hole to hole spacing in each part, and then assembly spacing and was the one hole too short??? Test fitting could be trying times. Worst yet when you added the glue you might end up splitting the wood because of hydraulic pressure of the glue in the joint. Oh yea it was fun using a pliers on a dowel to make grooves for the glue to escape....
So when I first saw the biscuit jointer I knew I had to have one. I actually hated my doweling jig so bad I sold it at a garage sale and I don't sell tools.... I still use the biscuits and of course pocket holes but no dowel joints. I do sometimes think about getting a nice doweling jig but it hasn't happened yet. I also think about the festool domino and it would be more likely I'd get that then a doweling jig..... I know I should be more into dowels but I'm not.
Don't be afraid to do your own testing, most of the time that is the only way you will really get answers to your specific questions. Do go out and get some pocket hole jig and give it a try, the water is fine. I'm sure you will find some uses for it even if it is not the one you got it for.
This spring I will have been using power tools for 61 years and wood working for 65 and I'm still learning and experimenting and testing things our. No one is ever going to have all the answers and the questions keep changing and so is the adventure.
I figured that even if I was unhappy with it I still could get the domino system and only be out a nominal amount. I was pleasantly surprised how easily using this jig is. It is very similar to the pocket screw clamping & alignment process and produces spot on joints. I even use the same large vise grip like clamps that I use for pocket screw jigs. There still will be times when I will choose pocket screws or biscuits over dowels but not too many. And I won't have the expense of another festool tool.
- Ed in Tampa
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Also if you look at the underside of practically any good quality table or chair you will see pocket holes were used extensively in their construction.
Thanks again Ed for taking the time to do this, it is much appreciated!
1998 510 upgraded to a 520, upgraded to power pro with double tilt and lift assist.
overarm pin router
Also, the Armor Tool jig has color coding for the screws and sizes, which looks like a plus. Never used it myself, but that aspect alone looks interesting to attempt to avoid confusion of using the wrong screw size on the wrong board size.thunderbirdbat wrote:Thanks Ed. I have all the Kreg jigs that I need and then some probably as I still have one of the original metal 3/4" jigs. I will agree that the reaching around to clamp the work piece is a pain. If anyone is interested, Armor makes a jig that the clamp handle is on the operator side of the jig. They also make an auto adjust clamp that can replace the standard clamp on the Kreg jigs so you do not have to constantly adjust the clamp length when using different thickness materials. https://armor-tool.com/products/woodwor ... cket-hole/
Mark V 520 (Bought New '98) | 4" jointer | 6" beltsander | 12" planer | bandsaw | router table | speed reducer | univ. tool rest
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https://www.amazon.com/KREG-K5-Kreg-Poc ... 550&sr=8-4
Perhaps I would buy one of those if I didn't already own what I own, not that bad a price premium. I don't see me getting one unless they come up with something like a K6 that does something amazing.
On the subject of clamps, kreg has a clamp with the label of Automaxx, I own several different versions of these and they automatically adjust for different thicknesses. You also can adjust the clamping force.
I have a mix of clamps, if it were not for the cost I'd go to all the max clamps. As a reference this is the clamp with the screw adjustment:
https://www.amazon.com/KREG-KHC-PREMIUM ... P3WWWVNHQR
It sells for about $15 and by contrast this model sells for $24:
https://www.amazon.com/KREG-KHC3-Projec ... 147&sr=8-4
When I expand my collection I like to go with the auto adjusting types but have not gone back and replaced what I have.
I find some of the long reach ones very useful on my SO vertical station and I just got a couple from Rockler for a new jig I got from them. The two to the left are the Rockler ones:
I also got on sale the Rockler Pock-it Hole Clamp® with Quick Release, only got one to try out and I haven't tried it yet. Hope to sometime this spring.
https://www.rockler.com/pock-it-hole-cl ... ck-release