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I have a love hate relationship with my jig. I love how it dramatically changed my woodworking and made me a better woodworker. I have built about 30 projects with it and they are professional looking and my wife brags about the workmanship on the cabinets to all her friends.

I hate working with the Kreg jig on large panels. Today for example I had to put pocket holes around the perimeter of a panel 33x60. One of several panels like this in my current project. I can reach around on the first few holes from the edge to work the clamp but after that I have to walk all the way around the panel and my workbench to the back side to work the clamp on each hole. Lock it down,walk to the side with the holes, drill it, walk to the back side to unlock it, move it 6 inches over, lock it down and walk back to the front to drill the hole. Repeat that for each hole.

With the original jig the clamp was in the front and the problem was solved but as has been discussed here the original is no longer available. I wrote to Kreg to ask them if they were ever going to bring it back and it does not look like it.

Has anyone figured out a fix or technique for doing this any better? It got really frustrating today maneuvering back and forth and I found myself hating the whole process. It really takes the joy out of a project. I may have to look into another system like a festool Domino. I know it cost $800 but I woodwork for enjoyment and this is no longer enjoyable.

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For $800 you could buy the Kreg Foreman.  That really speeds things up for pocket holes in large panels.

You could attach the face clamp to the drill guide and the portable base and move them around the panel, but you have no dust shroud.

Find a used clamping base with the front clamp.

Rig up an extension arm which attaches to the clamp handle and allows you to reach from the front side. 

Find a cheap helper with good hand coordination.

Just throwing out ideas here ... best of luck!

Joe I could gave you the song and dance but why dont you get a K-2 it's not as petty as the K-3 or K-4 it works off the table as well as on it and you dont have all thsos parts to worry about Im what a mimi jig made like a K-2 than Ill buy one. My K-2 has earn it's place in my shop and I do alote of panle's.

David are you referring to the one in your picture? When the panel is 60 inches long and 3 feet tall in the clamp how do you release the clamp when you are drilling the holes near the centeredge of a 60 inch panel. My arms are not long enough to reach around the side or over the top to open and close the clamp. How do you use this when it is mounted as you show it, on a bench with a wall behind it. I have mine mounted on a workstation in the middle of the room so at least I can walk around it. Please share your technique, inquiring minds want to know.

David Dean said:

Joe I could gave you the song and dance but why dont you get a K-2 it's not as petty as the K-3 or K-4 it works off the table as well as on it and you dont have all thsos parts to worry about Im what a mimi jig made like a K-2 than Ill buy one. My K-2 has earn it's place in my shop and I do alote of panle's.

Joe,  about 20 years ago I was faced with the same problem you are facing on the large panel clamping on the jig.  I solved my issue by converting the clamp to a foot activated air clamp which was a clamp sold by Kreg at the time and used on their auto clamp machines.  It is quick conversion and can be done with any air cylinder that can be clamped to the jig.  I have a k2 model and have also converted the k4 model for my brother-in-law.  I am a cabinet maker and face many large panels every week.  Two weeks ago I had to bore pocket hole in the ends of two  8' x 30 wide inch panels for the sides of an 8 foot tall pantry and also bored the rear panel which was a full 8 ft by 40 inch panel.  I work along and have no help yet am able to perform this task without any difficulty.  The air clamp switch is for the floor to be actived by stepping on the pedal.  I converted this to where I can activate the clamp using my left knee.  This leaves my left hand free to advance the panel.  I do not reccomend the kreg with the handle in the front as it can be dangerous expecially if your private area is near the same height as you will run into it while trying to clamp up a large panel.  That is the reason I converted the k-4 as my brother-in-law experienced this on muliple occassions.  We couldn't find another k-2 so he pitched the wicked one into the corner of the shop and purchased a k-4.

Here is some photos of my system:

Jay, That is exactly what I need. Now all I need to do is find a clamp like that.

There's a pretty sweet work around that doesn't require much.

Basically, I lay the panel on the work top, then walk around it wildcatting the jig ONTO the panel rather than the other way around. For me, it works great - fast, not having to struggle to get the panel into a jig - up vertical, etc...

It's easy to reach under the board and set the clamp. I've also found it easy to be certain the jig fits tight onto the board edge so the holes are nicely placed.

Here's a photo that might show a bit (this isn't a working jig - it's a brand new one that I haven't assembled yet so the screw is missing). (Hopefully the photo rotates when it loads. If not, note that it should be looked at portrait style... :-)

That is a low cost work around but I have mine set up with a vac attachment so I have to move that also . Today I looked at the competitions jig, the PC one, and it is about $90 more than the kreg but it look like they have it all figured out. Large panels would not be an issue and the vac attachment comes standard. I sure wish Kreg would get their head out of the sand on this issue. I like to be loyal to a brand whenever possible but the more I make large projects like large wardrobe cabinets or pantries the more I dread using their tool. This is not a good thing. I really hate that they have ignored this issue.

gdatomic said:

There's a pretty sweet work around that doesn't require much.

Basically, I lay the panel on the work top, then walk around it wildcatting the jig ONTO the panel rather than the other way around. For me, it works great - fast, not having to struggle to get the panel into a jig - up vertical, etc...

It's easy to reach under the board and set the clamp. I've also found it easy to be certain the jig fits tight onto the board edge so the holes are nicely placed.

Here's a photo that might show a bit (this isn't a working jig - it's a brand new one that I haven't assembled yet so the screw is missing). (Hopefully the photo rotates when it loads. If not, note that it should be looked at portrait style... :-)

I understand. In my case, I use a Festool rolling vac so it's quite portable. And with the vac attachment on the front, it continues to work in this case. But, my shop is set up a bit european because I don't have areas dedicated to machinery. Instead, I build in the middle and bring the machines to the work pieces along with the vac.

Good luck... 

Ok  inquiring minds want to know lates go there then 1. A good wood worker nows where each pace of wood and where each hole needs to be drilled before a pace of wood ever gets to the table saw but there are thsos time's. And yes I do have a table that is made for making large panels just like the one my grand father used in his shop when we was still useing dila pen's.

And my K-2 come's off the table a box that my scerws came in and it is tapped to the back of my K-4 and then I hook my shop vac up to it and it take's me about 30 min to nock out a 30 x 60 panel in 30 min and thats slow to what some of thses people on hire can do . And Jays way far batter than anything in here I was just trying to help I wasnt being a smart &^%.



Joe Scharbrough said:

David are you referring to the one in your picture? When the panel is 60 inches long and 3 feet tall in the clamp how do you release the clamp when you are drilling the holes near the centeredge of a 60 inch panel. My arms are not long enough to reach around the side or over the top to open and close the clamp. How do you use this when it is mounted as you show it, on a bench with a wall behind it. I have mine mounted on a workstation in the middle of the room so at least I can walk around it. Please share your technique, inquiring minds want to know.

David Dean said:

Joe I could gave you the song and dance but why dont you get a K-2 it's not as petty as the K-3 or K-4 it works off the table as well as on it and you dont have all thsos parts to worry about Im what a mimi jig made like a K-2 than Ill buy one. My K-2 has earn it's place in my shop and I do alote of panle's.

Dave, I did not mean to sound like a smart a$$ or offend, just trying to find a better way to work. Thanks for your input.

Simple Solution! Kreg's portable base is hands down the fastest way to drill holes in large panels. Bring your jig to your panel, not the other way around. Imagine trying to put a full sheet of 4' wide plywood on top of your jig (even a K3) and holding it successfully. Ain't going to happen. The portable base was made just for this application. IT comes with the Master system, but youc an by it seperately with the regular Kreg JIg.

http://www.kregtool.com/Portable-Base-Prodview.html

 

Sir, are you telling me that for 20 years I have been dreaming when I posted my method telling members that I frequently bore large panels by standing them on top of my jig.  Just to clear the air, I also own the same portable clamp on boring jig you have pictured however my method is still my choice I use and find it faster and perhaps more accurate to do that with the portable clamp on method.  The jig set up has an pneumatic cylinder that is more that strong enough to hold the full sheet and allow me to bore the the hole and then advance the sheet for another hole.  I find it simple and easily done.  The gentleman whom started this post was asking if anyone had found a fix or method to his problem.  This is my method to the fix. There is nothing wrong with your method or anyone's posted method that I have seen however when you make a statement " Imagine trying to put a full sheet of 4' wide plywood on top of your jig (even a K3) and holding it successfully. Ain't going to happen." makes me appear that I am  bull s------ or dreaming that I am doing this.  
 
Bob Farmer said:

Simple Solution! Kreg's portable base is hands down the fastest way to drill holes in large panels. Bring your jig to your panel, not the other way around. Imagine trying to put a full sheet of 4' wide plywood on top of your jig (even a K3) and holding it successfully. Ain't going to happen. The portable base was made just for this application. IT comes with the Master system, but youc an by it seperately with the regular Kreg JIg.

http://www.kregtool.com/Portable-Base-Prodview.html

 

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