We asked Walter Hall for his thoughts on this comprehensive piece of kit from Kreg. Would he be tempted to pocket one?
The Kreg K4 Pocket Hole Jig in use
The Kreg jig is suitable for both amateurs and professionals (PHOTOGRAPHS BY WALTER HALL)
The introduction of Kreg jigs has made the process of pocket-hole jointing much easier, more accurate and repeatable than was previously possible. The technique has wide application in the making of face frames, joining of legs and rails, mitre joints and even in applying edge banding. The K4 jig reviewed here consists of a base made from a strong plastic material which can be screwed or clamped to the bench and to which is fitted an adjustable toggle clamp and a drill guide with steel insert bushings designed in such a way that holes may be spaced appropriately in a wide range of workpieces. The drill guide is also adjustable to compensate for material thickness and it can be removed and used separately for repair applications.
A lot in the box
Also provided is a stepped bit complete with adjustable depth collar, a drill guide spacer block for use in repairs, a dust collection attachment and a square screwdriver bit to fit the self-tapping screws supplied. Moulded into the base is a depth setting gauge for the drill bit and depth collar. This is annotated in imperial measurements but a metric conversation chart is embossed onto the base of the jig. Assembly of the unit involves attaching the toggle clamp with screws and nuts provided, sliding the drill guide into its slot and locking in place with the guide pin.
From start to finish
After screwing or clamping the unit to the bench, set up is completed by adjusting the toggle clamp to achieve a firm grip on the workpiece and setting both drill guide height and drill bit depth collar settings to the thickness of the material as described in the manual. From opening the box to completing a test joint on scrap material took me less than 10 minutes. Further adjustment for different sizes and thicknesses of workpiece was equally quick and virtually foolproof. Once set up the dust collection attachment clips onto the front of the unit and not only keeps the workshop free from dust but reduces the need for frequently withdrawing the drill bit to clear it. This attachment restricts access to the guide pin for adjustment but is easy to clip on and off.
This is a high quality jig that both amateurs and professionals will find invaluable. It facilitates the easy production of quick and accurate screwed butt joints which are strong, reliable and would be difficult to achieve by other means.