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Jig competition - late, late entry!

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Steve Maskery

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Hi folks
I've just made a pocket hole jig, and it works nicely.
I considered making Ian's from GW a few months back, but I didn't want to buy a dedicated tool, and I wanted one that could be used on sheet material for carcases etc.
This version uses a standard router, and whilst this version may not do framing quite as easily as Ian's, it's not bad and easier, I think, on the edge of a large sheet (I'm thinking Wardrobe here).
Anyway this is what it look like:


It consists of a router cradle, which lets it move in an arc,

The white strips are Formica

Underneath there is a clamping plate and a guide plate:


which are adjusted into position with Bristol levers and T-nuts. If it looks as if it is only just being held on, it's because I wanted the pressure point to be directly inline with the cut.

In due course the main fence will have a bushing to enable me to drill the pilot hole for the screw - it's being made for me even as we speak.

So I clamp it to my workmate, set it up for a cut, do all the ones at this position, then reset the guide for the other position. For sheet work the two plates underneath are removed and the cradle is clamped directly to the panel.

The only disappointment is that as I was cutting the main slot I didn't move the toggle clamp out of the way. It's cost me a 5/16th cutter which I had only just had sharpened, and knackered up the rubber foot at the same time. :cry:

Anyone suggest improvements?

Cheers
Steve
 
A

Anonymous

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Now Steve, THAT'S what I call a jig :shock: I hand over my crown to you sir!!
 

Ian Dalziel

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Nice Jig Steve,

Bet you had some fun working out those tapers, when i did mine it got chucked across the workshop a few times in frustration but its a delight when it all comes good. :lol:
I must admit since using pocket screw joinery the biscuit jointer is getting less and less used and as a few members have pointed out they seem to be a lot more accurate when the piece is clamped first and then released right after, no drying times 'what a boost' :D
I always like to see Jigs being made to aid any kind of woodworking and the comps here certainly proved that i'm not alone it also keeps the grey matter working rather like an inventors
I also; as does John Elliot prefer to use the trend fine pocket screws although i have tried others but i like the torque that the trend ones give and havent experianced any splitting as yet.
once again a fantastic little jig well thought out

Ian
 

Steve Maskery

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Thank you all for the nice comments.
I have ordered the pocket screws from Axminster, I'll give them a go, although I like the Spax ones (see another thread). That is, if I receive them. I'm off to Corsica for a couple of weeks and have just rung Axminster to see if I could change the delivery address to my neighbour. I sent the order the old-fashioned way, on a piece of paper, with something I was returning. They have received the returns, but not the letter! I bet they just tipped out the goods and left the letter in the envelope, which is now gone. No-one in the Returns Dept today, so she couldn't sort me out. I don't really want to order again and then receive two lots of everything. I'll have to sort it out when I get home.

One question:What sort of screwdriver do you all use with these? I've been looking for a long-series square-drive bit for my drill, like my 6" Pozi, but I can't find anywhere that has them.

Cheers
Steve
 

johnelliott

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Steve,
Axminster sell 6" and 3" square drive bits, look in the pocket hole section under Kreg, K3SD and K6SD I suggest buying both, the short one can be handy when working inside a smaller carcase.
Also, you will see that the thread on the proper (Trend etc) pocket screws doesn't go all the way up the shank. This makes them superior to self tappers which are threaded all the way up. With the correct pocket hole screw there should be vitually no thread left in the hole part of the joint, meaning that more closing force is exerted by the screw, if you see what I mean. I agree that the Trend screws would be no good for pine, but then why would anyone want to join pieces of firewood anyway :D

The jig is obviously well though out and well made. Could you explain to me how it actually works? I've thought about it and I'm just not getting it


John
 

Ian Dalziel

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Hi John,
Steves pocket hole cutter works by sliding the router down the tapered sledge, photo 1; with the the workpiece clamped from the underside, when the router comes into the material it starts off as a gradual slot then gets deeper, he then drills a hole from its face to allow the screw in
it works in a similar manner to mine ie from above and is tapered into the timber, they work very well and are quite quick


they work well on pine as well as not all pine is firewood, i have some lovely 100 year old oregon pine church pews cryingout for a good project when i have thought of one befitting of it, but i know what you mean with the modern stuff.
Hope fully that explanation confused you more

ian
 

Chris Knight

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Ian and Steve,
Those are quite some jigs!!

I may be missing a trick here but do they offer any advantage over the Kreg jig and its lookalikes? Your jigs are works of art but - pardon my ignorance - they do seem like overkill for a fairly simple operation and both would seem to need a hole drilling through the "square" face that is at the end of the "scooped" cut made by the router

I can make a passable pocket hole using two mallet assisted cuts of carving chisels, a skew and a #9 (the benefits of going on a course!) and it would be a lot neater a result if I were to grind a semi-circular profiled chisel to cut the end of the hole. I prefer the Kreg for cleanliness and simplicity but I don't think I could invest the effort need for your lovely jigs.

I do applaud the ingenuity however!
 

johnelliott

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I'm with Chris on this. I also admire the beautiful jig making, but I really don't see the point, what do these machines do that a Kreg (or other make) pocket hole jig doesn't?

John
 

Ian Dalziel

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Hi Chris,
Both our jigs allow us to free up our power tools, Steves router just lifts off and mine unclamps at the handle.

My reasons for doing the pocket hole jig like this was; i was about to embark on a project using this particular type of wood which then allowed me to play about with different types of finish, you might notice there is a lot of black around the subbase, i tried limed scorching what i hoped was a black and white mix ( a zebra mix) but it didnt work and i tried few others, i also wanted to try and fit through dovetails into half blind sockets (just playing) doing jigs like these allow me to experiment with different joints but it sometimes goes overboard or overkill. I do a lot of peculiar joints and invisible joints for fun, and i always try and do things that people say cant be done and won't work.
i can cut about 6 pocket holes for every one from my kreg with a better finish, its just basically faster thats all and is a good talking point when people come to visit.
the eccentric bit has probobly come out in me when i did this one but its very functional and pretty, was a real bu**** to get the angle right and would i build another ******
As you said there are other ways to do pocket holes but its its the same for every woodwork technique, some are faster than others some are more accurate but its down to individual preferance and whatever is available to hand.

Cheers
Ian
 

Steve Maskery

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Ian's explanation is spot on.

Well there are many reasons for building one's own jigs are there not? Not least the fact that this cost me no financial outlay. Yes several hours, but we woodies work for nothing and live on fresh air, don't we?

I think that there is at least one very big advantage that both Ian's and my jig offer, and that is the fact that the screw is pulling square to the face, so it is much easier to avoid the slippage effect that so many Kreg et al users report.

Thanks for the info on bits, I seached the Ax site but couldn't find them, I'll try again.

A bientot, tout le monde
Steve
 

Steve Maskery

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I've discovered why I couldn't find SQUARE end screwdrivers on Ax's site, they only sell SQARE (sic) ones!
Cheers
Steve
 

Aragorn

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Ian
That's not a jig - it's a work of art!
Of course it's overkill and it's plain to me that the dovetails and incredible engineering on a jig for pocket holes is all about experimenting with joints and testing ones own ingenuity!
I think routing the pocket is great for pulling the joint square to the face and so avoiding misalignment or having to spend time clamping the whole thing up. That's why I like Norm's jig - and his drills the pilot hole too!
Now where can I get me one of them.... :wink:
 

johnelliott

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Steve Maskery":34ootzgl said:
I think that there is at least one very big advantage that both Ian's and my jig offer, and that is the fact that the screw is pulling square to the face, so it is much easier to avoid the slippage effect that so many Kreg et al users report.
Any chance of a line drawing to show how that works? With a Kreg jig the hole and the screw are put into the wood at a steep angle. I presume that by square you mean that there is no angle. How then would the screw be inserted?
John
 

Knot Competent

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Yes, I would also be grateful for more detail on this point. I can't at this moment see how the screw can be NOT at an angle, but I'm very willing to learn from two guys who obviously have far more experience than me. Two admirable jigs, by the way, and Ian's is a work of art also.

Regards, John
 

Aragorn

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John & John
I'm pretty useless at posting pics, but here's a try:



Because it moves in an arc on a fixed pivot (or along an arced slope) the router cutter ends up square to the stile piece. It's not cutting a "pocket" like on the Kreg, but a curved slot. With the pilot hole drilled square too, you end up with minimal slippage.
The screwdriver bit can't engage the screw head-on, but close enough!
 

Ian Dalziel

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Aragorn,
thats exactly how it works i have tried to draw the kreg layout i hope it works
John
I think what Steve is trying to say is when you use a Kreg Jig the angle it drills at remains the same whatever thickness of material you use. Its perfect for 18mm + thickness of timber because the 3.5mm drill tip follows the angle of the taper (Jig) but when exiting the timber it is not in the centre of the work piece which is fine on thicker materials but on thinner stock there is a chance of break through on the mating face.
With our Jigs you can set it for different thickness of timbers and when you drill the pilot hole it is centred. I’ve tried to draw and explanation
Hope it has made the Kregs slight drawbacks a bit clearer
I am not knocking the Kreg I think it’s a super little jig but it has its drawbacks, hence we have built jigs to overcome these albeit they are probably a bit over the top for what most people see a a relatively simple joint but hey we all go over the top sometimes




I hope that came out ok
regards
Ian
 

johnelliott

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Thanks for the drawing, Aragorn. What you confirms what I thought they would be. In fact, as the drawing shows, unless the pilot hole is drilled from the edge ( the style mating face) then the screw CANNOT be at right angles to that face. In fact, even if it was drilled from that face, the act of driving the screw would still cause it to run at a slight angle.

John
 

johnelliott

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Ian, I hadn't seen your latest post when I posted my last reply. I can see the pilot hole being drilled from the style face, which is good, although obviously a seperate operation
As a frequent Kreg user I want to speak in the jig's defence. In no way whatsoever am I attacking your excellent jig, just defending the Kreg.
As the makers say, the jig is designed for 3/4" material, and is optimised for that. Fortunately I make all my cabinets from 18mm birch ply and am therefore able to benefit from that.
Also, when the joint is properly cramped up there is no need for the pilot hole to exit the piece that is drilled with the jig. In fact it is better if it doesn't, because the slighlty raised area around the drill exit hole needs to be sanded flat to allow the joint to be cramped up properly. This means that there is no problem with 15mm material because one simply lowers the drill stop so as to raise the point at which the drill stops and this allows the screw to run reasonably centrally through the joint face. I know this because I frequently make drawers with 15mm material and it works just fine.
I repeat, no argument here, I just want the other readers to know that the Kreg jig, when used within its design parameters, works just fine.
John
 
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