Introduction: DIY Pocket Hole Jig

About: Husband to a great wife, father to my baby girl, and child of the one true king. 9-5er during the day and woodworker the rest of the time. Follow along as I offer tips, tricks, and woodworking plans. I star…

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Kreg Pocket Hole Jigs have become synonymous with DIYers over years. In truth, these things have been around forever, and even before Kreg came on the scene for consumers, pocket hole joinery was alive and well. So why even use pocket hole joinery? Well, it's fast. I mean speedy gonzalez meets the road runner fast, and it's so easy even...even I can do it! So how 'bout I teach you how to make this handy jig, so you can save a few bucks?

Step 1: Plans

I hope you weren't wanting a difficult project... Yes, I made a nice CAD drawing just for you.

If you need, follow the link for a pdf of this plan.

Step 2: Construction

I made my pocket hole jig out of IPE. Why? Because I had it on hand, it's hard as nails, and did I mention I already had it? Since IPE is so hard, I did not bother with using a steel sleeve inside the pilot hole. If you wanted to use a steel sleeve, go for it! Just make the necessary adjustments and you're good to go.

Works like a champ! You can use a cam clamp (DIY Cam Clamps!), quick grip, C-clamp as shown here, or get a friend to hold the jig real tight while... No, actually don't do that. That would be dumb. Funny to watch, but totally not safe.

Alright, that about does it.

Step 3: Use

Oh, you might want to know how to use this thing! First, you'll need a 3/8" pocket hole drill. If I recall correctly, I didn't buy the Kreg brand drill. I think Home Depot carries a less expensive option. If not, you can always check eBay.

Anyways, back to the madness. This drill comes with a lock collar, which is used to set the depth of hole you make. When you make a pocket hole, you want the smaller diameter to just poke through the end of the piece you're drilling. If you get to the bigger diameter of the drill, you'll either be looking for larger screws or tossing the piece out because you just messed up. So before you start foolin' around with the lumber you're making your project out of, test out your setup and make sure the lock collar is at the right spot so you're drilling to the correct depth. Do this on scrap wood of the same thickness as your project material. This hole needs to be centered in the thickness of the board. So, lets say your board is 1" thick, the lil' skinny section of the drill needs to poke out at about 1/2" from either side.

So in review:

  • lil' section of drill should poke out centered on the thickness of the piece you're drilling
  • lock collar sets the depth of pocket, if you go too deep you have to start over
  • test on scrap wood

Now that you're all set up and ready to go, use the center line on your jig to place it where you want your pocket holes and let er rip!

Once all of your pocket holes are drilled, you're ready for assembly. I use the kreg pocket hole screws because they're cheap enough and easy to come by.

Got questions? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email and I'll clear things up. Thanks for reading and have a great day!