Kreg Tutorial – K4 Pocket Hole Jig

Kreg Tutorial - Featured Image

So you finally added one of my most used tools to your shop, and you are ready for the Kreg Tutorial huh? Well, let’s get down to business! I’ll be using the Kreg K4 Pocket Hole Jig for this tutorial. You can also check out the full-length video to see it in action.

Upgrade..yes, already!

So one of the biggest upgrades you can get is actually very cheap, and you can ever get a bundle kit that has it included (check it out here). The Dust Collector Attachment is hands down one of the best attachments for the jig and will be used in this Kreg Tutorial. One of the biggest tips I can ever give you as a woodworker is to keep your shop area clean, and this tool helps tremendously. In fact, check out the two photos below. I drilled 18 pocket holes in a ¾” thick board. ( holes are without the dust collector hooked up to the shop-vac, the other 9 are with it. Check out the results yourself!

Kreg Tutorial - Side by Side with the Dust Collection Attachment.

Kreg Tutorial Part 1: What is a Pocket Hole?

This is a great question, I’m glad you asked it! A pocket hole is a way to join two pieces of wood to each other. It is a hole that is angled and is the right measurements to be able to screw a pocket hole screw into it, enter the second board, and pull them tight to each other. Popular Woodworking has a great image that shows how it works both with the drill bit and the screw.

Kreg Tutorial - Pocket Hole Explanation

Kreg Tutorial Part 2: How does the Jig work?

Again, great question! Let’s start with the clamp! You will notice it screws back and forth. This may seem self-explanatory, but you need to make sure that clamp will hold your wood tight against the backplate. Don’t overtighten though as that can leave marks in your wood and be hard to clamp down. Once you have the right tightness, you can move that nut down to the point furthest away from your board and that will keep the clamp from spinning out of position.

Kreg Tutorial - Clamp

So we have the clamp set which is great, but let’s put your board aside and set our backplate height, and set up our drill bit for the right wood thickness. You will notice some measurements on the side of the backplate. You can unscrew the little screw on the back and move the backplate up and down. You want to set the measurement to the thickness of the wood you are drilling your pocket holes in.

Kreg Tutorial - Backplate

Pro Tip: When using 2″ material (which is actually 1 ½”) set your backplate to 1 ⅜”..this will keep your screw from going too far through the board you are joining.

When it comes to your bit, you will notice it is a special bit. It is a collared bit, meaning it has a skinnier end and then it has a larger part above that. You will also notice a collar on the other end that has a small set screw in it. You want to loosen the collar using the included allen key and then align the flat area (where the bit steps down from thick to skinny) to the appropriate mark on the base of the jig. Now make sure the collar is tight against the jig and tighten it down. This will ensure that your bit will not be too long for the thickness of wood you are using!

Kreg Tutorial -Bit

Pro Tip: Keep Extra bits in your shop..the will break the moment you need it worst, I promise! (They don’t break often, but it can happen)

Kreg Tutorial Part 3: Make some holes!

Now, get to drilling. I would recommend using some scrap wood the first few times to get used to it. As you use it more and more you will start to learn little useful tricks. One of those for me is I use a TON of 2x4s for aprons on tables and benches. When I drill my two pocket holes in each end I can simply use the two outside holes and I don’t have to move the board around to get the holes where I need them!

Kreg Tutorial Part 4: Attach your boards!

With all the holes drilled and everything ready to attach your boards, we need to note some things. First of all, make sure you use the Kreg Square Bit (and always keep extras around).

Now the next step is to determine what size pocket hole screw to use. Here is a guide to help you find the right size (you may want to bookmark this page for reference in the future).

It is also worth noting that if you are using softwood you would want to use Coarse Pocket Hole Screws, and for hardwoods, you would use Fine Pocket Hole Screws. If you want a little chart to keep in your shop, this is our favorite!

That’s it!! You have completed the Kreg Tutorial. Now if you are looking to build something, I would HIGHLY suggest the Rustic Farm Table. It is simple to build, but will impress all your friends! Hopefully, this was easy to understand and will help you efficiently use your new favorite tool! If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments below or hit us on social media! Thanks for hanging in the Workshop today!

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