|The K2000 is one of several pocket
hole jigs produced by Kreg, This particular product is similar to the earlier K2 (still
available) two-hole metal base jig that I have used for quite some time.
The K2000 requires minimal assembly. The major parts of the package are the base with its clamp, the step blocks for thickness configuration, two support wings (which are really optional), and a portable one-hole jig. Also included is a stock clamp, two square drive bits, and sample packs of screws.
All this comes in a molded plastic case which is un-typically convenient for storing all these items.
What are they and what are they good for? The pocket hole joint is nothing more than a butt joint with securing screws. How can a butt joint with screws be adequate (which it is)? I think it is primarily due to the shallow penetration angle into the adjacent stock and the pressure one can generate with a metal fastener like a screw.
According to Kreg, their pocket hole joint is as strong as a mortise and tenon joint. I haven't seen their data but in every reasonable application I've ever tried, the pocket hole joint was as strong as I ever needed it to be (which is what ultimately counts).
Pocket holes can be used in innumerable applications. To the credit of Kreg, they provide VERY comprehensive and detailed information on the usage and application of this type of joinery method for just about any application imaginable. Their catalog alone has a LOT of information on pocket hole usage.
Unlike the metal base K2, the K2000 is made of a high impact plastic. Don't be put off by the plastic construction, the jig is very durable, I can't imagine it being damaged.
The K2000 uses a three hole configuration, the holes are correctly spaced for two-hole patterns in stock as narrow as 1" as well as wider material. The holes are lined with hardened steel bushings to guide the drill bit. I've not noticed any appreciable wear of the bushings on my K2 Jig and have every reason to expect the K2000 would be of similar durability, they should last forever. In any event they carry a lifetime warranty when the Kreg drill bit is used.
Using the System.
One of the very first and most beneficial aspects of the pocket hole joinery is that it typically requires far fewer clamps. Another benefit is that you can often build a subassembly and use it immediately in the next assembly stage. Building a typical face frame kitchen cabinet is good example of this. You can completely assemble the face frame and apply it to the carcass as soon as it is done.
One less obvious benefit especially to less experienced or equipped woodworkers is that most often, all one needs to buildup assemblies accurately (and easily) is the ability to cut stock ends square and to length. This reduction of error inducing machine operations should not be underestimated!
Another aspect of pocket hole joinery is that if the mating parts were misaligned, it is often possible to disassemble the joint and re-try. You might need to make new pockets when this happens, usually the joint is hidden so it isn't a problem.
I use pocket hole joints in woodworking in two prime areas. The first is as a problem solver; instances where the choice is between some complex / precision cutting, or a simple butt joint and pocket hole. The second is when I need a simple, strong, and fast joint that will not be visible.
There is another noteworthy product offered by Kreg that should be mentioned, that is information. For such a lowly and simple joint, Kreg offers a wealth of information regarding the use of pockets holes.
Kreg also offers some generic cabinetmaking and project instructions. For a measly $5 their Basic and Advanced Cabinetmaking pamphlets are positively jam-packed with all the information one would ever need to be able to build kitchen cabinets using pocket hole joinery. If you intend to use the Kreg for this, I HIGHLY recommend these guides.
There are a few tips I have to pass along even on such a simple tool. The first is that it is best to use a high speed drill for drilling; this means a corded drill. A cheap 3/8" drill works fine. I only use a cordless drill for driving the screws.
The second is that pine tends to tear out a bit more than hardwoods. If I need a clean entry hole (when using plugs for example) I advance the drill very slowly into the stock.
I'll also use a dry lubricant such as top-coat on the drill bit. This probably doesn't make much difference but seems to reduce friction a bit and an application seems to last quite a while.
The next is in plywood carcass assembly, I clamp the parts together tightly before driving the screws. Otherwise, some shifting can occur.
For face frames, I do NOT use glue. Glue won't have much holding power in end-grain to long-grain situations anyway. It will make the joint more slippery and risk contamination (staining problems) though. I've NEVER seen any of my unglued pocket hole face frame joints open up.
On long-grain to long-grain joints, I DO use glue. This can make the assembly a little slippery risking a shift when the pocket holes are driven in. To avoid this, I may choose to drive in two or three screws, then disassemble the joint and apply glue. The first screws are then re-driven along with any remaining ones; this prevents any shifting.
On frame assemblies, I use spacer boards for internal frame member placement. This is more accurate than measurements or reference lines drawn on the stock.
I also use Kreg brand screws nearly always. Other brands will work but Kreg offers more of the right kind and they work better.
Because I have the tools, I don't have to nor would I wish to use one type of joint in building any reasonably complex project. As such I wouldn't use the Kreg exclusively any more than I would anything else exclusively. I say this only because it IS possible to make joints for an entire project using ONLY the K2000.
The ease of clamping, speed of assembly, and the less error-prone nature of pocket hole construction make the K2000 a very worthwhile tool. The K2000 is quite reasonably priced and it should perform better, and longer than anything else you would build or buy. I highly recommend the K2000 because of its quality and usefulness. In fact, the fewer tools you have the more useful the tool will be because it can be used in so many applications. Bottom line; I think the K2000 should be one of the first ten woodworking tools you buy.
The main parts of
the K2000 system are the main clamp and drill body and the portable one-hole jig known as
the "Rocket". The jig is shown in the typical ¾" stock thickness
configuration. For ½" a small riser block is dropped onto the jig as-is. For thicker
material, a different riser block is needed and the drill body must be disassembled and
re-assembled with the new riser.
|The three-hole drill configuration can also be seen here, this is an improvement over the two-hole K2 jig which required stock repositioning more often. The base can be screwed down to another base to use the support wings if you wanted to make a permanent work station out of the K2000.|
|Kreg provides a sample pack of screw in
the K2000 to get you going, they also sell screws in bulk and these multi-type starter
packs as well. The starter kits are good for site work but I recommend buying the screws
in bulk once you have determined which size / type you most often use.