Kreg Owners' Community

I have a friend who claims to be a traiditionalist. He would rather use a brace and bit, or scrape the varnish off with a piece of glass. His thoughts are that the best furniture was built without power tools. He will hand cut a dove tail, or mortise joint.
My argument with him is that "IF" power tools and tools like the Kreg Jig were available 200 years ago, they would have used them. I think they did what they did, because of what was available to work with. Its evolution, progress, or whatever you want to call it.
When a guy like me can make a frame and know that it won't fall apart during assembly, then I feel like I'm doing the same thing my fore fathers did. Since purchasing my Kreg Jig, I have been looking at projects that I would never have attempted before out of fear of failure. I'm just waiting for the weather to warm up (I don't have a shop or garage) so I can try more projects.
Now I can say, I did that with my own two hands.

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Comment by Steve McCullough on January 27, 2010 at 7:24am
I agree 100%. Thanks.
Comment by Norm Venturino on January 27, 2010 at 1:45am
Yes, it is definitely cheating....so is fishing with power bait, screw top beer, power steering, instant replay, picture within a picture, cordless tools, cell phones, microwaves, automatic sprinklers, riding lawnmowers, ATV's, high power scopes, RV's, backhoes, recliners, turbo diesels, 4x4's, golf carts, thermal undies, waterproof boots, organ transplants, CPR and Viagra....

It ain't easy being Amish.....but I guess your buddy already knows that!... : )
Comment by Chris L on January 18, 2010 at 1:02pm
A good thread.. I see the Kreg Jig in my shop as just another tool that can be used (granted my wife may tell you I use it too much) when the time is appropriate. I love history and have recently acquired some older tools which I also love to use when the time is right.
I would also have to agree with a number of people here that say that because of the Kreg they are trying stuff they may not have before.

CtL
Comment by Marc Hintzman on January 12, 2010 at 5:20pm
Not cheating at all. Lets face it today our leisure time is precious so if I have a tool that saves me hours and maybe days on a project. Then I can build it. The argument that it is cheating is a little snobbish, where do you draw the line, the industrial revolution, when hand planes became widely available, the stone age. Every tradesman, handyman, or just plain homeowner just does what works. No reason to exclude something that makes life easier. Here's a thought buy him one and see how long he goes without using it. Not long I bet.
Comment by Jonathan Lyons on January 11, 2010 at 2:23pm
I wouldn't call my Kreg pocket hole jig cheating, but it is a shortcut. I think that knowing how to hand cut a dovetail or chisel a dado makes me a more skilled craftsman. I use my pocket hole jig when I want to get something done quickly. When I'm making something for my own artistic purposes, or I just want to relax, I prefer to break out the human powered tools.

Knowing more than one way to perform a task makes me feel more competent. It also gives me choices when I plan a project. Is this something that I want to have done today, or do I want to spend a little more time with this piece of wood. The answer to that question helps me choose the right tool. I will add, that a hand tool can screw up a nice piece of wood much slower than a power tool.
Comment by Steve McCullough on January 10, 2010 at 11:09am
The evolution of technology in many areas has come a long way. Back in the 60's when I was in high school wood shop, we had "shop" tools. Brace and Bit, a Miller Falls hand cranked drill and screw drivers were about it for hand tools. There were no hand held electric drills, planers, routers, etc. There were table mounted routers, planers, and a table saw plus plenty of pipe clamps. One hour a day, five days a week was all the time we had in that class. A book case would take 30 or 40 hours to complete, with several of those being used to hand sand with a wooden block and sandpaper.
I can, and will do, projects now that I would not have even thought about before in a fraction of the time. I mean, look at the difference between regular mail and email. When is the last time someone sat down and wrote a letter, in ink, addressed an envelope, and mailed it to some one. By making the Kreg Jig available to people like me, along with videos, projects and a forum like this, I will be able to make nice looking furniture, without having to take weeks or even months to get it all done. Yes, pocket holes have been around for years, but I couldn't do them correctly. Now, thanks to Kreg, I can.
Comment by Steve McCullough on January 9, 2010 at 7:56am
When I was a kid back in the early 50's, I used to go with my grandfather into the basement where he had his shop. Now, my grandfather was quite talented and if I were to describe him, I'd say he was a blacksmith, cabinet making carpenter. In other words, he could build a house from the ground up and most of the furniture for the house. He had modern tools for the time. Joiner, radial arm saw, routers, etc. I was only 7 when he passed away, but I remember watching him work in that dimly lit basement shop.
I have no doubt that he would have owned and loved the Kreg Jig. There is still furniture that he built floating around in the family including a "rope" bed that he built when he and my grandmother got married in the early 1900's. He loved working with his hands, but he liked the tools that made his projects look better, and were less time consuming for that period.
I appreciate your comments, and thanks for responding. My buddy can be "primitive Pete" if he wants to. I am looking forward to using my Kreg Jig for projects I would never have attempted in the past.

Steve
Comment by Bob Farmer on January 9, 2010 at 5:16am
Forgot to mention... you should also point out that people have been using angled holes drilled into wood for joinery for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Look at some antique furniture the next time you get a chance. Often times you'll see a pocket-hole of some type holding it together... so his claim that holes/metal-fastners are "new age" is a big disingenuous.
Comment by Bob Farmer on January 9, 2010 at 5:14am
Steve, you made a great point about giving a Kreg Jig to a woodworker from 200 years ago... they would DROOL over it and would definitely use it! I'm glad some people like to keep the old trades alive, and do things the ways their fathers did... but for me, I have a lot more fun building things quickly. Plus, I can build far more projects in the same amount of time!

Another thing your friend is overlooking is that the Kreg Jig is making woodworking possible for people who never would have done it. It makes woodworking seem easier for many beginners. The industry is shrinking enough.... we should embrace every tool we can that actively brings new people into our hobby/industry.
Comment by David Roberts on January 9, 2010 at 1:38am
I'd have to agree with Hugh. The Kreg enables the ordinary guy to do alot more than he was once able. Instead of being charged a ludacrous amount of money for a ordinary simple cabinet, now one can actually make one and other quality furniture and save some money. It also gets the average guy interested in woodworking, maybe aspiring one day to turn their own table legs and make their own kitchen cabinets. Also, you have to take into account that 200 hundred years ago, woodworking was an occupation that many men had, and passed their skills on to their sons. It's sort of a lost art. The Kreg brings some of that back - hopelly I can show my son how to make a workbench, a chair, etc, etc...

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