the Kreg Jig. I have found that the jig will function well however it takes time to learn the methods of its use. It differs in different materials.
Providing that you have a quality material in which to work you must also use the proper technique. In some materials you can bore a pocket hole rapidly and the results will be excellent. Using the same speeds In other materials, the results will be frustrating and not so good. You have to alter the speed of the drill and the speed that you feed the drill through the material just like you do when cutting material through a saw.
Of course there are other factors that matter as well such as the sharpness of the tool edge and how brittle is the material you are cutting.
I have bored countless numbers of holes through mdf, some with great success and others not so good. The not so good results are often found to be either the quality of the material or my technique was not correct. To correct the problem I altered my technique to suit the materials.
Although mdf is not my choice of material, in my line of work I do not have the choice as to where I pick one type of material over the other. I do not like to build cabinets out of melamine, which is a form of Mdf, many customers insist on it use for their own reasons. The choice I have is to point out to them the differences in mdf and wood but the choice remains in their hands. The other thing I can do is to be certain that the material I choose is of quanity and that my workmanship is the best I can deliver.
When I talk of technigue I am refering to the following:
Correct setting ot the jig for the material. This is a topic in its self with many having trouble with the settings.
I have my own method and it does not fail me. I set the jig up for material thickness and then check it using a nickel on the base and setting the drill bit on top of the nickel and set the debth collar. It stands to reason if the stop collar stops the bit before it hits the jig base it will not exit the material and will not over bore the pilot hole. There is one exception to this, It there is chips or dust between the edge of the material and the base of the jig, which will raise the material in the jig the bit will bore too deep and may exit the material edge.
It is best not to bore through the material and it is best if you do not bore so deep that the bit leaves a dimple on the bottom.This dimple becomes a obstruction between the joining surfaces and will hold your material up off the surface requiring the dimple to have to be crushed in order to get a tight seal.
Correct clamping of jig to the material. Flat on the base and 90 degrees to the base. ( no chips between the material and the jig back) Chips often fall behind the material and get clamped in behind during clamping.
Correct drill RPM speeds for the material. I use a cord-ed variable speed . Materials require different RPM speeds to cut the fibers without tearing them out
Correct feed rate (speed in which you push the drill bit through the material) The bit must have time to cut the material with out tearing through it.
Making sure that chips and dust are not between the jig base and the material which results in a deep pocket hole.
Making sure the jig base is square with the material, If not you get a crooked pocket hole.
When it come time for assembly correct alinement of the screw with the pilot hole is a must to insert a screw accurately. If not careful the screw will crawl out of the pilot hole and cut its own thread resulting is a screw that has its head not fully seated in the pocket hole.
Speed of the screw insertion. You have to allow the screw to cut its thread with out tearing, Too fast it will tear out the material and too slow it will also cut out the thread as it goes in. As a preference I alway use a little glue to act as a lubricant for insertion and as a glue when it dries, This helps to hold any torn fibers in the screw to material.
Using the correct screw is important. personally I seldom use a course threaded screw as the thread pitch is just of agressive for some materias. I have found from experience that the fine thread screw is fine for its purpose. Look at it this way, would you rather have a thread cut slowly into the fibers or one that is cut so agressive that it tears the fibers reguardless of the screw speed as it is inserted. If you glue your joints, as is very highly suggested in fiber material, and have a pocket hole with a screw in it, is it not better than the alternative of having a nail driven into the joint. This screw thread topic and insertion speed is of importance as many times the thread pitch and its speed of insertion can actually destroy the ability of the screw to hold the material joint together if it tears out more fibers that it cuts.
Correct tightness of the screw is of importance as well as one that is loose will do little to hold the joint but is still better that one that has bottomed out and either split the material or tore out the material around it threads top a point that it is actually no longer a fasterner but a sore spot on the material and in the mind of the person whom put it there.
To be able to tell you how to put in a screw is something of which only time and experience will teach you. Learn from your mistakes as they are the best teacher in the first place. Using the pointers you read and following them will only aid as a guide but it you who feels the screw as it is inserted and sees the results.
I can only tell you that you have a great tool in your hand and like all things it takes time and use to master its use. I'm still learning after years of using it. I will also say I have found no faster method or tool in which to construct a joint between two pieces of material in a simple and speedy method.
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