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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the Kreg pocket hole jig and for the most part, it works great. The problem is the clamping handle can be difficult to operate when drilling pocket holes in panels, such as those used to build cabinets. It seems no matter how careful I am, I still manage to scrape my arm, which bruises or scrapes easily.

I have priced the production model Kreg machines and they are too costly for me. $800 and up.

What I would like to do is modify my jig so the clamping mechanism can be either electrically or pneumatically actuated each time I need to clamp (or unclamp) the piece I am working on.

Any ideas or suggestions appreciated.
Thanks
Mike

Attached is a pic of my setup at present.
 

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It's called "get the new K5 unit." They moved the handle back to the front of the jig. I have the K4, like yours, and love it, but I wish I would have waited for the new one.
 

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Check out "izzy swan" on YouTube. I know he built one that was pneumatically contolled and I'm pretty sure he even had sketchup plans to go with it.
 

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I agree...the new K5 looks like it would work better than my K4...but, the only time is use pocket holes on cabinets is the stretcher (or whatever they are called), on the top.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I saw the one Izzy made but couldn't find the plans.

What are you doing that you are needing pocket holes?






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Drilling the holes in the cabinet sides to attach the face frames. Like shown here.

What I did was clamp my pocket hole setup to the table saw. My wife pulled up a stool and sat on one side and became the clamp operator! That worked out great. After all, the buffet we are building is for her.
 

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I've built several of these for friends and family and they work really well.



You can buy the 11" Locking C clamp



from Harbor Freight for about $7 bucks and this will work just as good as the Kreg Jig.

Home Depot has the Step Bit for $16.95

But If you're Patient you can find the Mini Kit



on sale that has all of this for about $25 bucks and save yourself a lot of work!!!:yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You only need to glue and clamp the face frame on. If you are painting, you could just glue and shoot a few brads from the front.






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I know but I am practicing for the real thing. If the buffet turns out OK, we will attack the kitchen next with maple face frames, doors, and drawers...and stain. So far, the work flow is going well.
 

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Wood Snob
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MT Stringer said:
I know but I am practicing for the real thing. If the buffet turns out OK, we will attack the kitchen next with maple face frames, doors, and drawers...and stain. So far, the work flow is going well.
MT
Nothing better than a screw to suck the frame in tight on a glue joint. Set it, forget it. I was taught at age 11 nails only hold themselves.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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I hear ya on the pnuematics.....almost the only way to fly.Well,it is the fastest way in a pro-shop environ....I love'm.But presenting idea below just for S&G's,but....it will work.


Theres nothing that says this clamp has to "cam" over....IOW's,that hump one feels when tossing the lever.It would be VERY easy to have a foot pedal working a non-cam clamp.Get the leverage right an its an easy peasy.A spring/s to retract the clamp/s......pretty simple,foot off,clamp opens.Foot down,clamps tight.Whole arrangement built so you can slide it for "rough" adj......the throw of the clamp makes fine adj unecessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
My mini kit cost about $15. Works very well.
johnep
Not for a hundred or more holes, John. (avg 20 holes per cabinet).

I think you missed my point. I have a perfectly good working jig. It's the plywood panels that give me grief (and battle scars). That is why I am looking for a way to clamp the work piece from the front side so I don't have to reach over (or around) to clamp/release.

is what I would like to build. I just don't know what hardware is needed.

If my budget (and shop space) would allow, I would go for this guy.

Edit: I found another possibility.

Thanks for all suggestions.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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I think the pneumatic jig was brilliant. Note it uses the mini unit. Actually, I thought he uses a vacuum rather than a compressor. Every shop has a vacuum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think the pneumatic jig was brilliant. Note it uses the mini unit. Actually, I thought he uses a vacuum rather than a compressor. Every shop has a vacuum.
Yeppirs. I am going to attempt to modify my set up to be pneumatically operated. I orered a double acting cylinder and a foot switch to actuate it. Hopefully I can simply add more room under my current plywood base to house the cylinder and then figure out the geometry and make the arms to connect to my current clamp shaft.

This might be a winter project. Something after I finish the current project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
and now for an update...
IT'S ALIVE!!! :)

Thanks for all the advice. Today I am a very happy camper.

Note: I designed this contraption so that if I have problems with the cylinder operation, I can simply remove a few screws and reattach the original clamp (see last pic). :icon_smile:

For more detailed pictures, check out my album.
 

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