Kreg Owners' Community

Hello all.  Let me say upfront that I am a total amateur when it comes to woodworking so my questions may seem naive.  I do a lot of DIY projects around the house, but not much building things with wood -- until i got my Kreg Jig!  I have become obsessed with Kreg tools.  I have the Kreg Jig and just bought the Push Stick, Square Cut, Multi-Mark and Featherboard from Lowes.

So here's my problem.  I am making a closet organizer (will have some drawers and shelves) using 3/4 and 1/2 birch ply.  3/4" for the main structures and 1/2" for the drawers.  I am putting some "boxes" together using the 3/4" ply.  I set the Kreg jig up for 3/4" material and am using the recommended pocket screw length of 1 1/4".  I noticed in several -- if not most -- instances that the screw heads popped through when joining 2 pieces of 3/4" ply at a 90 degree angle. 

I noticed that the ply is shy of a true 3/4" by a hair over 1/32 which I believe is "normal" (or is it?).  Could this be the primary reason why?  Should I use a shorter screw like the 1".  Or perhaps I am driving the screws too hard (but I didn't feel like I was)?  I am stopping when I see the joint pull tight.  Could I be missing something or doing something wrong in setting the depth on the Jig or on the drill bit collar?

I appreciate any help that anyone can provide. 


Anthony DelleCave

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James is right on his tip. I used to have that same problem. I then figured out that if I cheat a bit and set my collar to be a bit more shallow than the recommended 3/4" mark, I don't run into that problem any more. The screw is still well inside the pocket hole, and I still get a good tight joining of the two pieces.
I had this problem early on as well. I have since learned two things. First, I read (and asked a Lowe's rep where I get most of my wood) that wood made overseas is a tad under the thickness that it is sold as due to the metric system difference. I feel this is soooo wrong in so many ways but there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it. And I will refrain from preaching about this issue... The Lowe's rep told me to grab a tape measure on my way in and check everything before I buy it. I have a local building supply that gets local wood so I go there (and pay a bit more) when Lowe's doesn't have a "made in the USA" shipment.

Second, I also learned that clamping is the key to not overdriving the screw. At first I was short on good clamps when I got my Kreg jig. I too would drive the screw tight until the joint tightened to my satisfaction. BUT! That was overdriving the screws almost every time. Now, after getting the face clamps and right angle clamp especially I rely on them to pull the joint tight. Then I can set my driver torque back a bit. This tightens the screw good but doesn't over drive it. I too set my drill bit back just a bit like the others said here. I haven't had a screw come through since.
i have a qustion close to the same problem. its been a while since i have been able to get out in my shop so i kinda forgot how to set the jig up. i want to take a 2x4 and conntect it to 1/2 plywood it will be done at a 90 degree angle. can you guys help me out and refress me on how to do this and what size screw i should use.
Wow! Thanks for all the great insights and tips. I was at first just thinking about using a shorter screw, but I worried that it would not hold well. I love the simplicity of the advice to just cheat the collar up a bit.

I was pretty upset with all the pop-throughs and feeling like my woodworking projects were ending before they really got started, but now I feel jazzed about not only finishing my current project, but getting on to the next one!


WoooHooo... I'm not alone! I did the same thing and found my issue to be not seating the screw in the pilot hole, and overpowering the screw. My Craftmen 19.6 V cordless sits on 9 for pine and 11 for oak. The screw really doesn't care where it's going once you put the power to it. My last project I was 100 % no exposed screws tips!


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