A pocket hole jig is a woodworking accessory used to guide a drill bit at a specific angle for creating pocket joints. A screw is then inserted through the pocket hole and into the adjoining piece of wood. Pocket joinery is often used for connecting face frames for cabinets, wooden picture frames, and other joints where the joint must be tight, but strength isn't a necessity. By following the pocket hole jig instructions, you can create perfect pocket joints quickly and accurately.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Pocket hole jig
- 2 Small woodworking clamps
- Tape measure
- Cordless drill with long screw tip
- Stepped pocket hole drill bit with stop collar
- Allen wrenches
- Pocket screws
Mount the pocket hole jig on a work table with a pair of small woodworking clamps.
Position the board to receive the pockets vertically into the jig, with the face receiving the pocket facing the jig. Clamp the board into place using the jig's clamping system.
Measure the thickness of the board in the jig with a tape measure.
Position the jig's stepped drill bit into the jig's depth gauge, with the step of the bit aligned with the mark corresponding to the board's thickness (as determined in the previous step). For example, on a 3/4-inch thick board, position the bit so that the step of the bit is at the 3/4-inch mark.
Slide a stop collar over the shank of the bit, sliding the collar up against the base of the jig's depth gauge. Tighten the screw on the collar with an Allen wrench to lock the collar onto the bit at the depth determined by the depth gauge. Remove the bit (with the attached collar) from the depth gauge, and install it into a cordless drill's chuck.
Slide the tip of the stepped bit into one of the sleeves in the pocket hole jig. Set the drill's direction to "forward" and pull the trigger. Slide the drill bit down, through the jig and into the wood, drilling the pocket hole. Stop inserting the bit when the collar reaches the edge of the jig, and then pull out the bit. Drill through the second sleeve in the bit in the same manner (if a second pocket hole is desired).
Remove the board from the jig, and align it in position with the adjoining board. Change the stepped drill bit for a long screwdriver bit. Insert a screw into each of the pocket holes. Hold the joint tightly, and drive the screws through the pocket joints, into the adjoining board, completing the pocket joint.
Tips and warnings
- To prevent the pocket joint from splitting, avoid overtightening the screw in the pocket joint.
- When working with power tools, always wear appropriate safety gear, including safety glasses to protect your eyes.
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