Things You'll Need
- Two 12-inch by 12-inch pieces of three-quarter-inch-thick plywood
- Two 12-inch-long pieces of two-by-six lumber
- One 12-inch-long piece of two-by-four lumber
- Two-inch deck screws
- Table saw
- Drill Press
- Pilot-tip pocket-joint drill bit
- Power drill with screw bits
- Tape measure
- Framing square
The Kreg Jig is one of the more popular varieties of jigs for creating pocket joints. This jig is clamped to a board and used to guide a drill bit into wood at an angle. This angular cut forms a pocket, through which a screw is driven into an adjoining piece of stock. Although one could purchase a Kreg unit, a simple jig for a drill press will perform the same function without the added cost.
Rip the piece of two-by-four to one and one-half inches square. Then, adjust the bevel on the table saw to 15 degrees and rip the board again, applying a 15-degree bevel to one edge. .
Square the table saw blade. Adjust your table saw's miter gauge to 15 degrees and make a 15-degree angled crosscut on the ends of the two-by-six boards.
Measure one inch in from one side of one of the pieces of plywood, and draw a line parallel to the edge with a framing square. Repeat with the edge on the opposite end of the plywood.
Position one of the beveled two-by-six boards on edge, with the long edge flat on the plywood, aligned with the line one inch in from the side. Attach the board to the plywood with some two-inch deck screws. Repeat with the other beveled board on the other line drawn on the plywood.
Place the beveled section of two-by-four lumber with the shortest side against one edge of the unused piece of plywood. The beveled edge (that you cut in the step above) should be aligned with the edge of the plywood, so that the plywood and this board are aligned at a right angle. This beveled board will become a stop for the jig. Attach the stop to the plywood with three deck screws.
Place the plywood (with the two beveled two-by-sixes) flat on a work table. The two-by-six boards should be facing upwards. Place the other assembly with the plywood against the beveled edges of the two-by-sixes and the stop flat on the table. Attach the plywood to the beveled two-by-sixes with a pair of deck screws into each board.
Insert a pocket joint drill bit into your drill press. Position the jig on the drill press table underneath the bit. Adjust the height so that the bottom of the bit stops about one-quarter of an inch above the stop on the bottom of the jig.
Place the board to receive the pocket joint onto the jig, with the end to receive the pocket joint against the stop. Clamp the board securely to the jig with a C clamp.
Adjust the position of the jig so that the spot to receive the pocket joint is directly beneath the bit. Turn on the drill press and drill the pocket joint. Reposition the jig for the next hole and repeat.
When working with power tools, always wear appropriate safety gear, including safety glasses.
Chris Baylor has been writing about various topics, focusing primarily on woodworking, since 2006. You can see his work in publications such as "Consumer's Digest," where he wrote the 2009 Best Buys for Power Tools and the 2013 Best Buys for Pressure Washers.