The face frames for my bookcase project will require 80 pocket holes.
I made 50 or so for another project using only the Kreg Jr. and their
"vise-grip"-style clamp. Pretty laborious. So I decided I'd try to
make a Kreg Jig uh, jig to make the process quicker. I intended to
order some kind of toggle clamp, but never got around to it. To my
surprise, I found myself with some spare time today and wanted to get
I have a small bench vise whose (wooden) jaws are in pretty mangy
condition. I've been meaning to replace them. It occurred to me that
if I could somehow affix the Kreg Jr. jig to one jaw and then make a
"guide" to attach to the other, I could quickly get through the job.
Here's what I did:
I screwed 3 pieces of 5/16" ply (the black stuff in the photos - it's
from some old Ikea CD storage bins) into the movable jaw to hold the
kreg jig in on two sides and at the bottom.
Then I (gently) put a screw through one of the Kreg Jig's "keyhole"
slots. This is simply to keep the jig from falling off the jaw when I
open the vise; it doesn't need to hold the jig against any stress when
the vise is tightened around the work.
I could really have stopped there. I could have put the work in until
it rested on the grey Kreg "tabs" and tightened the vise. But I felt
the need to support the bottom of the work a little better. Plus I
thought I could make a "guide" that would make it easy to get the work
centered properly on the jig. As the vise would provide plenty of
holding power (potentially too much for the blue plastic, I'll have to
be careful), I didn't feel the need to make the guide very thick. I
found some even thinner ply and screwed it into the other jaw. Then I
lined up a piece of the 1x2 maple that I'm using for the face frame on
the Kreg Jr. and tightened the vise.
I traced around the 1x2 with a pencil on the thin ply. I then removed
the thin ply from the jaw and cut out the outline I had drawn, leaving
me with a "U" shaped piece that would just fit the 1x2. I needed to
tweak it a couple of times before it fit right. Then I reattached it
to the fixed jaw.
Here are two photos, the second of which shows a small scrap in the
A view from above, with the scrap clamped in the jig:
Drilling the first face frame stile:
Time will tell if I have made some sort of error, but it worked well
on the first try.
PS: "Field Expedient" is one my Dad's favorite army expressions. As he
uses it, it describes the makeshift use of whatever you have on hand
to get a task done. .