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I'm in the process of looking for my first Kreg jig (I got another brand - it was cheaper & I sincerely regret the purchase) and am very confused by all the different products available, so I'm coming to the experts. 

Realistically, which products should a beginning woodworker get to have a good start and to be able to actually use the jig to its best degree.  I plan to use it for everything from drawers to a sewing armoire I have my eye on.  I've already created some drawers with the other jig so I guess I'm not a total beginner.

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Shelia, 

Don't worry, everyone here will try to help you out. Sorry you had to suffer through another companys product before jumping to Kreg. I have a freind who did the same thing. One under estimated part of Kreg is that they included a DVD with the newer/larger jigs which show you how to do the basics, simple joints, and all the accessories  you'll need. 

From my experience, you'll need the following:

  • Kreg Jig - You could go with the smaller Jr. but I think the larger jig is actually easier to use for beginners. Plus, the Jr. doesn't include the DVD.
  • Face Clamp - This is the clamp you'll probably use most. It helps you get flush standard joints.
  • Right Angle Clamp - This is in my opinion no less 'necessary' than the face clamp. If you're going to be working with plywood panels at right angles (drawers you mentioned) this clamp is essential. It has a pin on one arm instead of a pad. This pin fits down inside the pocket hole so you can add a screw to an adjacent hole. 
  • Screw Kit - If you don't know what screws you need, get the screw kit. It has a wide variety that way you'll be ready for anything. It's only like $30 I think.
  • Dust Collection Attachment - My Kreg Jig didn't come with one so I got one on the Kreg website. Well worth it. Keeps everything clean while I work.
  • Auto Switch - Imagine this... once your dust collection attachment is on, you pull your drill's trigger and your vacuum starts up automatically then turns off one you let go. Cool, right?  Right. http://www.sears.com/craftsman-auto-switch/p-00924031000P
  • Also, if you want a better case... http://kregjig.ning.com/forum/topics/kreg-toolboxx-system (I keep mine attached to wood so don't really need it and it's certainly not necessary but I bet itd be nice for some.

Hi Sheila!

 

I agree with Bob. The larger jig setup is definitely preferable. Also, clamps, clamps, clamps. And also very important, a smooth, flat surface. If you don't want to get the clamp table yet, counter tops work well. Big box stores usually have left over counter tops or MDF or plywood, or something. And one more thing. Good quality angle reference. Nothing is more frustrating than finding out you're not square. Good luck, practice a lot with scrap material, and check the web. There is lots of information on line.

Thank you so much for the advice, I really appreciate it.  This is a great resource I've found and I plan to use it a lot.

Hi Shelia,  I have the Kreg Jr. and the K4 larger set up.  They are both great products that work well... All Kreg products work well. I use my Jr. more than I do my larger setup.  But I am a carpenter that does most of my work in the field.   I recomend getting the best set up that you feel is in your budget of tools. I agree with Rick,  Clamps, Clamps.  The Clamps will make your projects go together better with less sanding.  Good luck and this is a great community for questions and project ideas.. welcome

Wow, this is such a great resource! Thank you again for all the help.

Surprised no one mentioned a good corded drill, 2000 rpm +, and a good clutched cordless drill. I've got the Master, Junior, Mini and Micro and those two tools are common to all.

If you have the budget, I recommend the K4 Kit. After my first project I purchased a corded drill that is over 2000 rpm for drilling. Kreg recommends it and I now know why. Less tear out and more control!  I use my cordless clutched drill for putting the screws in. Good luck.

Buy the new $220 Toolboxx Complete System and call it good. 

The only thing in there you probably don't 'need' would be the micro drill guide.

That's what I'd buy if I was starting out.

Well, that explains why I had so much tearing on my first project with the "generic" jig. Will this be obvious on the drill packaging, or do I look for specifics?

John Schaben said:

Surprised no one mentioned a good corded drill, 2000 rpm +, and a good clutched cordless drill. I've got the Master, Junior, Mini and Micro and those two tools are common to all.

I would start with the K4 unless you are going to do some commercial jointery then you might need a larger set

Hi Sheila - There is a little tag on the drill itself that lists the voltage and amperage ratings. The rpm should also be listed on that. Will likely be listed on the package also but not usually very prominently. Here's the drill I use:  http://www.cpopowertools.com/dewalt-dwd115k-3-8-in-0-2-500-rpm-8-0-...

Shelia Norris said:

Well, that explains why I had so much tearing on my first project with the "generic" jig. Will this be obvious on the drill packaging, or do I look for specifics?

John Schaben said:

Surprised no one mentioned a good corded drill, 2000 rpm +, and a good clutched cordless drill. I've got the Master, Junior, Mini and Micro and those two tools are common to all.

i beg to disagree, depends on what you are doing. I use the micro quite a bit.  

Bob Sanders said:

Buy the new $220 Toolboxx Complete System and call it good. 

The only thing in there you probably don't 'need' would be the micro drill guide.

That's what I'd buy if I was starting out.

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