Friday, February 5, 2010

Using a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to create a simple picture frame

I finally got some time in the shop tonight to build this simple frame to show the basics of using a

I was joined tonight by my shop helper.


You will notice that I do practice my safety precautions in the shop even for the shop helper.  He knows that if he is out there he has to wear his headphones and his Safety glasses.


Okay back to the purpose of the this blog….

I have a slightly older model than is currently available.  As far as I can tell the biggest difference is the case that everything comes in.IMG_3313_1024x768


It looks like a piece is missing however it isn’t.  It’s the grey disc that sits on top of the jig for the clamp to attach to.  It just easier for me to keep it attached instead of a constant on and off.


To begin with I took some 1x3/4” scrap wood that I had in my scrap box and cut four pieces to 8” inches each.


Since this wood is 3/4” thick we need to set the depth on the jig to match 3/4” of an inch.  On this particular model the dept is set on the bottom of the jig using the grey sliding rails on each side of the jig.



You can see there are a couple of arrows on the bottom of the jig slide you rails to 3/4” of an inch and lock them in place.  This is accomplished by sliding the rails until you feel/hear them click into place.

Now that you have your depth set it is now time to center one of the holes on the jig on the piece of the wood.


You can see that the jig is centered and clamped to the wood at this point.  Also in the picture you can see the drill bit that you use already chucked up in the drill.  You also need to set the depth for the bit.  This is accomplished by moving the collar that is on the bit. 


There are a couple of ways to set the depth.  In this particular case it has a registry mark for the front of the bit and then tick marks for several common wood thicknesses.  You move the collar to the correct tick mark and tighten the collar.  The instructions will also tell you how far back from the shoulder on the bit to set the collar, for this particular depth is called for 3 9/16”.  I found the to actually be a little shallow as it did not drill out the pilot hole in the wood.  In a case like this loosen the collar and move it slightly and lock it down.  I usually try and move it roughly 1/16” at a time and push the drill till it stops.  You will end up with a small hole in the end of the wood to allow the screw to come through.


In this photo you can see the result of drilling both ends of the wood out.  The holes can be filled with pre-made pocket hole plugs.  I usually don’t use them as most of the time my holes are hidden.  IMG_3328_1024x768

This is one of the screw that you can use to join the parts together.  They are self-tapping screws.  This particular screw is a coarse cut 1” screw.  This is what the directions recommend for the thickness of wood.  One thing to note with using a single screw is that your wood can spin.  I suggest putting glue on the joint and letting it dry, to prevent the finished product from spinning around.



The Kreg screws use a square head and the kit comes with a long square head driver.  I typically chuck up the Drill bit in one drill and the square head driver in another for efficiency.



Since this is supposed to be a “Picture Frame” I placed my square across both pieces of wood and made sure the edges were flush and screwed the joint together.  This will help keep the frame as square as possible.




I screwed one piece to the side and did the same with the second piece.  With those two pieces attached you have what looks like a U, now attach you last side using the square again to flush up the sides and screw them together and you end up with the completed frame.  The picture above shows the back of the frame.  Here is what the front will look like.










Finally here is the finished product being modeled by my shop helper.


If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me an email.  Do you also use a Pocket Hole Jig.  Shoot me a picture of some of the projects you have used them on so I can show the other readers. 

Have a great day!




  1. This is cool, Grover! Welcome to the fray! I'm totally into new tools that can do amazing things so I'll be watching you. And learning!

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!
    FJ Donna

  2. Thanks Donna and my wife and I love your site. The Kreg tool is a great little tool. I use it for all kinds of joinery. If you have any requests on tools you want to see their use just let me know and I can put something together.


  3. Hi again Grover! Met you over on WiWW and thanks for the very kind welcome. Yes I also have the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and on my site ( the dog crate/end table was made with the Kreg jig. I also did a book shelf out of red oak some time ago using the Kreg jig but never thought to take a picture of it. I've gotten much better at remembering to photograph my creations! Anyway, I would agree with you that the Kreg jig is a nifty tool and a simple way to do joinery. It's a great way for folks to start out in woodworking before they have mastered the fancy joinery techniques. But it's also very practical for sturdy construction.


  4. I agree, The Kreg Jig is great for this type of stuff. It does offer one the easiest strongest joinery methods I have seen. Not everyone wants to learn to do mortise and tenons or wants to invest in the tools to make it easy. :)

  5. I became a facebook fan. This would be PERFECT for a bookshelf project I need to do :)

  6. I'm new to pocket joinery but not to woodworking. In retirement now I look to revive my old love for woodworking and my very first new tool is an R3 small Kreg unit. I look forward to all this little jig will allow me to build. Thanks for the blog, pictures and instructions.

  7. I'm new to pocket joinery but not to woodworking. In retirement now I look to revive my old love for woodworking and my very first new tool is an R3 small Kreg unit. I look forward to all this little jig will allow me to build. Thanks for the blog, pictures and instructions.



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