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Discussion Starter #1
I have a kreg jig and have made a few projects using it, these were not critical things, more a general use of the new toy. Then I started doing some face frames for a bathroom I'm redoing and this is where I noticed that a couple out of the 12 or so joints I did were less then wonderful.

It seems when the joint was screwed together the parts moved, maybe as much as a 1/32" but noticable. I had to either plane off the end grain or live with the joint so I did what had to be done. In one joint the face did not remain flat but twisted up, on that one I had to plug the screw holes and redo the joint.

Now the question, how are other clamping the joints? I was using spring clamps to a plywood workbench....... The problem seems to be at the time of screw entering the second part of the joint, maybe due to grain or ?.

Ed
 

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I just picked up a $16 'minimalist" (my phrase, BTW) Kreg set that has only a single-hole jig and a stepped bit. I added some boxes of Kreg-branded self-tapping square-drive screws. I already had a Harbor Fright version of the vise grips clamp Kreg sells so I passed on their (way overpriced) rebranded clamp.

Here's what I observed while doing the first two pocket screw joins of two pieces of Melamine...By following the directions to the letter, there was no problem making two pocket holes in one of the pieces of Melamine. I then started the screws into the pocketholes but didn't drive them all the way "home".

Kreg did not provide any instructions to follow for making the actual join of the two pieces of material, so I winged it.

I butted piece #2 up against the piece that had the pocket holes and screws. Dince those screws are self-tapping I didn't think much about anything other than just driving them home to fasten the two pieces together.

I tightly held the two pieces together by hand and began applying slow and steady turns (with my power drill of course) to the first screw. That screw pushed the receiving block away and slightly off center before the self-tapping took effect. The screw did pull the pieces together as it seated. Same thing happened when I began to turn screw #2.

Now my experiment was with particle board and we all know what sort of structural integrity that stuff is about :-/ But none-the-less I was a bit dismayed to discover that not only were the two "boards" not flush as expected but that the darned screw was rather shallow into board #2. (The join separated too easily.)

This left me with the decided notion that the jig itself did not allow the step drill to burrow deeply enough into the first board when making the pocket hole to begin with. (I sure hope I'm wrong on this point -- If I'm correct, I'll be a tad irritated with Kreg!)

Point Learned: the two pieces need to be clamped together when the screw(s) are sent home. (They might even need to be clamped down to a surface so they remain flush to one-another).

Point Pondered: With all the needed clamping, might as well forget about screws and use glue and (maybe) biscuits and be done with it?
 

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Hi: The krieg jig and the other brands as well, must be clamped together before the joint is brought together. For 3/4" material a 1 1/4 " screw is used, with soft materials
mdf,particle board plywood pine etc, a course thread is used. Hardwoods require a
fine thread screw of the same length. Krieg make clamps for joining material edge to edge, and also at right angles. I suggest the you get a method of setting the stop collar onto the stepdrill. which will insure the the screws go into the joint the proper depth. Also put the screws into the material without glue, then back them off and
apply the glue, and rehome the screws. Sometimes I will also use a biscuit in the joint
to keep it from moving when I bring them together. The savings in time by not having to clamp the joint after applying glue and screwqing it together speeds things up.
I have and use the Krieg 2000, and the right angle clamp it works fine for me.
Hope this helps. Woodnut65
 

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Anytime two piece of wood are being screwed together to be properly joined without distortion or seperation they should be clamped.
A screw will go through the first piece and when going into the second piece have a tendency to push the first piece away.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Woodnut65 said:
Hi: The krieg jig and the other brands as well, must be clamped together before the joint is brought together. For 3/4" material a 1 1/4 " screw is used, with soft materials mdf,particle board plywood pine etc, a course thread is used. Hardwoods require a fine thread screw of the same length.

The parts I was attaching were pine and I used the course 1 1/4 screws from kreg. In fact I have the R1/R2 setup and used the provided step drill with the collor set at 3 1/2" per their instuctions. The jig is set for 3/4" material which is what I'm using. I have seen Norm use this setup for face frames he seem to really like it. In the past I have used dowels then went to biscuits both of which work but this seems to be a faster way and less waiting for glue to dry in my limited number of clamps with this method. I guess I was expecting spring clamps to keep things from moving but a better clamping method is needed. By the way I have not been adding glue as the screws seem to pull the material so tight the glue just comes out??????

Krieg make clamps for joining material edge to edge, and also at right angles. I suggest the you get a method of setting the stop collar onto the stepdrill. which will insure the the screws go into the joint the proper depth. Also put the screws into the material without glue, then back them off and
apply the glue, and rehome the screws. Sometimes I will also use a biscuit in the joint to keep it from moving when I bring them together. The savings in time by not having to clamp the joint after applying glue and screwqing it together speeds things up.
I have and use the Krieg 2000, and the right angle clamp it works fine for me.
Hope this helps. Woodnut65
Anyway thanks for your comments.

ed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Putzger said:
I just picked up a $16 'minimalist" (my phrase, BTW) Kreg set that has only a single-hole jig and a stepped bit. I added some boxes of Kreg-branded self-tapping square-drive screws. I already had a Harbor Fright version of the vise grips clamp Kreg sells so I passed on their (way overpriced) rebranded clamp.

I have the upscaled two hole model that came with the clamp and bit and a few screws etc.

Here's what I observed while doing the first two pocket screw joins of two pieces of Melamine...By following the directions to the letter, there was no problem making two pocket holes in one of the pieces of Melamine. I then started the screws into the pocketholes but didn't drive them all the way "home".

Kreg did not provide any instructions to follow for making the actual join of the two pieces of material, so I winged it.

I butted piece #2 up against the piece that had the pocket holes and screws. Dince those screws are self-tapping I didn't think much about anything other than just driving them home to fasten the two pieces together.

I tightly held the two pieces together by hand and began applying slow and steady turns (with my power drill of course) to the first screw. That screw pushed the receiving block away and slightly off center before the self-tapping took effect. The screw did pull the pieces together as it seated. Same thing happened when I began to turn screw #2.

At least I was not seeing this problem. My joints pull together VERY tight. But then I have never used them on the material you are using.

Now my experiment was with particle board and we all know what sort of structural integrity that stuff is about :-/ But none-the-less I was a bit dismayed to discover that not only were the two "boards" not flush as expected but that the darned screw was rather shallow into board #2. (The join separated too easily.)

I have not attemped to break one of my joints but that is not a bad idea. A face frame once it is attached of course doesn't see much action in the pulling apart area.

This left me with the decided notion that the jig itself did not allow the step drill to burrow deeply enough into the first board when making the pocket hole to begin with. (I sure hope I'm wrong on this point -- If I'm correct, I'll be a tad irritated with Kreg!)

Point Learned: the two pieces need to be clamped together when the screw(s) are sent home. (They might even need to be clamped down to a surface so they remain flush to one-another).

I thought I was doing this by clamping them to the plywood too....

Point Pondered: With all the needed clamping, might as well forget about screws and use glue and (maybe) biscuits and be done with it?
For me I think I'll keep going with this system but refine my clamping methods. Thanks for you comments, it gave me a few more things to think about.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ejant said:
Anytime two piece of wood are being screwed together to be properly joined without distortion or seperation they should be clamped.
A screw will go through the first piece and when going into the second piece have a tendency to push the first piece away.
I can understand the need to clamp and the spring clamps put a lot of force on the wood. I use them a lot and they do work for most things so I was a bit supprised when they did not hold the parts for this project. The parts did not seperate so they did hold in that direction but letting then slip horzontally was a bit unexpected and the twisted joint.......

Thanks for your input,

Ed
 

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pocket jigs

I had problems also with this at first. Found my problems were more than 2 fold. I originaly used finished four sided 1x2 's but found they were not as close as they claimed them to be. couldn't afford a planer back then so I finally came up with a simple fix. I have a formica taple top which I use. I dry fit my joints and when they are what I want I turn it all face down on the table. I then Apply glue and clamp both sides of the joint down to the table and use a small two pocket jig to make my holes. Then I use a small drill and predrill a small amount deeper. Screw my square head pocket screws till they bottom,release clamps and turn a little bit more. The table keeps the joint flush even if the wood is a small bit different and any missmatch is on the back side not to be seen after installing. I take this time to clean exsessive glue off and take a orbital sander to it this will fill any slight mismatches with saw dust and create a invisable joint. hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Always go to the source....... DA!

I went to the kregtool.com site and found a FAQ....
I'm experiencing wood movement as I screw my joint together. How can I eliminate this?

First and foremost, the use of our Face Clamps will eliminate most wood movement while driving a screw. A good rule to use whenever attempting to assemble a pocket hole joint is that the screw will tend to pull the workpieces away from the side the pocket hole is placed on… so, a simple solution is to always clamp a stop (clamp, scrap workpiece, tabletop) on the opposite side of the pocket holes. By doing this, you will be able to consistently produce perfectly flush joints.

Another trick that seems to work well if you're experiencing movement mainly caused by the lubricity of glue on the joint line is to first dry fit your workpieces and drive one or two screws, then disassemble, apply glue to the workpieces and re-assemble.


A lot of other good stuff as well. Check it out!


Ed
 

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True, it speeds the work up with those pocket jigs. I have a homemade pocket jig and it does work great. They do move a little, I clamp them tight with one another and flat, it helps. But what's the hurry? I stick with those dowels and and it doesn't move while I glue and clamp.
 

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Clamping and stop blocks are the right answer Ed. Always use glue in the joints unless you are attaching a removeable panel for easy access or a table top. Here is a simple tip to get great results when attaching table legs to the aprons(side pieces) on a shaker style table:
Figure out what you want your inset to be on the aprons, say for example 1/4". Use your router to cut a 1/4" deep rabbit or rebate the width of the leg on a piece of scrap wood that is about a foot long. Clamp it to the leg with a mechanical clamp.(I use Quick grip bar clamps) Position your apron and clamp it to the scrap wood, drill your pocket holes and then remove the clamp from the apron only. Apply your glue to the apron only and run your screws making sure to not over tighten and strip the holes out. This simple jig ensures all your joints are identical and you get almost no movement this way. Pocket hole jigs are great for attaching table tops too.
 

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