Reply by mminella

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Posted on Kreg jig, worth it?

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16 posts in 2960 days

#1 posted 06-11-2011 07:15 PM

I have a Kreg because I couldn’t afford the Domino. To answer your questions specifically:

1. How useful is it: Very. Mine has been used in building the facefame of the cabinet I’m currently working on as well as most of the jointery involved in my mail holder project. It is a quick way to join dimensional lumber in a variety of ways. An advatnage of this type of joint is that it can be easily tightened over time as it loosens. Any joint that depends on glue for holding things together is much harder to maintain over the years IMHO.

2. Limits & drawbacks: There is really only one I can think of. In order to use pocket screws, you need to drill a pocket which leaves a pretty big hole in your work. Yes, you can plug it but typically you are left figuring out how to just hide it in your work (the back of the mail holder looks like swiss cheese because of the pockets IMHO).

3. Does it work with regular screws: While I haven’t tried this, My bet is that if you could find a self drilling screw with the same or nearly the same sized head, it would work. A screw is a screw after all. However, you’ll probably spend more time hunting for that perfect screw than just buying pocket screws.

4. What types of wood: Since it uses screws for the jointery, I would argue that if you can use a screw in the wood, it will work. The only limitation here is that you need a board wide enough due to the angle of the screw. I think kreg requires the piece with the pocket to be 1/2” but I don’t have mine in my hand to check.

5. It doesn’t need clamps: Well, I’ve seen that also, and that is a lie. However, what you need clamps for probably wouldn’t be what you’d expect. Instead of using a clamp to hold the pieces together as in a normal glue up, you need to use a clamp to hold the pieces flush (say on a face frame) because as you drive the screw, the pieces will have a tendency to shift out of flush (is that even a phrase?).

Overall, I think that adding the Kreg to your collection would probably make life easier for you in times when you just don’t want to drag out the Domino, cut the mortises and wait for the glue to dry. The Kreg offers you a quick and easy way to join two pieces of wood in both an economical and quality package.

One more thing, you asked which version to get…I have the standard Kreg Jig which to my understanding is the same jig as the master system but doesn’t come with a face clamp to hold work flush (I have plenty of clamps) or the work support/stop. It sells for around $100 in the US. I would not bother with the mini or the junior, but that is just my opinion. Let us know what you decide!

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