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Pocket Screw joinery made easy with the 
Kreg Jig

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I believe that face frames should almost always be a structural member of every cabinet. It keeps the cabinet from racking out of square and supports the doors. In the past I have always used half lap joints because they are strong with a large glue area. I used blind lap joints on the edges of face frames so you wouldn't see the end grain of the rails. 
I still use blind half laps in the four corners of my face frames, but I use pocket hole joinery for all the intermediate parts. I was very impressed with strength of this type of joint. And fast!!! I can complete these joints in a quarter the time with better alignment.

Layout is pretty simple, center lines for placement. Also you work from the back of the face frame, layout and holes go on the inside of the frame, so make sure your bench is smooth so the outside of the frame doesn't get scratched up. It's important that all parts are cut square, and all stock is the same thickness, nothin special there.

When you open the box, the jig is in a few parts. You'll need to screw it down to a board. Once complete, you simply clamp the board to your bench when you need it, and hang it on the wall when your done!

 
 
 
 

 

The jig consists of two wings to support the work piece, a clamp to secure it, and a drill guide that controls the angle and depth of the holes.
Each of the support wings also have a gauge for setting up the step drill. This step drill cuts two sized holes, the smaller tip drills a hole for the shank of the screw, and the larger part drills out the pocket. See the arrow at left...
....it pointing to the step part of the drill. I have the step right on the 3/4" mark, the thickness of my stock. Now I can slip the stop collar on the end of the drill and butt it up against the gauge. Now the drill will make a pocket hole without blowing thru the end.
In this picture I've placed the stock in such a way so you can see how much stock is removed when the drill bottoms out. 

Now lets make some sawdust!

There are three drill guides, I've chosen to use the two outer most holes for this project. Remember your working on the inside of the frame parts so center the part on the jig with the layout line toward you. Here it's not too critical where I put the part, close enough to center is good enough, the layout lines you made earlier will give exact placement later.
You need a half decent corded electric drill to make the pockets, battery drills are too slow. Place the drill in the guide first then squeeze the trigger and drill out the pocket at max rpm. Keep the drill spinning when you pull it out of the jig to clear the chips. 
That was tough, eight pockets cut in a minute! Try doing half laps that fast, and layout and set up time was fast too!
The Kreg jig comes with a special long square drive bit and 1-1/4" pan head screws with a self tapping thread. There are fine threads and coarse threaded screws, course for softwoods and fine thread for hardwoods. My face frame is maple so I'll be using the fine thread screws.
You also get one of these clamps to hold the stock flush. Glue up the parts and position them. Place the large surface of the clamp on the outside of the face frame and clamp it good and snug. Now run in the screws, use care when you bottom out the screws. I've found a battery drill will work just fine here.
Yikes, that was easy! 
 
 


Fast, and it looks good! 

Click here to read more about this jig!

Hartville Tool Carries A smaller Kreg Jig.

Kreg K3 - Kreg JigŪ K3 Master System - Pocket Hole Systems
The Kreg K3 Master System is the ultimate package for pocket hole joinery from the pocket hole professionals! The Kreg K3 is loaded with innovative new features, including front-side clamping, built-in dust collection, and more height adjustment with incremental adjustment pins, allowing you to center a screw in material 1/ 2" to 1-1/2" thick in 1/8" increments. View the Kreg K3 Master System Interactive Demo (requires Flash).

Kreg K3 - Kreg JigŪ K3 Master System - Pocket Hole Systems

Kreg K3 - Kreg JigŪ K3 Master System - Pocket Hole Systems

 
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