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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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That a bad example not even a kreg joint. Running a screw at an angle like that end grain asking for trouble even if you drilled a pilot hole.
OK, I tried the fine screws and here are my observations. The fine screws are smaller in diameter, #7 vs #8 for the course screws. That probably has the most impact regarding splitting than anything. It also seemed to me the joint was not pulled together as tight as the course screw does. A negative in my view. While I only tried one piece so I can't place much experience to this test. It is the first time I've tried the fine screws. I probably wouldn't use them if I didn't have to. There was no splitting either.

Steve Osterday said:
I'll give that a try on my current scraps and see how that works out. You may on to something. Thanks for the suggestion.

Jay Boutwell said:
Steve, just a possible cause of splits.  I found along time ago that using the fine thread screw prevents alot of problems.  The course thread is a strong screw and great for things such as mdf and sort woods however I hardly use a course thread.  Instead I use the fine thread because of the thread pitch causing the screw to be very aggressive as it enters the wood.  This aggressive threading action puts pressure in the wood grains.  For a long time the course thread was not a thing that was sold that much and all you could find was the fine thread.  I think if thoes whom are having problems with splitting would find less problems if they tried the fine thread.

Steve Osterday said:

I have only built 2 sets of face frames since I discovered Kreg. My 1st set was perfect, my 2nd set had a splitting problem. I did use an impact driver on the second set and thought that might be the cause. I tried some pieces of the scrap with my drill/driver set real low and still expeienced the spliting. I am using Poplar and the course 1-1/4 screws. In giving it some considerable thought I have come up with a POTENTIAL cause, but do not have the facts to back it up. The first Poplar was bought from HD and the second from a hardwoods supplier. The second purchase just seemed like it might have been harder or dryer. Most likely my imagination, but... It also sat in my warm/dry basement for a couple of weeks before cutting and assembling. It may have just been cut from a different part of the tree too. Point is, I'm not ready to blame the Kreg Jig. The split was not bad enough to reject the frame since it is for cabinets in my basement anyway.


I have seen way too much furniture come apart that was put together with dowels. I think they shrink when they dry and I personally never use them. Just a hobbiest's opinion. :-) 

Hi Eddie, Im another Kreg pockethole user who has been using this method a long time on face frames. Please dont take offence, but you must not have something set to the correct depth to the thickness of the wood. I would guess maybe a couple of thousand faceframe joints with 1/2 dozen different hardwoods, I have never had A SINGLE joint split on me. You need to use scrap wood until you acheive the proper settings on the stop collar for your thickness of wood. This pockethole system for faceframes is so awesome and easy to use, I hate to hear of someone not reaping the same benefits of it that I have over the years.
Also Eddie the distance you have the jig set from the end grain of the board has to be set correctly, or it will not work, you will split boards. Just use some scrap until you get it right and you will never use another type of joint for faceframes!!!!
Also, poplar is a hardwood and requires the fine thread skrews, the course thread skrews WILL NOT work, they WILL split poplar, especially on faceframe joints.

Either for some reason your screw is going in too deep or your jig is set wrong,  I had the same problem...stay w/the 1"1/4 screw , but you must hold your drill straight and your wood may be too DRY, this same problem happens to me..don't feel bad....roll your screw in a little damp soap before driving it in....also check your torque

when driving it home....let me know if this works... it should, Jerry

Predrill holes by first positioning the pieces correctly, run the proper screws in as you normally would but as soon as the screw comes into contact with the connecting piece STOP.  Do all the screws for that piece remove the jig and drill where the slight marks from the screws are.  From my expierence MDF has to be predrilled even if it doesn't crack driving a screw directly into it will create a bad connection because the pressed fibers will bust apart.  Use a propper size bit so only the threads cut the fibers and not bust the fibers with force.
If your splitting oak I believe it is close to the end. try moving the screw away from the end of the wood.
They were splitting MDF........
Do not put two screws close together, that should solve the problem.  keep them 6 in apart or so.
I agree.  I had my Kreg jig setup for about 6 weeks now.  I've made a full size router table, 80% finished and am making a range box for my pistol, 50% finished and have used the Kreg jig on both.  I must say that if not for the jig, I probably would not have tried either.  I also noticed that I was having a problem with points coming through the wood and was getting a bit aggravated and had some of the same thoughts about the TV spots were perfect conditions and all that but in just this one discussion, I think I've found the answer to my problems.  Shorten up the drill just a smidge from what the gauge says and set the clutch on the drill a bit lower so as not to over drive the screw.  I think that will work.

Eric Laeyendecker said:

My guess is that the collar is set too high on the drill bit.  I had that same problem.  There are trouble shooting links in the forums here. 


No offense zencuke, but you seem to be shooting down everyone's input like you know everything.  They are just trying to help.  If you're new to woodworking or this method of joinery, the first thing you need to do is realize you don't know everything about it and be open to suggestions and tips.  You're on the Kreg jig forum saying it doesn't work, you shouldn't have to buy their clamps, and dowels and glue are why not just use dowels and glue?


I bought my Kreg jig shortly after Christmas and all I can say is once I'm done with one project I can't wait to go on to another. 





Perhaps it is the type of MDF you are using?  I am not quite a newbie but more a hack than a woodworker.  I do a lot with MDF as it is cheap and I don't feel bad if I throw it away.  My joints do split and I just split one about 10 minutes ago.  100% of the time, for me, with the MDF I use, I look at the drill and find I had it set on drill not on screwdriving and I have overtorqued the screw.


I have the torque setting way low.  Other times it does not split but strips the threads.


If you have better luck with dowels, all power to you.  I tried that route and found alignment frustrating.  Of all the technologies I have tried, Kreg has been wonderful and the productivity change incredible.  The only thing I have a problem with is that new right angle clamp (that is why I am online now.)



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