Perfect Joinery In Seconds

The jig, to put it in a nutshell, allows a woodworker to screw two pieces of timber together in a matter of seconds—and the job is done with great precision and strength, irrespective of surface angles or wood thickness. There is no need to pre-drill the second workpiece, so the process is necessarily faster, sturdier and less fussy than traditional dowelling joinery. It is even stronger than biscuit or mortice and tenon joinery.

Here’s how it works. The jig is an L-shaped steel unit that rests on a flat bench top or similar stable surface. The vertical plane has two diagonal holes in it that serve to guide a special electric drill bit into any piece of wood that is kept flat against it. This step is facilitated by a push-handle vice that is built into the unit. At the same time a small collar is set to keep the drill depth uniform. Then it’s simply a matter of drilling diagonal “pocket holes” into the timber to create neat screw cavities. Release the vice pressure and the drilled wood can be removed for immediate use. Just hold the drilled wood against its mating piece, insert the screws and use an electric drill to drive the screws home. For more complex tasks where angle alignment is awkward, a sturdy clamp is available as an accessory to clasp two pieces of wood in place without the need for glue.

Special Robertson square drive screws are a key element in the system’s efficiency. These screws are incredibly strong and, since they don’t require any pre-drilled holes, can halve woodworkers’ preparation time.

Kreg jigs are available in Australia through Gregory Machinery in South Brisbane. According to director Robert Gregory, who has been importing the units into Australia since their US release, many customers now use pocket hole joinery for all their joinery jobs. This kind of joinery dates back at least 5,000 years and remains popular for such complex tasks as convex or concave curves, bevelled corners, post and rail legs, aprons, face frames and all joinery that demands flush surfacing.

“There is no measuring, no clamping (unless desired), no gluing and no waiting,” says Gregory.

“It’s the most exciting product we’ve stocked, and we’ve been importing, manufacturing and distributing hardware goods in Australia since 1954. The potential for this product is unlimited as all users are instantly won over by its practicality and great speed. The results are highly professional, but the beauty of it is that a DIY handyman can master it after one session.

“Retailers benefit through ongoing sales of accessories like the Robertson square drive screws, and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from those thousands of clients who have tried the Kreg Jig.” For more information and orders, look up the www.gregmach.com website.

Story by John Power