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Of course, it stands for Heavy Duty, but now that I have your attention:

I have done a few projects now with the Kreg HD, most noteably a "garage within the garage" for a garden frame, a kids electric car and a snow fort for all the snow we got here in Virginia this winter.  Kreg HD has been awesome - allows me to make big things with cheap wood.  Pictures forthcoming.

I have noticed that with the larger drill bit, I feel the effects of torque and the drill more than I do with the other Kreg Jigs.  I know that in industrial settings, this sort of thing leads to repetitive stress injuries.

I wonder, would a hammer drill work better?  This is for drilling the holes, mind you, not for driving the screws.

Appreciate any thoughts/ideas.  Next project - lemonade stand for the kids.  Hope to have a new drill for that one.

Sean

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Hi Sean,  I think in my shop I would be opposed to using a hammer drill for drilling the screw holes.  The reason is that most times a hammer drills use is in such items as concrete and rock.  Since the difference in the structure or grains are so different I would be fearful of causing cracks within the lumber.  You might get away with it it is in timbers that are larger than 2" type lumber like 2x4 and even 2x6.   Since the hammer drills deliver rapid impacts on the drill bit I would have some concerns aboout the effect that it would have on the bit.  Not so much on the shank but on the pilot portion of the bit as it is the part of the bit that get damaged the easiest.  You do however raise a good question about the use of a hammer drill. 

I would consider using a larger drill with a hanlde that allow the use of two hands.      

Jay offers great advice (as usual) on using a hammer drill for the HD. The two biggest concerns would be stress on the bit and stress on the wood.

The bit isn't designed for hammer-drill use. That would put a strain on the bit that could damage, break, or prematurely dull it.

The wood may also suffer when using a hammer drill. As Jay mentioned, hammer drills are designed for driving bits into especially-hard materials. Woods typically used with the HD, such as construction lumber and cedar, are softwoods. The hammer force on the wood could split it or damage the fibers enough to "blow out" the bottom of the pocket hole. This could potentially happen with harder woods, as well.

A corded drill with a side handle would be an excellent choice if you are doing a lot of projects with the HD.

When using the HD or our other Kreg pocket-hole bits, keep in mind that they are aggressive bits. They have deep flutes to help clear material in the confines of the drill guide. (A standard bit can have smaller flutes since there's nothing "surrounding" the bit outside the hole). These deep flutes coupled with sharp cutting tips means you can drill extremely quickly with Kreg bits. In fact, you can "over-drive) the bit if you push hard. It will still bore a hole--and do it very quickly--but will get put under more strain, causing more resistance and greater torque on the drill/handle.

KregRep

Sean;

Jay and the Kreg Rep have given you some good reasons on why not to use a hammer drill I would listen to them as the step drill bits are not designed to take the impact and you would work harden the steel in the step bit which will cause it to wear or break prematurely.

I will give you another reason of what can happen the stop collar might slip during the impact of the hammer drill or the stop or depth collar can also bind and lock on to the point you might strip the allen screw when trying to loosen it later.

I will tell you when you drill lots of holes in wood the heavy load can over heat a drill  what most manufactures of drills recommend is slower speed in my trade I had to drill a lot of large holes in many materials and the best corded drills is the Milwaukee 1/2 inch hole shooter one that I own is over 30 years old I had the factory  repair depot change the brushes and when I went to pick it up they told me they changed them as I told them to but it did not need brushes I still have the drill and works great lots of torque but lite and easy to use.

 

Hope this helps as well.

Thanks for all the replies.  I will try this with my HD kit and will also keep a better eye as to what I am experiencing.  I know that I am feeling torque effects, I am just not sure where in the process.

Sean

This is an additional question about HD drilling and using impact drivers:  My first project with the Kreg HD is the Kreg work bench. I was lucky enough to find hardwood pallets(used to ship snowplow equip) and stripped them and got some beautiful Oak and Maple  2.25 by 3.75's that I planed, cut down to size per the plan and yesterday I started the project.  Here are my 2 questions: 1) Am I assuming correctly that the HD drill bit comes pre-set for the 2.5 inch screws I am using on the frame pieces? If so, great-if not where is the depth collar adjustment for the HD drill bit? and 2) I drilled 4 holes on the cross piece-2 in each end to drill it into the vertical legs. Holy Cow! First thru the Maple for the holes- 4 holes equaled 1.5 batteries and approx. 1/2 hour! It was an 18V Ryobi Cordless. Should I go with a corded drill with a T-handle to get thru that problem more efficiently? Then drilling the 2.5 HD screws lent its on set of problems. I know, I know, Maple and Oak might be a poor choice for my first project but what would you guys recommend? I have a corded Porter Cable impact driver and am contemplating a cordless impact driver purchase soon.  Any help or guidance or words of wisdom would be appreciated.

In the future I plan on using normal construction grade lumber(softwood) till I get really comfortable with using the Kreg jigs.

Jan W. Nahorski said:

This is an additional question about HD drilling and using impact drivers:  My first project with the Kreg HD is the Kreg work bench. I was lucky enough to find hardwood pallets(used to ship snowplow equip) and stripped them and got some beautiful Oak and Maple  2.25 by 3.75's that I planed, cut down to size per the plan and yesterday I started the project.  Here are my 2 questions: 1) Am I assuming correctly that the HD drill bit comes pre-set for the 2.5 inch screws I am using on the frame pieces? If so, great-if not where is the depth collar adjustment for the HD drill bit? and 2) I drilled 4 holes on the cross piece-2 in each end to drill it into the vertical legs. Holy Cow! First thru the Maple for the holes- 4 holes equaled 1.5 batteries and approx. 1/2 hour! It was an 18V Ryobi Cordless. Should I go with a corded drill with a T-handle to get thru that problem more efficiently? Then drilling the 2.5 HD screws lent its on set of problems. I know, I know, Maple and Oak might be a poor choice for my first project but what would you guys recommend? I have a corded Porter Cable impact driver and am contemplating a cordless impact driver purchase soon.  Any help or guidance or words of wisdom would be appreciated.

Jan,

I use a heavy-duty drill corded drill, and with the side handle attached.

The side handle, and operating the drill with two-hands, will provide better control of the tool and drilling.

You can run the drill at 1800 rpm (min) and obtain satisfactory results in hardwood, using Kregs HD pocket hole drill bit.

Quality corded drills will produce continuous torque at a given rpm.

I've experienced very short run time on the Ryobi 3/8 18V drills.

Using the Ryobi 18V 1/2" drill, with the side handle, will produce a few more holes.

As the batteries lose storage capacity, they start to run slower---and it WILL NOT produce a smooth cut hole.

Thank You Ken, I am learning as I go and it is input like this that really helps me as I slowly start into the wonderful world of Kreg jigging!

You're welcome, Jan.

Thank you for your thank you.

Jan W. Nahorski said:

Thank You Ken, I am learning as I go and it is input like this that really helps me as I slowly start into the wonderful world of Kreg jigging!

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