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I am having a issue with spliting face frames when using Kreg screws.  I am using 1x2 oak and a 1 1/4 inch fine thread screw like the chart says.  Any ideas what I am doing wrong?  I am considering going to a 1 inch screw or changing the depth.

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The title of this subject is
''Split Wood on Face Frames''
The originator, denoted  ''I am using 1x2 oak''.
In your post, you made reference to "MDF'', and that you experienced problems.
I wouldn't use MDF for ''face frames''.
Solid wood is a more desirable material and is effective. 
You wrote,
''The Kreg is supposed to be simpler and save time.''
Kreg joinery is not the solution to ALL wood joining methods.
ANS: Other joinery methods may be more suitable, for some applications.
You wrote,
''Kreg could make a special bit with the right shape to drill a pilot hole at the bottom of a pocket hole.''
It would not be an effective tool, to incorporate a ''pilot bit'' into the tip end of the 3/8" dia drill.
The required ''pilot hole'' is dictated by the screw minor/root dia, thread pitch,  the material that it engages into.
This would result in several different pilot bit diameters and lengths.
RESULT:  NOT feasibly economical.
You wrote:
''...no one would need to buy their special clamp or special screws with the strange name....''
Kreg offers clamps that are very effective tools.
It much more convenient for me, and I'm sure for many others, to just buy the Kreg clamps, they suggest---
vs running all over town, wasting time, and looking for suitable clamps by others. 
Please note---there are several clamps, on todays market, that could be used.
Ex: welding clamps, of various styles will suffice.
BUT---the Kreg clamps offer a design feature, most other clamps do not have incorporated in their design---
like the swivel head feature, the pointed end feature, and the depth feature.
I'll go with the Kreg clamps---they are effective.
''...special screws...'' ???
They are ''different'', NOT ''special'', and are more effective, over any other screws I've ever used in ''pocket joinery''
Also, I use Kreg screws for many other wood joinery methods---
they are flat-out more efficient over several other screws on the market.
Namely:
a) head design---washer and flat head---
tapered head screws spread the wood apart and will crack the wood.
b) the driving tool (square) ---more positive over a cross-point.
A cross-point can and will deform---you can't retrieve from a recessed hole.
c) screw-point and cutting tip---more efficient and effective over standard wood screws.
The ''cutting'' feature in the screw, is a big plus.
You wrote:
''All wood screws cut threads''.
Standard wood screws DO NOT cut threads, they ''displace'' the wood---
which means it spreads the wood apart, which CAN result in ''splitting'', 
therefore; the screw threads are not in intimate contact around the entire screw diameter and its threads---
resulting in less ''holding power''.
Kreg screws offer more holding power, in wood, because of its design.
TIP: When installing screws into wood, especially hard woods, lubricate the leading end (or tip) of the screw threads. 
A lubricant, such as ''soap'', or the like, offers ''less resistance''--- making an easier and smoother insertion.
Also, I frequently add the lube, when assembling into softer woods, such as pine, or the like.
I don't find it necessary to add to much lube---only applying lube to the tip, or leading end, of the screw threads is sufficient.
I keep a small bar of soap, at the ready---just scrape the screw threads leading end, along the bar of soap.
The soap particles will adhere and stay in the root of the threads.
Dipping the tip of the screw into wood glue, is also effective.
When it comes to oak try dipping the screw in liquid dishwashing soap as a lubricant and dont  use the drill at high speed and let the drill do the work do not put pressure on it  !!!

zencuke

A few things here. First, from you intelligent posts, I am imagining you are alot like me. You have to know exactly how things work and understand it before you can incorporate it into whatever it is you are doing. That is fine, for most things, but in this I believe you are over thinking it. The screws you mentioned above, you made the statement all wood screws thread the holes and calling the Kreg screws "thread cutting screw is redundant" is true, but they dont call them thread cutting screws, they call them self drilling. If you look at one of the Kreg screws, you will see that there is a notch cut into the tip of the screw. This notch allows the screw to create its own pilot hole. These screws are not like normal wood or drywall screws or other specialty screws. When I got my jig home and inspected everything, I noticed the pan headed screws where just like some otheer screws i already had in my shop. After making my first project with my new Kreg Jig (without any issue except user error where I drilled the wrong side of the wood I was working with, and used the wrong setting on the drill bit) I got out the screws i had, ran several into some scrap I had. I got about 50% split out. I didnt get split out because of over tightening, I play with my clutch for every screw until i get the clutch tuned for the wood I am working and then click it back one. I got the split out because the screws did not have the self tapping feature on them. Are you using Kreg screws or regular wood screws?

Get some scrap wood, play with it. You dont have to worry about wasting the screws either since you can remove them and use them again.

Stop thinking that you got took, I spend over a year wanting to get the Jig system, but I will not buy anything that is featured in an infomercial. I have been burned too many times ("As Seen On TV" means RUN to me). I liked the idea, but I knew in the back of my head that Kreg was a scam like everything else. I ran into a guy locally to me. I was buying some shop equipment from him and he had a Kreg Jig. We got to talking about it, and he demonstrated it for me, and then showed me some of the work he did with it. He made a router using it, he made a Miter Saw table with it, and he built his deck with it and the deck jig. I was sold. I went and bought one that day.

After I got home and inspected it, I was not happy with a few things; ie, the case was not made to store the jig and accessories in, no place to safely keep the drill bit, and there was an ugly weld on the face of the jig clamp. I got on their site and shot off an email to them. I was fully expecting either not to hear back from Kreg or to get a form letter brush off. To my surprise, I got neither. I was replied to by one of the Kreg reps. He explained to me that the case is the way it is because owners of the older K3 master Jig requested the change, the older case was like I was expecting. How could I argue with that. He also answered that when the jig clamps are manufactured, the weld is not ground down and smoothed, it was not an over sight, and they are in discussion with the makers to smooth out the weld.

Wow, a large company is personally replying to my email? I shot him another email pointing out things I found needed to be changed or added to the instruction booklet. His reply to me was he would send the request up to the people who make those decisions. Thats all I could ask.

You do not get that type of service from a company that is JUST out to make money from you. They want that return money and they want you to tell your friends. They understand that the only way to get that is to keep their customers happy.

I would be almost willing to lay money on the idea that if you contacted them directly as I did, and you explained your dissatisfaction with your purchase, they would refund you. Or in the least do something to try to make you happy.

The guy Jay who first replied to this thread, he has one of the older K1 or K2 versions I saw in some pix. It is old, solid metal, no plastics. And he is still using it today. If it wasnt a quality product that did work (not just for some people or 80% of the people) we would not be here.

Just take it slow, Measure out your wood to make sure your settings are correct, and stay 2 inches away from the outside edge. Drill your pocket, set your clutch at its weakest setting, start to drive the screw at your slowest speed with a little pressure on the drill until you see it start to go in then let it pull itself into the wood. When the clutch starts to slip, turn it a click, drive more, turn a click, drive more, do this until it doesnt drive any more and it is seated, without over tightening. Once you get this part, I think you will see a difference in how you view the system. As long as you are using Kreg screws, you set the depth correctly on both the bit and the jig, and you stay at least 2 inches from the outside edge, you should not get any split out.

BTW, you never said how thick the MDF was you were working with. I did a workshop table with the Kreg instruction, it called for 3/4 MDF for the top and lower shelf. The top over hung the frame, but the shelf did not over hang, and I drive the screws into it at the edge without any issue. Could you be splitting out of thin MDF?

As for the clamps.... well, I have to say that I did look at others on the market. None match up to the features that the Kreg clamps offer. I will be purchasing the Right Angle clamp within a weeks time. I considered getting a vice-grip brand clamp and grinding off the end and making it into a right angle clamp, but for the price, and the throat dept, i cant beat the Kreg.

Just my 2 cents worth....

I just got a Kreg jig a few weeks ago.  I built the shop table exactly to the plans and it came out great, very strong and just as easy as advertised.  Of course, I did watch a video on YouTube of a guy building it so I'd seen it done. 

The next weekend I built my wife a bookshelf of my own design out of 1x12's with some 1x4 shelf backs.  Admittedly, it was only white wood boards, but it went together fine, looks real nice, and is very strong.  My only problem was one shelf slipped a tiny bit when I tightened the screw so it was about 1/8 inch from being flush.  I just sanded it even and probably only I can tell there's a defect.

I set the clutch on my driver very low, on 4, where the Milwaukee manual says it should be for soft wood and I didn't have any trouble with splitting or anything.

The screws at my local store were pretty pricey, so I ordered a couple thousand of them online and they're less than three cents apiece.  I love this thing and can't wait to build something new this weekend.

Welcome to the crue Bob. The videos are great arent they?

Thanks Mike, yes the videos are good.  Watching one of them I saw the right angle clamp in action. 

When I bought my jig at Lowes they threw in a face clamp with it on a special, so I went ahead and bought the right angle clamp.  It works real good, holding the shelf or whatever until you can get a couple of screws in.

Mike,

 

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I'm sure I will come to love my Kreg. It clearly is quite useful for many cases. There are obviously lots of satisfied users. I just picked a poor project to start testing it. My original test joints in scrap pine worked like a champ. I think the rule is that wherever a screw is a good match for the joint, materials and strength requirements a pocket hole may be the most a convenient way of placing the screw. Where a screw is not adequate the Kreg won't magically make it adequate.

 

I was using 3/4 inch MDF. A quick test of screwing directly into the edge of the material, i.e. leaving out the piece with the pocket hole, shows that this particular screw always splits this particular MDF, regardless of angle, whether I hand tighten or use a power driver, and regardless of driver speed. This is with the coarse thread 1 1/4 which is the one recommended for MDF. I had better luck with the fine thread which subjectively (I didn't measure it) seems to have a smaller diameter shaft. I don't remember where I got the MDF. It has been in the shop for a while. Maybe it is not actually MDF.

 

-zencuke

 

Mike Kahle said:

zencuke

A few things here. First, from you intelligent posts, I am imagining you are alot like me. You have to know exactly how things work and understand it before you can incorporate it into whatever it is you are doing. That is fine, for most things, but in this I believe you are over thinking it. The screws you mentioned above, you made the statement all wood screws thread the holes and calling the Kreg screws "thread cutting screw is redundant" is true, but they dont call them thread cutting screws, they call them self drilling. If you look at one of the Kreg screws, you will see that there is a notch cut into the tip of the screw. This notch allows the screw to create its own pilot hole. These screws are not like normal wood or drywall screws or other specialty screws. When I got my jig home and inspected everything, I noticed the pan headed screws where just like some otheer screws i already had in my shop. After making my first project with my new Kreg Jig (without any issue except user error where I drilled the wrong side of the wood I was working with, and used the wrong setting on the drill bit) I got out the screws i had, ran several into some scrap I had. I got about 50% split out. I didnt get split out because of over tightening, I play with my clutch for every screw until i get the clutch tuned for the wood I am working and then click it back one. I got the split out because the screws did not have the self tapping feature on them. Are you using Kreg screws or regular wood screws?

Get some scrap wood, play with it. You dont have to worry about wasting the screws either since you can remove them and use them again.

Stop thinking that you got took, I spend over a year wanting to get the Jig system, but I will not buy anything that is featured in an infomercial. I have been burned too many times ("As Seen On TV" means RUN to me). I liked the idea, but I knew in the back of my head that Kreg was a scam like everything else. I ran into a guy locally to me. I was buying some shop equipment from him and he had a Kreg Jig. We got to talking about it, and he demonstrated it for me, and then showed me some of the work he did with it. He made a router using it, he made a Miter Saw table with it, and he built his deck with it and the deck jig. I was sold. I went and bought one that day.

After I got home and inspected it, I was not happy with a few things; ie, the case was not made to store the jig and accessories in, no place to safely keep the drill bit, and there was an ugly weld on the face of the jig clamp. I got on their site and shot off an email to them. I was fully expecting either not to hear back from Kreg or to get a form letter brush off. To my surprise, I got neither. I was replied to by one of the Kreg reps. He explained to me that the case is the way it is because owners of the older K3 master Jig requested the change, the older case was like I was expecting. How could I argue with that. He also answered that when the jig clamps are manufactured, the weld is not ground down and smoothed, it was not an over sight, and they are in discussion with the makers to smooth out the weld.

Wow, a large company is personally replying to my email? I shot him another email pointing out things I found needed to be changed or added to the instruction booklet. His reply to me was he would send the request up to the people who make those decisions. Thats all I could ask.

You do not get that type of service from a company that is JUST out to make money from you. They want that return money and they want you to tell your friends. They understand that the only way to get that is to keep their customers happy.

I would be almost willing to lay money on the idea that if you contacted them directly as I did, and you explained your dissatisfaction with your purchase, they would refund you. Or in the least do something to try to make you happy.

The guy Jay who first replied to this thread, he has one of the older K1 or K2 versions I saw in some pix. It is old, solid metal, no plastics. And he is still using it today. If it wasnt a quality product that did work (not just for some people or 80% of the people) we would not be here.

Just take it slow, Measure out your wood to make sure your settings are correct, and stay 2 inches away from the outside edge. Drill your pocket, set your clutch at its weakest setting, start to drive the screw at your slowest speed with a little pressure on the drill until you see it start to go in then let it pull itself into the wood. When the clutch starts to slip, turn it a click, drive more, turn a click, drive more, do this until it doesnt drive any more and it is seated, without over tightening. Once you get this part, I think you will see a difference in how you view the system. As long as you are using Kreg screws, you set the depth correctly on both the bit and the jig, and you stay at least 2 inches from the outside edge, you should not get any split out.

BTW, you never said how thick the MDF was you were working with. I did a workshop table with the Kreg instruction, it called for 3/4 MDF for the top and lower shelf. The top over hung the frame, but the shelf did not over hang, and I drive the screws into it at the edge without any issue. Could you be splitting out of thin MDF?

As for the clamps.... well, I have to say that I did look at others on the market. None match up to the features that the Kreg clamps offer. I will be purchasing the Right Angle clamp within a weeks time. I considered getting a vice-grip brand clamp and grinding off the end and making it into a right angle clamp, but for the price, and the throat dept, i cant beat the Kreg.

Just my 2 cents worth....

Ken,

 

Thanks for taking the time to make such a detailed and thoughtful reply. You have given me a lot to think about. Just a few points.

 

You say that oak is better for faceframes. That is clearly true but it is also more expensive. I have found MDF adequate faceframe material for most projects. It is more stable than wood.

 

You say: "Standard wood screws DO NOT cut threads, they ''displace'' the wood---" You are arguing semantics here. You apparently have a different definition of "cutting threads." If you drive any wood screw into wood and then take it out you will see threads cut into the wood.


Ken Darga said:

The title of this subject is
''Split Wood on Face Frames''
The originator, denoted  ''I am using 1x2 oak''.
In your post, you made reference to "MDF'', and that you experienced problems.
I wouldn't use MDF for ''face frames''.
Solid wood is a more desirable material and is effective. 
You wrote,
''The Kreg is supposed to be simpler and save time.''
Kreg joinery is not the solution to ALL wood joining methods.
ANS: Other joinery methods may be more suitable, for some applications.
You wrote,
''Kreg could make a special bit with the right shape to drill a pilot hole at the bottom of a pocket hole.''
It would not be an effective tool, to incorporate a ''pilot bit'' into the tip end of the 3/8" dia drill.
The required ''pilot hole'' is dictated by the screw minor/root dia, thread pitch,  the material that it engages into.
This would result in several different pilot bit diameters and lengths.
RESULT:  NOT feasibly economical.
You wrote:
''...no one would need to buy their special clamp or special screws with the strange name....''
Kreg offers clamps that are very effective tools.
It much more convenient for me, and I'm sure for many others, to just buy the Kreg clamps, they suggest---
vs running all over town, wasting time, and looking for suitable clamps by others. 
Please note---there are several clamps, on todays market, that could be used.
Ex: welding clamps, of various styles will suffice.
BUT---the Kreg clamps offer a design feature, most other clamps do not have incorporated in their design---
like the swivel head feature, the pointed end feature, and the depth feature.
I'll go with the Kreg clamps---they are effective.
''...special screws...'' ???
They are ''different'', NOT ''special'', and are more effective, over any other screws I've ever used in ''pocket joinery''
Also, I use Kreg screws for many other wood joinery methods---
they are flat-out more efficient over several other screws on the market.
Namely:
a) head design---washer and flat head---
tapered head screws spread the wood apart and will crack the wood.
b) the driving tool (square) ---more positive over a cross-point.
A cross-point can and will deform---you can't retrieve from a recessed hole.
c) screw-point and cutting tip---more efficient and effective over standard wood screws.
The ''cutting'' feature in the screw, is a big plus.
You wrote:
''All wood screws cut threads''.
Standard wood screws DO NOT cut threads, they ''displace'' the wood---
which means it spreads the wood apart, which CAN result in ''splitting'', 
therefore; the screw threads are not in intimate contact around the entire screw diameter and its threads---
resulting in less ''holding power''.
Kreg screws offer more holding power, in wood, because of its design.
TIP: When installing screws into wood, especially hard woods, lubricate the leading end (or tip) of the screw threads. 
A lubricant, such as ''soap'', or the like, offers ''less resistance''--- making an easier and smoother insertion.
Also, I frequently add the lube, when assembling into softer woods, such as pine, or the like.
I don't find it necessary to add to much lube---only applying lube to the tip, or leading end, of the screw threads is sufficient.
I keep a small bar of soap, at the ready---just scrape the screw threads leading end, along the bar of soap.
The soap particles will adhere and stay in the root of the threads.
Dipping the tip of the screw into wood glue, is also effective.

Screw types:

http://www.engineeredpartsinc.com/screw-point.htm

Handy and at-the-ready info.

Copy this page and file it in your workshop/tool box

 

 

Type 17 Thread Cutting Screw Point

Type 17 point: A thread cutting screw for wood with a coarse tapping screw thread and a special long sharp point fluted to capture chips.

 

The Kreg screws are a derivative, of the type 17 point.

 

Type A Point Tapping Screw

Type A point: A thread forming screw. 

 

 

Wood screws are of this design.

 

Other useful info:

http://www.fastenersplusinc.com/

http://www.americanfastener.com/fasteners/threadcutting.asp

http://www2.dupont.com/Plastics/en_US/assets/downloads/design/DCI28...

 

 

 

.

 

I am using 1 x 3 whitewood for my face frames, ripped down to 3/4" x 2 1/4" actual dimensions. I set the drill for 3/4" like the instructions say and use 1 1/4" coarse thread screws. I have had no problem with splitting. When I am screwing into shiplap or other white pine wood, I have to be careful as the pine is very soft and can strip  out easily. Most of the time I am screwing through the white pine into the whitewood. The whitewood is strong enough to hold without splitting. Have no experience on oak, but would say to go by the actual dimensions of the finished wood rather than the nominal dimensions of the unfinished wood. 

 

I am making cabinets out of shiplap, using 1x2's for structural bracing. The cabinets are strong and do not have the excessive weight of plywood or composition wood cabinets. A 36" base cabinet can be easily lifted by a single person. I am putting together detailed instructions for making these cabinets, which I hope to publish in the future. My cabinets do not require gluing or routing and can be made with a table saw, miter saw and a cordless drill.

After reading quite a few of the posts here, I'm ready to throw in my 2 cents.........I've been using Kreg (jigs and screws) for about 18 years. We build about a set of cabinets per week and in all my personal time using Kreg I think I've had LITERALLY a dozen splits occur. Almost all of them were because I had the screw way too close to the end of the piece of wood. That's working with oak, cherry, and maple mostly- a bit of hickory and walnut- and thinking about it as I type this I'll bet most of the splits were in the hickory. I have had guys that worked for me complain that they were getting splits, and I never quite figured out what they were doing wrong. I try to show them how I do things, and I get pretty good results, but with this function and with staining and finishing and just in general it seems like there are a few ways that work- but somebody can come up with a whole LOT of ways to screw things up! One of my favorite sayings has always been " No matter how much you try and idiot-proof something somebody is always coming up with a better idiot!" Please don't take offense to this- I find new ways to mess up constantly but I pretty much solve most problems by FIRST assuming there is "operator error" and trying something different. I figure since we have used probably in the neighborhood of 3-4 hundred THOUSAND kreg screws over the years (no exageration) - I think they can stand by their advertising and I sure in no way feel like there is ANY kind of deception. I did experiment with some MDF and wasn't having any luck, but for what we build we find MDF to be such and inferior product that I didn't spend very much time trying to figure it out. Since you are having this happen so much I would suggest sending a few pieces where you've had the proble to Kreg- they have always been helpful when I've called over there for advise. It's been quite a while since I've needed to talk with them but their tech guys helped  me out at least 4 or 5 times over the years. You could just cut off the last few inches with the joint and screws and pop them in the mail in a box- I'll bet they'll be able to figure out what is happening. Good luck
I think any material that takes screws well is likely to be a good fit for Kreg. Except for the need to use the right torque to prevent stripping pine is a great candidate.

Steve said:

I am using 1 x 3 whitewood for my face frames, ripped down to 3/4" x 2 1/4" actual dimensions. I set the drill for 3/4" like the instructions say and use 1 1/4" coarse thread screws. I have had no problem with splitting. When I am screwing into shiplap or other white pine wood, I have to be careful as the pine is very soft and can strip  out easily. Most of the time I am screwing through the white pine into the whitewood. The whitewood is strong enough to hold without splitting. Have no experience on oak, but would say to go by the actual dimensions of the finished wood rather than the nominal dimensions of the unfinished wood. 

 

I am making cabinets out of shiplap, using 1x2's for structural bracing. The cabinets are strong and do not have the excessive weight of plywood or composition wood cabinets. A 36" base cabinet can be easily lifted by a single person. I am putting together detailed instructions for making these cabinets, which I hope to publish in the future. My cabinets do not require gluing or routing and can be made with a table saw, miter saw and a cordless drill.

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