Will Cheap Pocket Hole Jigs Do The Job? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 07-27-2012, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Will Cheap Pocket Hole Jigs Do The Job?

Hi there, Everyone:

I hope to do some joints for 2 X 3s with miter cuts for a free standing clothing rack, as well as some butt joints for other projects, and I was wondering if the inexpensive Pocket Hole Jigs that I see on ebay will be ok.

What are the main differences between the expensive jig systems (like the Kreg Master system, which sells for about $140 on ebay), and the less expensive jig systems that sell for around $25 on ebay?

Oh, and one other question; Why do some of the high-end pocket jig systems have a vacuum attachment? Does drilling the pilot hole create so much dust / shavings that you need to clean out the hole before drilling in the pocket screws?
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post #2 of 32 Old 07-27-2012, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm...

It seems that the guides on the cheap jigs are made out of aluminum instead hardened steel and they wear out quickly. Also seems that the specially designed drill bits that come with the cheaper jigs have a tendency to break easily.

On the other hand, I see there is a Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System that sells for around $40 on ebay. Will that work on 2 X 3 pieces of pine / fir / other soft woods? (It says it works on wood up to 1 and 1/2 inch thick and since a 2 X 3 is SLIGHTLY thicker than 1 and 1/2 inches, will it still create a strong joint?
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post #3 of 32 Old 07-27-2012, 03:28 AM
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I paid a total of $15 for one hole Kreg pocket hole jig from an on line tool supplier. Works very well.
Try that and if find useful, could go to larger one.
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post #4 of 32 Old 07-27-2012, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnep34 View Post
I paid a total of $15 for one hole Kreg pocket hole jig from an on line tool supplier. Works very well.
Try that and if find useful, could go to larger one.
johnep
I used this for a couple years before I upgraded. It works fine, just not as convenient and takes a little longer.

Roger from the Great Horicon Swamp
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post #5 of 32 Old 07-27-2012, 08:37 AM
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There are better methods of joinery than using pocket screws. If you're into woodworking it may be worthwhile to learn them. JMO.





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post #6 of 32 Old 07-27-2012, 08:41 AM
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I bought the Kreg master system, true it cost me more than just a single hole jig, but I wanted the clamping system that is part of it. I really like it but I don't see the need for a vacuum system. Some people though have a mild obsession to collect any and all dust and chips produced. I understand that too, but pocket holes don't create much in the way of chips to warrant the roar of a vacuum cleaner. Where I would connect a vacuum to it would be if the jig is bench mounted and if I was doing a large number of pieces. But then again, I like walking in wood chips so the roar of the vacuum would take away from that part of shop work.

"Workin hard at loafin!"
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post #7 of 32 Old 07-27-2012, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
There are better methods of joinery than using pocket screws. If you're into woodworking it may be worthwhile to learn them. JMO.










.
I don't use Kreg jig a lot, but it has it's place. M&T gets used more in my shop.

Roger from the Great Horicon Swamp
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post #8 of 32 Old 07-27-2012, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Quote:
I paid a total of $15 for one hole Kreg pocket hole jig from an on line tool supplier. Works very well.
How thick of a piece of wood will that work with? Will it work with 2 X 3s (assuming I am going through the 2 side and not the 3 side)?

Quote:
There are better methods of joinery than using pocket screws. If you're into woodworking it may be worthwhile to learn them. JMO.
Thanks again, cabinetman.

I respect your opinion and I am very thankful for your help. My concern is that I don't know if I will be able to do those other methods of joining. I have very limited tools and an even more limited budget.

The good news is that I MIGHT be able to get an inexpensive 10 Inch table saw. If I can get one, will I be able to do the other methods of joining you mentioned with the 10 inch saw? (like the M&T joint?)

Thanks in advance.
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post #9 of 32 Old 07-28-2012, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
How thick of a piece of wood will that work with? Will it work with 2 X 3s (assuming I am going through the 2 side and not the 3 side)?
Not I would think with standard length Kreg screws, but used on my kitchen table to fix leg frame to top. Certainly could try, but would worry if twisting force applied to such a joint. If OK to show holes could pocket screw all sides.
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post #10 of 32 Old 07-28-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post
.....I see there is a Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System that sells for around $40 on ebay.......
I recommend the Kreg http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-R3-Pocket-Hole-System/dp/B000J43A7W as a Pocket Hole starter jig.
The R3 is primarily used in to drill holes in wood that is being assembled
in a new project. A more versatile Kreg jig that can be can also be used
alongside the drill bit in the R3 Kit is the bare bones Kreg $9http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-MKJ-Mini-Jig/dp/B0000DD5GQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2M2NT59273SPZ&colid=3SACDN5VTVIGP.
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post #11 of 32 Old 07-28-2012, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post
.......and since a 2 X 3 is SLIGHTLY thicker than 1 and 1/2 inches, will it still create a strong joint?
I've used the Kreg Mini Jig to repair and or reinforce 4x4 newel Posts using Kreg 2-1/2" http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-SML-C250B-50-Blue-Kote-Washer-Head-50-Count/dp/B001717PGI/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1343499451&sr=8-23&keywords=kreg+screws
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post #12 of 32 Old 07-29-2012, 05:08 AM
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These screws should certainly do the job. I have the 1 1/2 inch screws and for other sizes simply use a suitable washer to prevent 'pull through'.
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post #13 of 32 Old 07-29-2012, 12:14 PM
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Pocket Hole screws from Kreg max out at 2 ½”
Kreg screw start at ¾”, #6, fine thread
then the four primary Kreg lengths (in many fine or coarse sizes, #7 or #8)
  1. 1 ¼”
  2. 1 ½”
  3. 2”
  4. 2 ½
All four lengths are also in Blue-Kote or Stainless
Kreg is not the only supplier
I like: McFEELY'S
They list 35 pocket hole screws from Kreg or 'other sources' (guess ?)

Does anybody have other sources for pocket screws?

Last edited by PaliBob; 07-29-2012 at 12:26 PM. Reason: sp
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post #14 of 32 Old 07-30-2012, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnep34 View Post
.....for other sizes simply use a suitable washer to prevent 'pull through'.....
McFEELY's has a running special on screws that they call 25-25-25 that consist of:
  • 25 different boxed screws
  • 25 screws in each box
  • $25 For the whole shebang. Inludes 2ea square & star bits
    1$ Shipping & Handling
Now the good news is that set includes 10 different Pocket Screws
25 of each type:

Coarse Thread
• #6 x 1"
• #6 x 1 ¼
• #6 x 1 ½
Fine Thread
• #6 x 1-1/4"
• #6 x 1-1/2"
Super 8
• #8 x 1-1/4"
• #8 x 1-1/2"
Saw tooth Washer Head
• #8 x 1-1/4"
• #8 x 2"
#PocketMax® Pocket Hole
• #10 x 2-5/8"
The other 15 boxes of screws have some pretty awesome screws.
• Bob
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post #15 of 32 Old 07-30-2012, 08:36 AM
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I've got a nice Kreg Pro system, and an older Kreg Rocket . The Pro system is nice, but the basic jig mated with a decent quick grip type clamp works well enough. Taking the jump to the Kreg Jr. R3 System gives the benefit of having that alignment lip (and a double hole), but it about doubles the cost of the basic $20 jig/bit kit.
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post #16 of 32 Old 07-30-2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knotscott View Post
.......the basic jig mated with a decent quick grip type clamp works well enough........
The HFT clamp is normally ~$7 but now on sale for $5. They work great
for clamping the http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-MKJ-Mini-Jig/dp/B0000DD5GQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2M2NT59273SPZ&colid=3SACDN5VTVIGP in position to drill the pocket hole.
Kreg makes a http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-KHC-PREMIUM-Face-Clamp/dp/B001DC9UR8/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1343681401&sr=1-1-fkmr1&keywords=kreg+clamp+set that does the same thing and after the pocket hole is drilled can be used to align the face of the two pieces being connected. However the cheapo clamp will do the same thing if a spare shim is used to protect the work surface while driving the pocket screw.
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post #17 of 32 Old 07-31-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip and the alert, PailBob
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post #18 of 32 Old 08-01-2012, 01:17 PM
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Face Frame clamps still have their place.
The cheapest http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-KHC-PREMIUM-Face-Clamp/dp/B001DC9UR8/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343841260&sr=8-2-fkmr1&keywords=Kreg+Master+clamp is ~ $20

But Peachtree has a 6" FF clamp for $9.99

and a 11" FF clamp for $13.99 ( Compares to Kreg $30 clamps)
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post #19 of 32 Old 08-04-2012, 11:26 AM
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Kreg has a new Jig out that is especially for 2X stock with bigger drill bit and bigger screws in case you are interested.

Joe B.
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post #20 of 32 Old 08-05-2012, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeb41 View Post
Kreg has a new Jig out that is especially for 2X stock with bigger drill bit........
Kreg now has three sizes of Pocket hole drills:
  • KJD/MICROBIT- 19/64"...can use base Kreg guides with the http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-KJMICRODGB-Micro-Drill-System/dp/B002AKJ2F2
  • KJD- 3/8" Standard (original) size
  • KJDHD- new 1/2" drill size, requires the new HD kit $60
Here is a Kreg pdf with what you Get
Of course larger screws are also required. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RUO8D8/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B008CQBYGI&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=10DHR421YQRGWTK5GNTG
Note: The Kreg HD screws are now available in Only one Length
.

Last edited by PaliBob; 08-05-2012 at 12:08 PM. Reason: sp
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