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No matter what I do, I am not able to get a tight, strong joint after driving the screws when using the jig. I can break the joint apart easily.  I am clamping the boards, its square 90 degrees. Has anyone else experienced this? If so what did you do to fix this?

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I am using 3/4" plywood and 1/14" coarse screws
Robert Melrose said:
Are you jointing from end grain into long grain or long grain into end grain? What type of wood/screws are you using. If you are using fine thread screws in soft wood like pine or plywood the joint won't be as strong. Screws driven into the end grain won't be as strong either. The jig was designed to butt joint end grain into long grain.
I would recheck that you have the jig set up properly, sounds like the screws may not be penetrating deep enough into the joint.

yes make sure you have both the jig and the drill bit set for 3/4" drill bit is set to shoulder.

Hi Bob,

Did you ever figure out how to get your joints tighter?     I am having the same problem you described.



Hi Keri,

Did my suggestion of  making the pocket hole a  1/16 of an inch shallower work for you?


Keri said:

Hi Bob,

Did you ever figure out how to get your joints tighter?     I am having the same problem you described.



Everything set correctly??? Check to see how far screws protrude out the end of board and set it along side of receiving board and see if it protrudes in far enough to grab.Check for drill dust in bottom of hole. I presume your using correct screws!!! Fine thread for hardwood not softwood

Also to it happened to me today  BUT what went wrong was operator error I have been drilling for long time in cedar and the sawdust in pocket got lodged in hole and drill would not bottom out so then screws where to short to make tight contact

We are never to old to admit our stupidity and learn from our errors




Did you try to adjust the torque and speed of your drill?

I have never had a problem with loose joints using the Kreg jig.  I suggest putting everything down and starting over completely.  In other words, start at step one on the instructions even if you are sure that you followed them correctly.  Go all the way, one step at a time, checking and double checking each step of the procedure.  Then, again following the instructions faithfully, join two boards.  My guess is that you will end up with a nice, tight joint.

Happened to me once....When I was adfusting the collar on the bit I was lining the wrong side of the collar with the mark on the jig. The end result was that the pocket hole was not deep enough.




When I read this my first vision was that you were using cheep plywood, which is notoriously full of voids. If that is true, I would suggest that you use VERY good Baltic Birch (or similar plywood) with no voids. Solid wood is best.


Second, are you using fine threads instead of course threads in soft wood.


Third, try using less torque on the drill. Follow up by using a hand screwdriver to make sure you don't strip out your threads.


4th, try using the washer-headed screws instead of the old style threads.


But absolutely, don't use the cheap plywood!


Good luck from,



I know this is an old thread, but thought I would add my experience in case it helps someone ...


I was having the same problem, and realized that when i was doing a lot of consecutive pocket holes saw dust was collecting in the kreg jig and in the pocket holes and throwing everything off. When I went to use the right angle clamp, the flat head seemed to be compacting the sawdust in the pocket holes which then made it impossible to drive the screw al the way down and make a tight joint. 

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