Interior work brings with it the joy of figuring out how to attach two pieces of wood in a slightly more elegant manner than banging a few nails in and being done with it. I both love it and hate it, and you can usually assess which side of scale I’m on based on whether or not I’ve thrown a tool across the room in the last few minutes.
For the Pottery Barn Inspired Vanity I used dowel joints, which give a flawless finish inside and out. For the master bath vanity I’m using a Kreg jig to install pocket screws– it does leave holes in the work piece, but using this kind of jig is faster and easier than doweling and clamping everything which means fewer dents in the drywall from flying hammers.
Setting the Jig Up
The jig itself is fairly simple. It’s got a clamp to hold the work piece in place, and guides for drilling pockets with a special bit.
Just screw the clap part in place, and the jig is ready to use.
Once I have a work space that doesn’t change from day to day I’ll be attaching this to my work bench, but for now it worked well in a more portable state.
The really nice thing about these jigs is that it takes all the math and guesswork out of joining two boards together. You simply move the drill guide to the mark that indicates the depth of your piece (I was using 3/4″ stock)…
Then set the drill bit into this handy slot, with the end of the bit (not including the smaller pilot hole section) at the same depth…
And then tighten down the depth gauge.
You also want to spin the end of the clamp until it’s the appropriate length to clamp the piece tightly.
Using the Jig
Everything is set up and ready to go, you just need to determine where the screws should be placed. Since these leave ugly pockets (which can be filled with special plugs, but still) make sure you’re drilling into the side of the board you don’t want seen.
There are all kinds of ways you can attach boards with a pocket screw– at a 90-degree angle, or face to face. Either way, you start by drilling the pockets.
It’s quick and easy. I was putting together three 6″ pieces of wood to use as doors for the master vanity and I used 3 screws for each piece of wood.
One you have the pockets, clamp the piece and drive the screws.
That’s all there is too it.
I would call this a must-have for the work shop. I can’t believe I didn’t own one earlier… but then again I hardly ever do anything the easy way.
Have you build anything awesome with pocket screws? Leave a comment and let me know.