Dog Bench #2: New tools for a new project: Kreg Jig and Router Bit

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Blog entry by kshipp posted 06-24-2008 05:30 AM 1818 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Sketchup Plan Part 2 of Dog Bench series Part 3: It's finished »

It’s not that I think of new projects as reasons to buy new tools. As you know, it’s not hard to find reasons to buy new tools. I was thinking about making this dog bench and the best way to do it. I had read a lot of the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and figured I would give it a shot. I got a good deal on the Master System from Rockler and I have been very pleased with it so far. I’ll try to get an official review up soon but for an unofficial review I’d say 5 stars.

Kreg Setup

It is very important to clamp the pieces properly when using the jig. The vise clamp comes with the system the others are ones I already had. I didn’t use any glue because the screws make it rock solid. It’s also nice to be able to take it apart in the event of a mistake which I had the occasion to test.

Kreg Setup Closeup

Another key to using the Kreg system is to drive the screws slowly. When I was testing on some scrap pieces, I had problems with the wood splitting. I was trying to drive the screws like you might drive a drywall screw into the wall. The thing to remember with Kreg is that the hole is mostly pre-drilled and the screws themselves are self-tapping. Driving them slow worked the best for me and of course you want to make sure you have the correct screw for you application.

You can’t always buy new tools when you need them and I just didn’t have clamps that were long enough to reach the whole way. I just combined two of my clamps which held it well enough to drive the screws.

Long Clamp

Another new tool (or tool accessory) I got was a 1/2” rabbeting bit. Previously I had cut rabbets with two cuts on the table saw. It was hard to get setup properly and I didn’t always like how it turned out. This is also the first bit I got with the 1/2” shaft for my new router.

Router Bit

I cut a 1/2” x 1/2” rabbet in red oak in two passes and it was extremely clean.

Bit Closeup

That’s all for now. I’m still working on taking more pictures while I am working on the project. My next entry will be pictures of the finished product as soon as I get around to taking them.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

-- Kyle Shipp,

3 comments so far

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3757 days

#1 posted 06-24-2008 12:24 PM

When I read your first sentence I thought, “Blasphemy!” But then I read your second sentence and was relieved. ;)

I have done a couple of projects where pocket hoe joinery was suitable and found the Kreg jig an invaluable tool.

Looking forward to seeing more…

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 3696 days

#2 posted 06-24-2008 10:46 PM

Ted, I’ve used the Kreg extensively and love it! I noticed you’ve made a lot of frames in past projects, so the Kreg will certainly become one of your favorite tools quickly.

One thing I noticed is your extensive use of clamps. Did you do this prior to screwing it together? I’ve had very good results with using just the one clamp provided. Once I’ve got one joint screwed, I just went to the next one. Because the screws pull the joint tight, I didn’t see a need for pre-clamping the frame prior to screwing it up. It should square itself up perfectly without pre-clamping the entire frame. This tip will save you a ton of time.

Get this. I know a fellow who uses glue on his pocket hole joints, then, after the glue dries, he removes the screws to use on another project! Talk about being thrifty!! I guess that’s why he’s the richest woodworker in town!

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View kshipp's profile


179 posts in 3802 days

#3 posted 06-25-2008 04:47 AM

I tried just using the supplied clamp and it didn’t hold like I wanted it to. I think it was because I just bought the lumber from the lumberyard so it probably wasn’t all exactly the same thickness. I don’t have a planer yet so this is what I’m stuck with.
Some of my test joints moved a little bit so I just used the clamps to make sure that things were exactly lined up.

I don’t know about removing the screws. It seems like with the time you would spend gluing all the joints then removing the screws you would be better off just using the screws.

-- Kyle Shipp,

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