Why didn’t I do this 25 years ago?

I’ve owned this Kreg jig for over 25 years. In fact, I believe this is the first style of Kreg Jig that was ever sold. I bought it at The Woodworking Show when they were worth going to before the age of the internet. It’s worked well over the years, but I noticed that I would have to back the bit out to remove the shavings before I could reach the final hole depth. Wasn’t a huge deal but it did make drilling pocket holes tougher.

Then yesterday I went to Lowes to buy more screws when I decided to buy the small kit that came with a new drill bit for $20. My bit was duller than shit from years of use and I wanted the single pocket jig anyway for drilling pockets in narrow wood. The bit itself is about $14 so the kit was a no-brainer.

I noticed the new jig has a relief hole right behind the metal collar to allow for chip removal while my original one didn’t have that.

So, I took my jig to the drill press and drilled a couple of 11/32″ holes behind the metal collars. Stupidily simple.

Sure enough, the holes worked perfectly removing the chips. Twenty five years of using this damn thing and it could have been so much better had I just thought about the chip removal issue for a minute.

8 thoughts on “Why didn’t I do this 25 years ago?

  1. Keith Mealy

    The other improvement with the latest versions are the ability to use singly, couple together, or couple with a spacer to spread them out. And the new bits have a guide on them to tell where to put the stop collar based on thickness of wood.
    “Continuous quality improvement”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to admit that I was a bit of a pocket hole joinery snob at one time. Like most home woodworkers I used pocket screws on occasion, but I avoided them for the most part. In fact, I always felt the best use for the screws was to attach table tops.

    But, over the years I’ve made repairs, face frames, and dust frames using pocket screws and I will freely admit that they work very well. I’m not sure why pocket joinery gets hated on so much…it’s been around forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt the same way until I kept seeing pocket holes on old Empire dressers. They used them to keep tops down.

      They work great on face frames which is primarily where I use them. I don’t go hog wild like Scott Phillips does on The American Woodworker. That guy uses them on everything. I think he owns ownership in the company. Lol


      1. I don’t imagine they would work well for heavy joinery, such as case sides of a bookcase or dresser, but for face frames, or anything that isn’t particularly supporting any weight, I think they work just as well as a mortise and tenon. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there are times that mortise and tenon is overkill, and despite what some people say, there is such a thing as overkill when it comes to building something such as a bookcase.

        Liked by 1 person

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