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Pocket Hole Jigs?

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AES

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I zoomed up the pic as big as it would go, and it does look as though those screws are all CS. In which case, IMO anyway, that's bloody daft! Especially since from what I could see of the drill bit in the linked pic, the large diameter is indeed designed to produce a flat bottomed hole. Wolf stuff is generally quite good IME (e.g. I have several of their 1-handed clamps) but this time they seem to have gone completely "off thread"!

Still at least the screws aren't those bloody daft Robertson square drive head jobbies (IMO again - stirring up another hornet's nest no doubt). All been discussed here before, several times.
 

robgul

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Not sure how easy it is to obtain this in the UK, but it looks interesting compared to the Foreman:

Stumpy Nubs on YT has shown the Castle machine recently - pretty good . . . and Brad at Fix This Build That on YT has a pretty cool Kreg automatic machine
 

TRITON

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gcusick

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I’ve got the Trend jig, moved over to pocket screws for utilitarian boxes, cabinets etc. after a long while using dowels. The pocket screws are much faster than dowels, and, provided you design the joints appropriately, ie using the screws to locate the joint and hold it together rather than as the primary strength element, they work well. As Droogs said, you do need to clamp the joints while inserting the screws otherwise there’s a tendency for the joint to shift, but that’s straightforward enough.
 

Jones

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I have the trend jig and use it quite a lot with ply with mdf the holding can be less secure. You can get unbranded wafer head screws cheaper, though not as cheap as mass produced counter sunk ones.
 

sometimewoodworker

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Are pocket hole jigs any good? I was looking at it, but thought well why not use dowels?
But it seems popular in some wood workers and hobbyists furniture makers, and there must be reasons for it?
Do you use it? What is the advantage of using pocket hole jigs? Or is it just a gimmick gadget?
Though I have a good doweling jig it has not been out of its box in 20 years. I use Dominoes for location and pocket screws for holding and clamping. Before I got the Domino I clamped the joints but they moved once too often so I switched to locating with the domino.

You can certainly use a couple of dowels for the same job but they ave to be exact for that to work while you can always add a little extra wiggle with the domino if neede.

for those who complain at the cost for Kreg screws compared to a cheap wood screw, you really should be comparing them to high quality screws as they are engineered and made to a far better standard with both fine and course thread versions all with self cutting slots and are case hardened zinc coated. They don’t split the wood unless put in far too close to the end. Not only all that but how much do the screws in your project actually cost as a percentage? 0.5% or less?
 

Craig22

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No one has mentioned biscuits. Now I have the Kreg pocket hole jig, and a filled pocket is just fine under veneer. But biscuits are another joint alternative to dowels or pocket hole.

The late and very great James Krenov used dowels in most of his stunning and very characteristic cabinets. But he said that if biscuits had been available when he was making, he would have used them in a heartbeat.
 

robgul

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No one has mentioned biscuits. Now I have the Kreg pocket hole jig, and a filled pocket is just fine under veneer. But biscuits are another joint alternative to dowels or pocket hole.

The late and very great James Krenov used dowels in most of his stunning and very characteristic cabinets. But he said that if biscuits had been available when he was making, he would have used them in a heartbeat.
Another biscuit user here - they're quick, easy and cheap . . . joining pallet strips works well to make wider boards for some of the rustic products I make and sell
 

Oakay

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Are pocket hole jigs any good? I was looking at it, but thought well why not use dowels?
But it seems popular in some wood workers and hobbyists furniture makers, and there must be reasons for it?
Do you use it? What is the advantage of using pocket hole jigs? Or is it just a gimmick gadget?
Yes they are excellent in many situations. Especially as side grain of mdf holds the thread of a screw much better than end grain mdf which tends to split. Coarse thread screws are worth paying the extra for as metal is stronger than wood so it leaves more wood between the threads to resist the screw. Torx heads are far better than square drive. Hope that helps. Screw joints are immediate. Dowel joints require adhesive.
 

Oakay

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Pocket holes are excellent, quick and simple. They're quite popular for drawer construction, as it's easy to hide the joinery. However, they're not so good with MDF as it's too soft and the joints are weak. You can glue the joints prior to screwing together to give it some extra strength.
You do need to use some of clamping as Droogs said, they will walk. Kreg sell a special clamp for pocket holes to stop this, but it's not really necessary.
I have a trend plug cutter which I use to plug the holes if I need to, using offcuts of the same wood. You can use filler as well, but only if you're painting it. Finally I wouldn't get a cheap pocket hole jig, they're awful next to a kreg, etc. Well worth spending the extra money if you're going to use it frequently.

Dowels can go wrong unless you have an accurate dowelling jig, but even then, you can be a millimetre out and it ruins the job. There's some really fancy dowelling jig being sold, they look decent, but I haven't tried them.
Kreg is not the only option for a good small jig. We have 2 types of good small alternative jigs UKJ and Trend and a Kreg Foreman which is faster and the light weight construction makes it easy to store and move around.
 

Daniel2

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No one has mentioned biscuits. Now I have the Kreg pocket hole jig, and a filled pocket is just fine under veneer. But biscuits are another joint alternative to dowels or pocket hole.

The late and very great James Krenov used dowels in most of his stunning and very characteristic cabinets. But he said that if biscuits had been available when he was making, he would have used them in a heartbeat.
See post 19.
 

Oakay

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Another biscuit user here - they're quick, easy and cheap . . . joining pallet strips works well to make wider boards for some of the rustic products I make and sell
All these joints have their advantages in different situations and there are also other situations where it is down to personal preference.
 

robgul

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Yes they are excellent in many situations. Especially as side grain of mdf holds the thread of a screw much better than end grain mdf which tends to split. Coarse thread screws are worth paying the extra for as metal is stronger than wood so it leaves more wood between the threads to resist the screw. Torx heads are far better than square drive. Hope that helps. Screw joints are immediate. Dowel joints require adhesive.
That's the first time I've seen MDF referred to as having "grain" 🤔 . . . I know what you mean though.
 

hlvd

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They're great for applications that won't be seen, a surprisingly strong joint as well.
 

AES

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for those who complain at the cost for Kreg screws compared to a cheap wood screw, you really should be comparing them to high quality screws as they are engineered and made to a far better standard with both fine and course thread versions all with self cutting slots and are case hardened zinc coated. They don’t split the wood unless put in far too close to the end. Not only all that but how much do the screws in your project actually cost as a percentage? 0.5% or less?
Agree 100%. Haven't used the Kreg PH screws for long enough to be sure - and so far haven't taken any PH joints apart either (I usually glue mine as well) - but looking carefully at those screws, I'd say longevity will be another bonus from using "the right screw" for the job.
 

Stevekane

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Are the newer Trend Jigs adjustable for different thicknesses of material? I have two of the Trends, very nicely made in quality wooden boxes but the “towers” do not adjust in height which you need if your going to use longer screws on thicker material, where as the Kregs adjust, I dont understand why Trend didnt follow suit?
Just as a matter if interest I “pocket holed” some 75mm outdoor table legs located in housing joints, I marked out the distance to place the screw exit central on the material using the same screw angle as Kreg, a small forstner bit gave me a flat bottom to my predrilled holes and I whacked in some 150mm x 10mm washer headed decking screws that had a 10mm bolt head, very snug with two of those in each joint.
Steve.
 

gcusick

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Are the newer Trend Jigs adjustable for different thicknesses of material? I have two of the Trends, very nicely made in quality wooden boxes but the “towers” do not adjust in height which you need if your going to use longer screws on thicker material, where as the Kregs adjust, I dont understand why Trend didnt follow suit?
Just as a matter if interest I “pocket holed” some 75mm outdoor table legs located in housing joints, I marked out the distance to place the screw exit central on the material using the same screw angle as Kreg, a small forstner bit gave me a flat bottom to my predrilled holes and I whacked in some 150mm x 10mm washer headed decking screws that had a 10mm bolt head, very snug with two of those in each joint.
Steve.
The Trend Pro jig is adjustable for material thickness, if I remember correctly, from 13-38mm. Comes with a simple setting gauge for adjusting the drill depth, and a pair of extension arms that help support wide workpieces.
 

accipiter

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I'm intrigued by this type of fixing - although admit to some confusion in regards to the one I recently purchased from Yandle's in their Black Friday sales:
Titman Edge SUPER KIT Pocket Hole Jig With 1150 Mixed Pocket Hole Screws.

It has a boat load of screws, the drive bit and drill bit along with the jig but I was having trouble working out "how" to use the jig until doing a Google search and finding a video on it on YouTube. Not "the best" tutorial but think I've got the idea. Put along side some of the other jigs I've seen videos of it seems quite a basic one - and not "super" at all 😃

Oh! I did buy a bigger and better one over at Bang Good a while ago which is quite heavy - yet to use it as I've not had a job to use it on. Think I got the Titman because of all those screws with it 😂😎
 
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