How To Use A Kreg Jig

How To Use A Kreg Jig

A kreg jig is used to join wood together. That also help to drill pocket holes, for inserting screws at different angles. This is  because the screws run along the grain of the wood rather than through it, so the joint will be much stronger and more secure. It looks very complicated to first time crafters, however using a Kreg Jig is surprisingly simple. In summary all that you need to do is measure your wood, and set the Kreg Jig to the corresponding width then you use the guided slots to drill perfect pocket holes.

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Measure Your Wood

First you will need to measure the width of your board. With wood work, you have to always measure your wood regardless of the specifications given. I used a wood that was 3/4″ thick. Like I mentioned earlier, It is important to actually measure your stock because what you bought as a 1″ thick board could actually be about 3/4″ thick. Hence, You should always measure any wood you buy regardless of how it is labeled. It is very possible that the wood shrinks from the standard size.

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Set The Depth Collar on Your Kreg Jig
After measuring the lumber, the next thing is for you to set the depth collar on your kreg drill bit using the measurement. The depth collar is a little bit wider than the guide holes of the jig, and it would prevent you from drilling too far into the wood.
A special pocket hole drill bit should also be included as part of your new Kreg Jig.

 The Kreg Jig I have has a handy guide built into the bottom. So, I simply set the drill bit into the groove and line it up with the point where the drill bit goes from wide to narrow with the measurement that rhymes with the thickness of your wood. You should know that the depth collar is adjustable with a hex bit.
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Set The Jig Placement
Next you have to set the jig placement, this is also based on the thickness of your wood. You would.have seen that there are  some numbers on the side of the jig,  Loose the gold thumb screw and raise or lower the hole guide until it corresponds to your wood measurements. Then you re-tighten the thumb screw. When you raise and lower the jig, this will change the angle of the guide holes slightly to make them suitable for boards with different widths. Remember to reset the guide hole piece every time you drill a board that has a different size. Note that If you are joining two different woods with varying measurements of wood, you should use the thinner board to set your measurements. It is however advisable to vary your screw size. A Kreg Jig comes with a handy chart to find the correct screw lengths. At the left vertical side of the chart is the thickness of the board receiving the pocket holes. The horizontal top edge is for the thickness of the board that is being screwed into.
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Clamp.the Jig to a Workbench

The next thing I do is clamp the jig to my workbench. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it helps hold things steady. It would prevent the wood from coming loose while you’re drilling. Ensure that the guide holes of the jig are facing toward you on the workbench as you would be drilling into the back side of the board, which won’t be visible once the piece is completed
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Clamp The Wood into The Jig
Put your wood into the jig, by lining up the ends you want to drill holes in, at the bottom of the jig. After that you should press the clamp lever towards the board to clamp it in place. You may need to turn the clamp screw to tighten or loosen it for a secure hold. You can test the board to make sure that it doesn’t slide around.
The clamp lever should always lock into position once the clamp is fully extended.
Then, Insert the Kreg Jig drill bit into your drill. Start your drill in the forward motion. Drive the bit into the pocket hole guide. Stop at the depth collar on the bit.

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Fit Drill Bit Into The Guide Holes In The Jig.

Make the guide holes large enough to comfortably accommodate the drill bit. A standard Kreg Jig will have at least three guide holes so that you can drill as many holes as you need to support the joint.
For greater accuracy and security, keep your pocket holes spaced evenly.
In case you need more pocket holes than your jig allows, you can make more by shifting the wood down in the clamp after drilling your first set. Though, It is advisable that when you’re dealing with strong joints you should always use at least two pocket holes. One will only act like a pivot point for the joints to twist and turn. Then Remove the drill bit and unclamp the wood.

Clamp The Pieces Together
To complete your joint, clamp the pieces together and push the pocket hole screws into the pocket holes and into the second piece of wood. Make sure to pick the screw that is recommended for your material thickness.
For instance:
1/2″ material = 1″ screws

3/4″ material = 1 ¼” screws

1 1/2″ material = 2 ½” screws

To conceal the pocket holes after your joint is completed, purchase the Kreg plugs. Or you can fill them with Bondo. It works great as a strong wood putty. Just make sure you allow it  to dry and you also sand when you use Bondo.