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?
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.
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.
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.
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
Obviously, I'm not using the support wings for this ;-)
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
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
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.
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
frame and the face frame joints. When it was done I thought it looked great.
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
Later I overheard a brother in law and my father in law discussing it. Seems
glad my mother in law didn't know anything about good furniture construction.
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
of it/me because the screws were visible with the drawers out. (If you got on
and stuck your head in with a flashlight) Now I only use them where they cannot
seen and I fill the holes for good measure. Invisible fastening systems or
joints like half blind and through dovetails and box joints and now my rule.
Good luck with you project.
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.
...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.
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.
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.
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.