Kreg Owners' Community

I would like to have an experts opinion about when to drill the pocket holes. 1. Before sanding and varnishing? 2. After sanding but before varnishing? 3. After sanding and varnishing? Why?
Thanks for your help

Views: 540

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Edgar,  If it was me  I would drill the pocket holes before doing any sanding and varnishing.  The reason is that you can get the pocket holes and the rest of the area ready for finish.  If you sand and finish the surface and then drill the pocket holes it causes you to have to sand down any wood fibers and or imperfections made when you drill the pocket holes.  When sanding anything that is finished it is sometimes hard to cover any sanded area in the finish and make it appear the same.

I agree with Jay's comments; I'm much more of a newbie, but I've done it both ways and I think it goes more smoothly if you drill first. Depending on the finish you're using, you could have some finish making its way into your pocket holes, but unless you're plugging them that doesn't really matter. In the projects I've made with the Kreg jig, the holes have been hidden, so many of the surfaces with the holes aren't finished anyway, and for those that are  the bit of stain or finish that makes its way into the hole doesn't cause any problem.

Thanks to both Jay and Derek. It certainly makes sense now. I was getting some varnishing material inside the holes but it really doesn't matter.

I prefer to drill the holes, dry fit, then assemble the piece prior to sanding.  The only time I do sanding prior to assembly is if I know for sure I can't reach it after I put it together.

Once it's together, you can sand and double check for any goof ups, raised edges, etc that you can sand down before you apply a finish.  I tried to finish something one time and it really looked bad when I finally got it together.  Lots of scratches, dings and dents.

Reply to Discussion


Need Help?

For Technical Support, please call 800-447-8638 or send a message. Reps are available Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm CST. 


  • Add Videos
  • View All


Replacing existing slides but cannot remove drawer front

The Kreg slides are made to work with new drawers before putting on the drawer front. In my situation, I cannot remove the existing fronts which means when reversing the jig to hold the draw, it’s at an angle. Not sure what I should do to make them…Continue

Started by Jay Homeyer in General Woodworking Apr 25.


The Clamp anchor screw broke on my mobile project center.  How can I acquire a replacement?Continue

Started by Jon J Howard in Beginners' Zone Apr 20.

Product Reviews

New Kreg 720Pro

I saw the video Kreg put out for this new jig and had high hopes for it.

I purchased one today and am very disappointed with it.

First the docking station is extremely cheap. The plastic is pathetic. A Lego has more…


Posted by Duke Leon on February 15, 2021 at 9:00pm

Not Pleased With Pocket Hole Construction

Several months ago, I purchased the Kreg K4MS so that I could build the Lego Table as outlined on the companion "buildsomething" web site which exclusively uses pocket hole construction.  I have considerable experience with conventional…


Posted by Robert Ringel on September 17, 2020 at 1:48pm — 4 Comments

© 2021   Created by KregRep.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service