Pocket hole jig problems

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by skidiot posted 01-17-2010 06:44 AM 3545 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View skidiot's profile


85 posts in 4619 days

01-17-2010 06:44 AM

I just got a Kreig pocket hole jig. I am trying to put together a frame with it. I cant get the 2 peices to come out flush on the face. I clamp them down flat and when I tighten the screw it pulls the one peice proud of the other by about 1/64. I have even put a shim under the one to compensate and it still ends up not flush. What am I doing wrong?

-- skidiot northern illinois

16 replies so far

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4460 days

#1 posted 01-17-2010 07:13 AM

I’ve had that problem, but it was more like a 32nd or 16th. You need to really clamp it down hard. If you are drilling more than one hole at the end of a stile, try the Kreg right angle clamp. I bought two on sale, otherwise they are pricy, but work well. Also drive the screw slowly. They are made to cut the wood without a pilot hole. Sometimes the grain pattern will make the tip of the screw scoot over a bit. But if you are only off 1/64th use a cabinet scraper or a block plane, or a dead blow mallet. I don’t know if I could get mine to line up beyond 1/64th. Good luck

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5064 days

#2 posted 01-17-2010 07:34 AM

Do you have the face clamps? They work very well.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4867 days

#3 posted 01-17-2010 07:36 AM

u r using a left handed drill with your right hand?

a 64th is easily sanded off

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View skidiot's profile


85 posts in 4619 days

#4 posted 01-17-2010 07:40 AM

I cant sand off the difference because the peices are veneered. I have clamped them very tightly and I drive the screws by hand.

-- skidiot northern illinois

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 4372 days

#5 posted 01-17-2010 10:02 AM

I have had this problem in the past but usually found that one of the pieces wasn’t quite as thick as the other or I had a tiny angle on the end cut that “encouraged” the peice to rise up. With everything sqauare and using the Kreg face clamp, the miss alignment issues went away.

-- Tom Hintz,

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12291 posts in 4402 days

#6 posted 01-17-2010 04:12 PM

I use the face clamp and have never had a problem.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 4042 days

#7 posted 01-17-2010 04:44 PM

You might be fighting with slight differences in thickness. Contrary to popular opinion, veneered material (i.e. plywood) is NOT the same thickness everywhere, and variations can (and will) show up in any joinery. Big box plywood can be a real PITA, but even the really good stuff isn’t perfect.

You might also think about using only domestically produced ply for the pretty parts. It seems to have a thicker veneer which allows a for at least a bit of sanding without the dreaded sand-thru. It’s more expensive, but you’ll reduce the number of do-overs that can really wreck your day.

When I’m using pocket screws on plywood, I sometimes use a piece of business card under the clamp on the thinner piece and dial up the clamping pressure a bit. The trick is to get the pretty side dead-on. i can usually live with a slight mismatch on the back.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1619 posts in 4539 days

#8 posted 01-19-2010 03:07 AM

What I have found to be cause of unevenness on the face of the frame is due to the two pieces slightly separating when drilling. Keep the work pieces tightly clamped together during drilling.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 4174 days

#9 posted 01-19-2010 03:58 AM

I f you have a caliper, you need to measure your thicknesses. If you are drilling for 3/4” and you are less, the screw will pull the other piece proud. The cure is to set the drill jig under 3/4”, then you will not pull the adjoining piece proud of the other. You have to experiment with some scraps.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 4209 days

#10 posted 01-19-2010 04:30 AM

Like a lot of people here, I use both the right-angle and face clamps. When I do get misalignments, it’s because of stock thickness differences (my AP1301 is not the most accurate thickness planer around). With both clamps, I usually put the clamp on and adjust it until I can’t turn it anymore, then I open it up and give it another 1/4-1/2 turn or so tighter. This usually gives me great clamping pressure, to the point where it’s a bit difficult to close the clamp.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View cbMerlin's profile


100 posts in 4394 days

#11 posted 01-19-2010 04:10 PM

The material you’re using is veneered? Does that mean you’re using plywood? I have the Kregg and have experienced the same problem a couple times. Once, in a bit of a hurry & didn’t have it clamped tight enough and the other time I discovered my RAS was just a bit out, the stock wanted to sorta slip just a bit. I’ve never tried the Kregg with plywood, if it’s good quality ( no void issues ) I suppose it would work just fine, but what I’m wondering about is that since the screw is going into the ply at an angle, is it possible the screw is experiencing a small amount of deflection as it goes thru the various layers? Is it possible that there is just enough give (vs cut) as the screw goes into the ply, and even if you have it clamped well, it sort of springs back when you release the clamp? Can you feel the difference before you remove the clamp? I’m going to experiment with ply today, never even thought about it before. I guess I just assumed solid wood only. I’ve got just the project in mind!

-- Sawdust looks better in the garage than cars, explain that to your wife!

View Dano46's profile


86 posts in 4143 days

#12 posted 01-19-2010 05:11 PM

The face clamp needs to be very tight. Just short of damaging the wood.

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

View plumberdenny's profile


1 post in 3832 days

#13 posted 07-30-2010 07:55 AM

I just picked up a kreig jig the other day, did the face frame thing and the board moved even when using the clamp that came with the jig. So I dug out one of the best face frame clamps I have ever used and it works great there a little expensive but if you are building very many cabinets, or any thing with a face frame this is the clamp. It holds the face flush no matter what the thickness is between the two pics of wood. They make a right hand and a left hand ….but…you don’t need both. the cam end of jig pulls out and you can make it either hand you want. This jig works great on biscuit joints frames also. The jig is made by ( USA clamp co.) model # uc-76 face frame clamp.. hope this helps.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 4042 days

#14 posted 07-30-2010 02:35 PM

I’ve been using the Kreg K3 for a couple of years and have discovered that the following things will make a difference in the quality of the joint.

1. Stock thickness must be the same.
2. Edges must be square with the faces.
3. I drill the pockets so the tip of the bit just penetrates the edge of the board. The self drilling screw tip only drills into one piece of wood.
4. I set the clutch of my cordless drill to about 10-12 so the screw bottoms but doesn’t overtighten.
5. I align the joint on a flat (and CLEAN) area of my bench, and adjust the face clamp for light clamping pressure. Clean is important because small particles can keep the pieces from aligning correctly.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 4454 days

#15 posted 07-30-2010 03:26 PM

I havent had much trouble either….be sure the clamp is directly over the joint…in other words dont clamp just one board of the frame. Also be sure the surface you are clamping it to is flat…including no sawdust under the pieces.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics