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As wonderful as the Kreg jig is, it is simply not a good substitute for fine joinery! Look up joinery tests in Fine Woodworking, would you rather build an heirloom piece of furniture with tried and true solid wood tenons or butt joints and screws?

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I'm sure you have a point here JB, although...apart from the assumption that many of us don't "know" any better than to use a but joint and screws I have no idea what it might be.   Personally....i like to use dovetails.  That said, i also like to UNcomplicate things and use a good solid butt joint some glue and pocket screws where application and time allows.

Maybe not, but it is pretty close, can you think of an eaiser or faster way to make face frames or a pc of furniture you might want to be able to knock down at sometime or another, like moving a large entertainment center or even a basement bar.

Every kind of joint has it's place, but everthing dosen't need to be mortise and tennons or dovetailed

First of all glueing end grain to long grain 'aint gonna work.


And Ray, that's all it's good for, face frames, jigs, quicky joints that you can take apart easy. I use it myself for certain applications. I wasn't saying every joint needs to be furniture grade, but for fine furniture to last, use better joints!

I agree I don't think I would want to build a nice jewelry box with pocket holes but, this is the 21st century and we have at our finger tips more modern ways to get the same thing accomplished. I use box joints to make drawers, I've also used half blind dovetails but I didn't cut them by hand either. I used some sort of a jig or another.

I only got started at this woodworking thing a couple of years ago, and now I have learned more than I could have ever expected to learn, and I owe the Kreg jig for giving me the confidence to think if I learned how to use this thing then maybe I'll have enough patience and confidence to move on to the next level. I am sure there are other members here that feel the same way I did, and still do.

Well said Ray.


JB, you'll realize there are a lot of new woodworkers here.  The tool gives newer woodworkers and hobbyists the confidence to build things that they wouldn't have even considered before.  So lets try a little positive input rather than dumping on the use of a tool that's giving people the freedom and enjoyment of an exciting and rewarding hobby.


So, Instead of bringing to light the weakness of pocket joinery (on a brand/application specific forum i might add), why not head over to lumberjocks.  It's a great place to spew the glory of all things mortis and tenon, dovetail, finger, biscuit, half-lap etc....although i'm fairly confident that you already know that.

I have to absolutely agree with Ray and Geoff and their comments about the pocket screw technology. When it comes to the pocket screw system that Kreg Tools has developed, there is no system faster or as good.  They are by far better than nails and more accurate than most doweling systems. 

True there are other types of jointry of which have their place in woodworking.  Those of us whom have had to find and use the fastest method of doing a satisfactory job in order to survive certainly appreciate Kreg Tools for the developement of the Kreg pocket screw.  I base this on my own experience of over 20 years building cabinets and furniture.  I started using the kreg jig when they were a young company and had just started making the jigs.  I have one of the very first on the market.  When I first started building cabinets Kreg Jig had not yet been developed and I used the datto, glue, and nail system.  At that time that was the fastest and most secure wood joint to make in cabinetary.  Then the pocket screw system was introduced and I began using it.  I have countless numbers of cabinets strung all over the Pacific Northwest of which have gave the owners good service and still in good repair and still giving the same service as the day I installed them.  Some of these have with stood countless door slambing and rough use by children and adults of whom really do not use the apporiate care of furniture, and still they and hanging there right on the wall where I put them.

What I'm saying is that there is nothing wrong with a butt joint held together with properly applied pocket screws.  In fact there is nothing wrong with a butt joint that has no glue in it either.  When the pocket screw was first introduced by Kreg Tool company there was independent labratory tests done comparing the pocket screw and the dowel.  The screw proved to be stronger of the two.

Other joints?   I'm familiar with all the mortise tendon joints. dattoes and dowel joints biscuits and splines, tongue and grove, bridle joints, lap joints that are imaginable.  I have used them all and I have even gone as far as using "fox wedge joints" .   I have and still frequently use them on special appliations.  But building the normal cabinet I resort to the tight fitting joints, pocket screws and glue.  They work just fine. 

I can just see myself or any other cabinet builder trying to compete  for a living using a joint other than those made by a pocket screw joint.  We would be broke on the first cabinet job.  The pocket screw is just like using a steel bolt , you just don't see the end with the nut on it.

Kreg Tool has been good to all of us developing and providing a method where the occassional wood worker can make a decent fitting and functioning wood joint and can do this with out a large investment in specialized equiptment.  From seeing all the projects on this community it is very evident that is the case.  That is my case and i'm here to prove it.  

i have to agree with the other comments. every type of joint has its place. the pocket screw works really well for cabinet boxes and face frames. if you look at the pics on my page, all the cabinets were fastened with pocket screws and no glue. they have survived being moved at least three times. they are all on wheels so i constantly move them and they have stood up to all this abuse. yes i appreciate the mortise and tenion joint and have used it several times but the time and effort required is too much. noticed you have no pics on your page, would be interested in seeing some of your projects.
When I first bought my KJ, I wondered if it was cheating?  I firmly believe that if the technology had been there years and years ago, it would have been used.  The old fashioned way of joining wood was done because that's all they knew.  An heirloom is an heirloom because its been around a long time.  I've never bought a piece of furniture just because of the joinery.  It's just part of the whole package.  The heirlooms that I do have were passed down from generation to generation and I hope some of the stuff I've built will do the same.

The problem with dovetails and such is that it's more for the expert woodworkers. I'm thinking the majority of woodworkers here on this site (and I admit I could be wrong) are beginners and intermediates like myself. We don't know how to make such other joints, OR, such devices to make those joints are expensive. The Kreg Jig, by comparison, are both cheaper and easier to make.


I once made a pie safe for friends of mine who I consider near and dear to my heart. When I presented them with the pie safe, they were blown away by its craftsmanship. They couldn't care less that I used pocket joinery for the door. To them, it's still a new family heirloom that they will pass down to one of their children. The joinery never entered into their minds.

Speaking for the standpoint of an intermediate woodworker I would say that the kreg jig's strong suit is the fact that it lets entry level woodworkers build quite decent looking furniture very quickly and with only a drill and a kreg jig. If you look at you'll find thousands of novice woodworkers building really decent furniture without the need for purchasing a router or table saw. Is most of it simple, yes, 90% of the stuff on her site requires only a 10" miter saw and a drill, but that's the beauty of it. People can build simple things quickly and get excited about building better and more difficult things rather than getting frustrated early on and quitting. Also with such a small initial monetary investment the Kreg jig is yet another encouragement for the novices to get started. So I would say the right tool for the right time.

Ahh - the age old debate between traditional and contempory joinery. mortise & tenon; dovetails, lap joints, screws; and even nails have their place. It is the decision of the woodworker to decide 'where' to use them. They all have an application and place.



Spring Branch, TX

I'm a complete beginner, but I have to agree with the comments above that the kreg jig is a great tool and pocket hole joints have their place.  Without the kreg jig, I would have never attempted to building anything.  I bought the master system, and built a train table with storage bins and an entryway locker in one week!  They're both pretty solid and I have no doubt they'll hold up for years.  I have pictures in my profile (built from plans courtesy of Ana White).  I'm planning on building a play kitchen an a couple bookcases with the kreg jig in the next few months, and as a working mother with two young kids, traditional joinery methods would make these projects impossible for me (as I don't have the time or tools to do these methods).  One day I'd like to learn how to do more traditional joints, but without pocket screw joinery woodworking wouldn't have been an option for me.

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