*Current members, please respond to this thread with your best advice for beginners! This can include tips and tricks, lessons learned, purchasing suggestions, etc. We’d like for this page to be the ultimate resource for someone just getting started with Kreg Joinery.
This site was designed to be a powerful resource for Kreg Jig beginners and experts alike to share, learn, and benefit from other community members. To get the most out of this site and the community atmosphere, a small foundation of knowledge can be very helpful.
The most frequently asked questions from individuals new to this site and to the Kreg Jig are answered through the links below. Odds are, if you're having a question about a tool, a technique, or the site, you will find your answer here. If you can't, please post your question in the forums. There are plenty of community members who would be happy to help you out.
Thanks, and best of luck!
"Easy-to-use Drafting Software"
This is listed under "Other Great Links" and when you click on it, it takes you to Google's SketchUp home page. There you can download the "free version" and start using the program. There are numerous text tutorials and video tutorials to help you learn the program. Some of them you actually open up in the program and it helps you learn some of the tools. There is also lots of videos at YouTube that teaches you how to use SketchUp.
One thing I want to mention that I just read is a class on SketchUp they are having at "Popular Woodworking". If you are interested then click on the following link to read more about it.
I have personally used SketchUp to draw up my plans on some projects I have built. I can add the dimensions of all the parts and then print it out to go by while building it. Check out my photos on my page to see some of my projects that I built from plans I drew up in SketchUp.
You have ideas on things you want to build? Then give SketchUp a try, it's very easy to learn and best of all....it's FREE!
When I started, somehow I thought that the step drill needed to break through the piece being drilled. I spoke to a Kreg rep and he told me to leave 1/8 inch so that it would guide the screw. This was a great help because even with clamps my piece was jumping out of alignment when I drove the screw.
1) Double, if not triple check your Kreg Jig for the proper measurement. Lord knows when I first started out that I was accidentally using the wrong height measurement, which made for accidental drilling of pocket holes in the wrong spot.
2) Make sure your cuts are a good 90 degrees so you get the best joining. Double check with a carpenter's square. This is especially important if your project has drawer or doors on it. If your project isn't square, the drawer or doorfront won't fit properly.
3) Wipe away and sand away any wood glue that bulges out of a joint. Wood glue doesn't accept stain later on, and this causes a problem with your project later. Make sure you go over any joints with sandpaper later, or you'll see beige globs of dried glue when you stain your piece.
4) Safety first! Not only should you wear proper eye and ear protection, but also remember to respect the power tool! Metal beats flesh every time. Always know where your hands and sleeves are before you turn on the power. It only takes a second to cut yourself, and there is no "Control + Z" in life. You can't go back a step, but you CAN prepare for the next step. I don't want to hear the excuse my brothers try to use: "I was in a hurry..." You're NEVER in a hurry while woodworking. There is no such thing as a deadline. Take your time and focus on what you're doing.
5) If you're using a cordless drill, make sure your batteries are charged. It's really annoying to have to stop your project because you have to wait for your batteries to recharge. Once you get into using the Kreg Jig, you want to build all day and night. Sitting there waiting for the blinking red light to switch to a solid red light will seem like an eternity.
6) On behalf of my father, keep a clean workshop. Clean up when you're done so you have a fresh start when you pick up the project again the next day. If you don't sweep up the sawdust when you're done, he'll find you and hunt you down!
7) Have fun! If you're not having fun while woodworking, you're doing it wrong.