face frame...dowels or Kreg jig?

Page 1 of 2  
When assembling a face frame, which is likely to produce a better fitting, plumb/flush face frame? The Kreg Jig or a dowel jig? I don't have access to a planer or a wide body sander, so I won't be able to (easily) fix any misalignments. BTW, I haven't used either one jig before so the learning curve should be even.
What say you?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

KREG. Clamp the pieces to something flat, drill holes, insert screws. Use a little glue too. It's quick, strong, and very little misalignment sneaks in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have the simple one hole Kreg jig and have used it to make face frames quite a few times with perfect results. I haven't done the same with dowels, but the pocket hole jig is so easy to use I can't imagine that drill dowel holes will be easier. As long as you align the jig properly and clamp it in place while drilling, it's pretty foolproof.
Mike

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike,
How does the one hole version stack up with 3" face frame that needs 2 screws per joint?

drill
clamp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've got the two-hole Rocket jig, but you can easily position the one-hole Mini Jig to set it to drill another hole. It's just a matter of convenience. By the way, with regards to your original question, I just completed my first ever cabinets, and the Kreg pocket hole system made it easier to align up everything , including flush face frames.
DW
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Slower.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As the other responders said, the one hole version will take you a lot longer than the rocket jig, or even the Kreg 2000 (IIRC the name). I was a cheapskate and just paid my $12 or something to get the one hole version to see how I liked it. I'll probably get the Kreg 2000 if/when I do another big cabinet project.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For my current project (shed), I'm using the K2000 "freestyle". The board is fixed, I clamp the K2000 to it wherever I need a screw. Faster than clamping the minijig to the board, and it all lines up automatically.
Obviously, I'm not using the support wings for this ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Properly done, neither would be better. But IMHO the pocket hole screw method is much faster and easer to correct if you do assemble the pieces out of alignment.
That said, drilling holes for dowels must be precise to begin with. With the pocket hole method the drilling requires you to get the hole "close" to where you want it. Alignment of the 2 pieces of wood is dependent on clamping the 2 pieces together so that the faces are on the same plane before putting in the screw. A hint here, if you use 2 screws in each joint, put in 1 screw and check the fit on the face side. If it is off, remove the screw, readjust the wood and put in the other screw this time ad then check the fit. Put in the other screw if every thing is OK. While the hand clamp that comew with the Kreg jig is pretty good, Kreg offers a clamping Plate with swivel clamp. This set up is great for assuring flush face joints on the good side regaudless of the material thickness of each piece being joined.
I don't have access

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Biscuits do a great job too if you happen to have a plate joiner. I bought mine back when they were fairly new and paid out the whazoo for it but they are reasonable enough now anyone could afford one. Plus you get a tool that does SO many other things and has a billion uses around the shop too.
Jim

fitting,
out
to
ad
any
learning
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yeah you can use a PJ also but you have to clamp the face frame together and wait for the glue to dry. With pocket holes you glue, put the screws in and move on. No need to wait for glue to dry.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree. I did all my face frames with a plate joiner. Last year I bought the Kreg Pro and haven't used the plate joiner since.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You got some good answers so far. I'm going to cast in the estitic concern. I've used my Kreg many times and I think it works great. That said, you need to be very selective where you use it. A few years ago, I built a chest of 7 drawers and used pocket screws for making the dust frame and the face frame joints. When it was done I thought it looked great. Black walnut case with Quarter sawn white oak drawer fronts with some cherry inlay. I then gave it to my mother in law for a Christmas present. Everyone said they loved it.
Later I overheard a brother in law and my father in law discussing it. Seems they were glad my mother in law didn't know anything about good furniture construction. They were remarking that no one makes quality furniture with screw joints.
This was a good lesson. The piece was well made and looked good, but people thought less of it/me because the screws were visible with the drawers out. (If you got on your knees and stuck your head in with a flashlight) Now I only use them where they cannot ever be seen and I fill the holes for good measure. Invisible fastening systems or venerable joints like half blind and through dovetails and box joints and now my rule.
Good luck with you project. Myx
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
People like that don't have a clue what they're talking about. "Good" and "Traditional" aren't synonymous. Using pocket screws made for very strong and sturdy construction. To me that is not just "good" but "great" furniture construction. Next time, you should still use pocket screws, just use the pocket hole plugs and don't say anything about it.

fitting,
access
any
learning
making the dust

great. Black

inlay.
they loved it.

Seems they were

construction. They were

people thought less

got on your knees

cannot ever be

or venerable

rule.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

just
...or just don't worry about what people say or think and make furniture the way you know will work and be strong. Pocket holes are the quickest method I know of this type of assembly and are quite strong.
DW
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How sad they are. Sometimes folks, and "in-laws" in particular, need to be slapped up side the head with a clue-by-four.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 9/21/03
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Cabinet maker 35 years, with our a doubt , the Kreg Jig is the best thing that's come along in a good while.
Ken

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hands down: KREG. I've used it to make close to a hundred face frames for cabinets just this past year. Most alignment problems can be sidestepped by doing your assembly on a flat surface, what's left can be fixed with a cabinet scraper in a few minutes.
Fast, no waiting on glue to dry, and strong. I've got a couple of sample joints that I didn't ever bother to glue that I invite skeptics to try and tear apart by hand.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 9/21/03
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I built a pair of kitchen cabinet draws for an upgrade for a friend of mine. Dovetails, no glue. Still holding! I told them to wait until it starts falling apart to glue it, but they haven't yet.
Nothing beats well-designed joinery.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.