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I am having a issue with spliting face frames when using Kreg screws.  I am using 1x2 oak and a 1 1/4 inch fine thread screw like the chart says.  Any ideas what I am doing wrong?  I am considering going to a 1 inch screw or changing the depth.

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It my be to deep in the wood and if you can stay a 1 1/4" from the edge
Eddie, I build alot of oak face frames and baring that you may have some poor grade of wood that has a tendacy of splitting I agree with David when he says that the screw may be too deep.  The method I use in setting the stop collar is simple and I ignore the setting guage on the tool  I set the jig for 3/4 material and insert the drill bit into the jig with no drill attached and loosen the collar.  I reach into my pocket and pull out a nickel.  I lay the nickel on the face of the jig and set the drill bit down onto it.  I tighten the collar and drill my wood.  What this does is that it prevents the drill bit from going too deep in the wood and also leaves the point from exiting the hole.  If you do drill the hole shy of the exiting of the bit point you also do not leave any projection of wood like a bump therefore you get a tight wood to wood contact and a tighter joint without over tightening of the screw.  Works for me and been drilling with the Kregs for over 20 years.

Hi Eddie; Is your stock actually 1" thick? Any 1 by oak that I have been able to buy physically measures less than 1" and usually 3/4"

kenny

 

I am a new owner of  a Kreg jig and I had exactly the same problem with my first project although my face frames are made of MDF. The splits were enormous, basically the width of the screw shank. I've never had much luck with screwing into MDF without pilot holes. It is pretty rigid and brittle and not very compress-able . I had to get it done so after wasting too much MDF with unproductive experiments I gave up on the Kreg and just clamped and glued the old fashioned way. I was not happy. The Kreg video made it all look so easy and routine. Caveat emptor.

 

Zencuke, I have been using the kreg building cabinets for over 20 years and never had a problem with splitting or bad joints.  I have joined every type of wood and wood products which will include mdf and all the plywoods.  Never had a problem with weak joints even without glue in knock down products.  If you wish post some photos so that we can see what your problem may be caused from.  I would suspect that it is a setting on the jig its self and or you are tightening the screws too tight.  The over tightneing will cause splitting of the piece especially the one with pocket hole cut.  I  know that the screws that are made for the pocket hole jig are exceptional screws tthat self tap without splitting of the material.  I would like to see you enjoy your kreg jig as it is the fastest and best method I have found for joining any material together where a strong joint is needed.  Here is some photo samples of which I bored and attached into a joint and there is not cracks or splits.  it is a good sound joint and i used 1 1/4 fine thread screws which you shoudl use as it is a hard surface.  Hope this helps you out.

zencuke said:

I am a new owner of  a Kreg jig and I had exactly the same problem with my first project although my face frames are made of MDF. The splits were enormous, basically the width of the screw shank. I've never had much luck with screwing into MDF without pilot holes. It is pretty rigid and brittle and not very compress-able . I had to get it done so after wasting too much MDF with unproductive experiments I gave up on the Kreg and just clamped and glued the old fashioned way. I was not happy. The Kreg video made it all look so easy and routine. Caveat emptor.

 

Here is a picture. Sorry for the poor quality. It is from my cell phone camera which doesn't do well in poor light. The split is in the piece that does not have the pocket hole. By the way it is not a tightening issue. The split happens well before the head of the screw bottoms out in the pocket hole. I have one test with a single screw driven only half way it. it started splitting almost as soon as the point of the screw entered the second piece of wood. When I get home I'll try to take a better picture of that piece if I haven't tossed it. I'll scrabble around for a better camera.

 

It does not surprise me that someone with your experience does not have problems. Frankly you've probably forgotten any problems you might have had when learning to use this tool. 20 years is a long time. I'm also well aware that lots of people have good success with pocket hole technique. That says little about what experiences a beginner might have. I'm a beginner with pocket screws and I'm sure I am doing something wrong even though I tried to follow the directions very carefully. It frustrates me that the Kreg documentation doesn't mention the possibility of problems. There should have been a troubleshooters section which gives suggestions about how to correct various problems. Of course that would mean admitting that problems were possible.

 

My training was in physics and simple physics suggests that a pocket hole can never be as strong as traditional doweling. In the end it is just well placed screws with all the strengths and weaknesses that implies. I'm sure it is plenty strong enough for many things and I bought it with that understanding.  However the Kreg hyperbole can be little annoying.  Every tool and technique, no matter how useful, has its limitations and proper uses.

 

Thanks for your quick response.

 

-steve

 

https://mail.google.com/a/judgement.com/?ui=2&ik=eb4131769e&view=att&th=12e8df86ec5b03b7&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=ddd21c09d76189c7_0.1&zw

Thanks for all the advice.  I suspect that it maybe a setting an issue also.  I will post some pics over the weekend when I try to redo the joints.

The splitting issue, may be attributed to the screw entering a section in the wood,

where the grains meet---right on or near the grain lines, and near or on the edge of the wood.

 

To help with the visualization of what I'm describing,

drive a screw slowly into a piece of wood---near the end or edge of the piece.

Make a close observation of the wood splitting/separating.

 

This can be a common problem, when a screw is driven in a piece of wood, near its edge or end.

 

Take notice when you drive a #10 or #16 nail into a 2x4---

with the nail near the end/edge---''it splits''.

Screws will do the same thing.

 

This a common occurence with beginner and novice woodworkers.

 

Pilot holes, in many cases, are essential, before installing a screw into wood.

 

The Kreg screws, have a ''thread cutting'' design feature, which reduces fracturing---

fracturing can and will occur, in some cases.

 

Pocket hole joinery is not like randomly driving screws into wood, or driving nails in 2x4's.

 

Videos showing pocket hole joinery, don't show all the potential problems one may incur.

 

One needs to observe the grains structure and direction, and placement of the fasteners,

for an optimum secure joint.

I agree with all you say though it is a bit platitudinous. In my case there is no grain to consider since it is MDF. I believe that a pilot hole is necessary but I can't figure out how to get one in the right place for a pocket hole joint. The appropriate diameter drill bit is too short to go in through the pocket hole itself and when I take that piece away I have no reference for position or getting the angle right. I could set up a special jig which matches the pocket hole angle but by that time I might as well just dowel the joint. In fact I ended up just gluing it up the traditional way.  The Kreg is supposed to be simpler and save time. Kreg could make a special bit with the right shape to drill a pilot hole at the bottom of a pocket hole. That would be useful. It would also reduce the tendency for the the joint to pull sideways. But then no one would need to buy their special clamp or special screws with the strange name. All wood screws cut threads. That is what a wood screw does. Calling something a thread cutting screw is redundant.

Ken Darga said:

The splitting issue, may be attributed to the screw entering a section in the wood,

where the grains meet---right on or near the grain lines, and near or on the edge of the wood.

 

To help with the visualization of what I'm describing,

drive a screw slowly into a piece of wood---near the end or edge of the piece.

Make a close observation of the wood splitting/separating.

 

This can be a common problem, when a screw is driven in a piece of wood, near its edge or end.

 

Take notice when you drive a #10 or #16 nail into a 2x4---

with the nail near the end/edge---''it splits''.

Screws will do the same thing.

 

This a common occurence with beginner and novice woodworkers.

 

Pilot holes, in many cases, are essential, before installing a screw into wood.

 

The Kreg screws, have a ''thread cutting'' design feature, which reduces fracturing---

fracturing can and will occur, in some cases.

 

Pocket hole joinery is not like randomly driving screws into wood, or driving nails in 2x4's.

 

Videos showing pocket hole joinery, don't show all the potential problems one may incur.

 

One needs to observe the grains structure and direction, and placement of the fasteners,

for an optimum secure joint.

I didnt read other posts, but im just wondering how your driving screws. I mean if you have a drill with a clutch then set it very low. If your driving screw in to hard, it will go to deep and that may split your wood

My guess is that the collar is set too high on the drill bit.  I had that same problem.  There are trouble shooting links in the forums here. 

 

No offense zencuke, but you seem to be shooting down everyone's input like you know everything.  They are just trying to help.  If you're new to woodworking or this method of joinery, the first thing you need to do is realize you don't know everything about it and be open to suggestions and tips.  You're on the Kreg jig forum saying it doesn't work, you shouldn't have to buy their clamps, and dowels and glue are better....so why not just use dowels and glue?

 

I bought my Kreg jig shortly after Christmas and all I can say is once I'm done with one project I can't wait to go on to another. 

 

 

Eric,

 

You are right and I apologize. I don't mean to be abrupt with the kind users who are trying to help. However I am annoyed with what I perceive as a misleading and manipulative marketing strategy on the part of Kreg which verges on dishonesty. This is not after all an independent forum of users who have come together on their own to support each other on their own ticket. That may be why the users are here but this forum is provided by Kreg to give cheap support (cheap for Kreg) to users. That makes this forum as close as there is to a complaint desk. Right now I am in the position of suspecting that I spent money based on false pretenses. That is not to say that I won't eventually find the Kreg quite useful. It just won't be as useful as I was hoping. Unfortunately my annoyance with Kreg has crept into my replies to users just trying to help.  For that I apologize again. I'll try to keep a more civil tongue.

 

To answer your question the reason I bought the Kreg is because of Kreg's promises about ease of use. The Kreg does not enable me to do anything I don't already know how to do but I was hoping it would simplify and speed up some things. I do use dowels and glue (and dado's and rabbits etc.) and I will continue to do so where appropriate but I was hoping the Kreg could replace many of those uses. Face frames are not structural and I assumed they would be an ideal case for Kreg's strengths so I decided to start with a simple face frame with the rest of the cabinet done with more traditional techniques. 

 

Any bonding technique has strengths and weaknesses. There is no technique that solves all problems. The key for me is to try and  understand the relative strengths so you can choose the right technique for each problem. To simplify (leaving out such techniques as mortise and tenon, dado's and the various biscuit cutters) there are three cases I'm trying to compare. Kreg with no glue (weakest) , Kreg with glue (stronger) and dowels with glue (strongest.) The other dimension to consider is ease of use. I had assumed that the Kreg would always be easier than dowels and I could choose sole based on required strength. Dowels with glue have to be done very carefully. Accurate alignment is critical. It is easy to screw up and need to start over, cutting new pieces (I speak from lots of experience.) Glue setups based on clamps take time and can be awkward to work with. The Kreg ability to assemble one part at a time without complex setups, depending only on flat and square surfaces is very attractive. I know how to make square and flat. The ability to move on to the next stage of a project without waiting for glue to dry could also be a big time saver. These are the things i was hoping to gain.

 

So I happily tried out my new Kreg toy on some pine scraps with great results and decided it was time to incorporate Kreg joints in a real project. So far I am finding that the Kreg takes more understanding to get right than I thought it would. It has not been much easier than using dowels in the first place, though to be fair I spent a long time (many years) learning how to use dowels. I also made a poor choice of material for an experiment with a new tool. MDF has its strengths but it is notoriously difficult to screw into. That is why the rest of this cabinet is rabbited and dado-ed. Normally I don't even try using screws with MDF. That isn't the Kreg's fault but I was hoping the special screws with "self cutting threads" would eliminate that problem. No luck.

 

I am not an expert woodworker but I am a long way from a beginner. I've been hacking away in basement shop's for roughly 50 years. I'm not much of a finish cabinet maker. I'm better at making things strong and solid than making them pretty. I'm a technology geek and I'm partly annoyed with myself (and embarrassed) for believing Kreg's hype. I of all people should have known better. Talk to me again in a year and I'll probably love my Kreg, after I figure out what it is good for and what it is NOT good for.

 

Best regards

 

- zencuke

 

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